Welcome to your Weekly Mixtape September 21, 2012.
Kanye West ft. R. Kelly, “To the World”
So, okay, Kanye West’s much anticipated Cruel Summer wound up being kind of a mixed bag. Whatever. Its high points are still devastating.
In case you haven’t given this track any close consideration, let it be known that that’s no lesser a figure than R. Kelly silkily crooning, “The whole world is a couch / B*tch, I’m Rick James tonight.” There is precisely one person on earth who could pull off that line and his name is R. Kelly. Same goes for, “I’m just trying to protect my stack / Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax,” only the singular lyricist in question happens to be Ye.
T-Shirt, “Clique Freestyle”
Despite possessing one of hip-hop’s weakest sobriquets, T-Shirt has a tendency to put up some more-than-solid verses when the occasion strikes.
Though the rhymes he places over Kanye West’s “Clique” could have served just as adequately on a different track, the PR boost given by the source material will with any luck attract some more attention to T-Shirt’s finer works.
Gucci Mane ft. Big Sean, “Brought Out Them Racks”
Big Sean’s quality as a rapper is increasingly hard to determine, even as more recorded examples of his style come crawling out the woodwork. On “Clique,” from G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer, he earned his real estate alongside Yeezy and Jay-Z, but on Gucci Mane’s “Brought Out Them Racks,” his verse seems at best amateurish, if not downright confusing.
The track’s visual style doesn’t do a lot to help matters either. Gucci appears to be fighting sleep for most of his performance and the video’s director affects a dissonant mix of Masonic symbols and gangster rap baubles.
Gucci’s verses, however, are solid enough to carry the whole thing along its logical path.
Young Jeezy ft. Juicy J, “Bands A Make Her Dance” Remix
Young Jeezy’s freestyle over this Juicy J track actually works much better than the track’s original arrangement. Juicy’s barely-smoother-than-Jeezy hook provides a respectable counterpoint to the Snowman’s howling verse.
Jeezy selects strip clubs as his subject this time around, because, as they say, “write what you know.”