Here’s this week’s edition of Weekly Mixtape, highlighting some of the best hip-hop tracks of the week. You’re welcome.
Nicki Minaj ft. 2 Chainz, “Beez in the Trap”
Sure, Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded turned out to be an inconsistent specimen, but let us not judge the whole by the weaknesses of its lesser parts.
“Beez in the Trap” features a trickling, reverb-laden beat on top of which Nicki Minaj avows the more or less indisputable truism that “a hundred motherf***ers can’t tell me nothing”. When not trying to be a club record, a bubblegum pop record, or a pink-hued passion play, Roman Reloaded can turn in some solid performances; case in point: “Beez in the Trap”.
Kanye West, ft. 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Pusha T, “Mercy”
“Mercy” might be the hit-factory-ist offering yet to emerge from Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music hit factory. With Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chains all sharing a dangerously distended “featuring” credit, “Mercy” serves as a fantastic ad for the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation album.
The beat touches all of Kanye West’s favorite bases, including a chopped and screwed hook and a menacing drum loop. This is technically a K-West track, but what distinguishes Yeezy from the other MCs involved is really the fact that he’s going to be getting a bigger chunk of the royalties.
DJ Khaled ft. Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, “Take it to The Head”
It’s good to know that if this whole “DJ” thing doesn’t work out, DJ Khaled can always find work as a Rolodex man.
Chris Brown’s comfortable hook provides the connective tissue for this track on which Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne all lay down solid work. I’d peg Ross’s verse as the standout, though Minaj notches a quality performance as well. It’s nice to hear her unleashing some of the vitriol that was (presumably) scrubbed out of Roman Reloaded in the interest of marketability.
Kanye West ft. DJ Khaled & DJ Pharris, “Theraflu” (produced by Hit-Boy)
Even if the beat for this track is almost interchangeable with the beat for “Mercy”, a fantastic hook and a well-timed instinct for gossip make “Theraflu” worthy of consideration as well.
There’s a throwaway line halfway through this track wherein Yeezy references a possible love for Kim Kardashian, “love” in this case being shorthand for “brand alignment”, but whatever, it’s still sufficient to set the gossip blogs all atwitter.
Once again, West’s talent as a musician and his lust for attention have intertwined to the point where they’re indistinguishable. And hey, this is the second track he has on here this week, so I guess whatever he’s doing is working.