Welcome to your Weekly Mixtape September 1, 2012.
Trae the Truth ft. Waka Flocka Flame, “I Got Em”
Offering a sterling example of “big, ridiculous stomping rap,” Trae the Truth and Waka Flocka Flame (two of the subgenre’s most sedulous proponents) have teamed up to create “I Got Em.”
The track borrows many of its moves from the DMX playbook. Menacing, sky-high strings form the backbone of the beat, while a shout-sung chorus provides the lyrical gravy. Trae and Waka Flocka lay down verses about their respective abilities to menace their foes, but then of course they do.
A$AP Mob (A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ant) ft. Flatbush Zombies, “Bath Salt”
Though you’re likely familiar with A$AP Rocky by this point, the names A$AP Ant and Flatbush Zombies are also worth an acre of your mental real estate.
This track, a highlight from A$AP Mob’s Lord$ Never Worry mixtape, allows Ant to flex his lyrical muscles, though both he and A$AP Rocky wind up being upstaged by a manic performance from Flatbush Zombies. A Brooklyn-based crew with a well-publicized love for hallucinogens, the Zombies have achieved their own small measure of renown in the past month with the release of their D.R.U.G.S. mixtape.
MellowHype, “La Bonita”
Miraculously, we have yet to reach the tipping at which Odd Future solo projects cease to be engaging and instead become an annoyance. The fact that this phenomenon still resides safely in the future can likely be attributed to the fact that the Los Angeles-based collective remains an unstoppable factory for ideas.
Whereas Domo Genesis joined forces earlier this month with Shady Records producer Alchemist to cast his solo identity as that of a contemplative stoner, MellowHype appears to cosset a greater weakness for pomp and a more actively lascivious imagination.
This clip features a distinct visual style and a seductive, charming hook, both of which bode well for MellowHype’s prospects.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz, “Thrift Shop”
There are times when I’m not entirely comfortable with Macklemore’s ability to play directly to his audience. Does a song like “Thrift Shop” count as pandering? Or did Mack feel honestly compelled to sing the praises of his local Goodwill?
Whichever the case, the resultant track offers a repeat appearance from Macklemore’s talent for communing directly with the part of the brain that forms thoughts like, “Hey, that’s not bad.”
The accompanying clip is a winner as well. I never thought I’d be able to say this, but I am now confident that if someone ever asks me for a representative example of Northwest hip-hop, I will have no hesitation about where to send them.