Here’s this week’s edition of Weekly Mixtape—the week’s best hip-hop tracks, personally selected for you. Enjoy!
Justin Bieber ft. Mac Miller, 2 Chainz and Asher Roth, “Boyfriend” [remix]
Say what you want about the source material, but this remix of Das Biebs’s signature track actually kind of rules.
With the beat stripped to a minimalist guitar figure and Justin’s lyrics relegated to a tastefully deployed hook, “Boyfriend” serves as a decent showcase for several talented MCs. Granted, 2 Chainz and Mac Miller are both forced to finish off their verses with awkward promises about what it would be like to be their girlfriend, but the rest of the work on this track is solid.
Also: Someone should make sure that 2 Chainz stays far away from The Bieb’s target demographic. The meeting of those two just seems like it would yield awkward results…
El-P, “Drones Over Bklyn”
If you aren’t prepared to wade through El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure in its entirety, then “Drones Over Bklyn” might be a good place to start acclimating yourself to the anti-producer’s latest release.
El-P uses the track to showcase his signature synthesizer squelches and thunderous drum samples, though he lays them out with enough restraint to keep from scaring away casual fans. In fact, “Drones Over Bklyn” most closely resembles a lost Gorillaz track, as filtered through a vintage hip-hop scrim. So long as you don’t try to make sense of the lyrics, this track makes for decent casual listening.
E-40 ft. Problem, Young Jeezy, Chris Brown, French Montana and Red Cafe, “Function” [remix]
If you have a soft spot for Bay Area slang-generator E-40 (and really, who doesn’t?) then this track should serve as a welcome reminder of the MC’s existence, even if it doesn’t offer much in the way of fresh material.
E-40 contributes a hook to the track, atop which every rapper on the face of the planet lays down at least one verse. How do you fit all these MCs into a single song? Apparently E-40 and company have recently familiarized themselves with Occam’s Razor because they just went ahead and made the thing nine minutes long.
Gucci Mane ft. Scarface, “Scarface”
It would appear that Gucci Mane has been cheating off of Future’s homework. Last month, Future anchored his debut album (Pluto) with a mumbled gangster manifesto that compared his own exploits to those of Al Pacino’s indelible Cuban badass.
Now, scarcely a month later, we find Gucci accruing heavy debts to Brian De Palma as he mumbles his way through a similar laundry list of gangster credentials. To Gucci’s credit, the promotional materials for I’m Up, from which “Scarface” is the debut single, do seem a good deal more hardcore than anything Future has yet been able to muster. Now if Gucci could just stop reminding us that this is the “world f*cking premier” he’d have a decent single.