It’s Mixtape Madness time: y’all know the drill.
Louie V Mob, New World Order
We should all be grateful that Master P still delivers music unto us. The mob, which is essentially P, Fat Trel and Alley Boy, dominate over trap production. The tape remains consistent from beginning to end and the guest features (Gucci Mane slays on “Trending Boy”) only add to Order‘s boastful rhymes about money, drugs and flexing. #NOLIMITFOREVER
Standout track: “I Ain’t Feeling That” feat. Fat Trel & Alley Boy
Young Thug, 1017 Thug
“Uno, dos cups stuffed / Uno, dos cups stuffed!” Young Thug is no Rosetta Stone but he is a ridiculously charismatic rapper. He has quotables for days (“I got a stick that’ll light up the room just like neon”) and his high-pitched vocal delivery makes his lol-worthy hooks and rhymes that much better. Even on songs where he channels “Lollipop”-era Lil Wayne, Thug shines.
Standout track: “2 Cups Stuffed”
ILLANTA is this week’s diamond in the rough. Golden age-esque production, intricate verbal assaults–this mixtape distinguishes itself from its trap-driven contemporaries. The rhymes are never over-bearing and although some songs are less notable than others, the tape is worth multiple listens.
Standout track: “ILLClinton (Obama)”
Gucci Mane, Trap God 2
As the sequel to last year’s Trap God, Trap God 2 is all about consistency. As always Gucci’s comparison game is on point. For example: “Strapped up like Charles Bronson” and “Had them ni**as fighting like Jerry Springer.” Gucci should also go down in history for having one of the best hooks ever. (Check out “Squad Car.”) Gucci even manages to make Lloyd (yes, “Get It Shawty” Lloyd) relevant again, having the singer sing about fly sh**.
Standout track: “Really Ready” feat. Young Dolph & Rulet 1017
Bianca Rodriguez, Solitude
Granted, Solitude is not a rap mixtape but it’s a banger. At nine tracks Rodriguez croons over neo-soul chords that bring to mind Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. Rodriguez’s vocals seem uncomfortable on certain tracks, and some songs do more harm than good. (“Work It.”) Overall Solitude is a nice introduction into Rodriguez’s soulful world.
Standout track: “Lust”
Hypecuz, Manufactured Demand 2 The Restock
This tape is fire for the most part. There’s a Curren$y-like drawl to Hypecuz that fits well with Restock‘s production. (Yo Trakman, you are phenomenal!) At 20 tracks Restock does a great job of displaying Hypecuz’s malleability.
Standout track: “4 Reelin”
Astro, Deadbeats & Lazy Lyrics
So apparently this lyrical prodigy was once an X Factor finalist? At 16 Astro is headed in the right direction and Lyrics is proof of that. Astro can flow but what makes him great is how well he can change his cadence. (Check out the appropriately named “Flow.”) At times the tape loses steam with lackluster tracks, but overall Lyrics is an impressive start for Astro.
KNS That Engineer, MushroomGang: Come From The Ground, Grow In The Dark
Come From The Ground‘s strongest quality is its production. With that said KNS is a good rapper but it seems he has not found his voice yet. Certain songs he shines: “How Cold Iz Tha Kid” and “O.J. OK” are incredible. But songs like “Say Im Crazy” and “Selfmade” do not maintain the momentum of other tracks. KNS still needs some work but his production game is on point.
Gucci Mane & Young Scooter, Free Bricks 2
Bricks starts off slow but by track three Mane and Scooter’s chemistry is apparent. The former dominates the latter (“I count money in my mothafu**in’ long johns” is such a Gucci line) but Scooter holds his own too.
Standout track: “Pass Around” feat. Wale
Fredo Santana, Fredo Kruger
Not only is the tape pretty good but its cover is probably the best one ever made. Santana, like his fellow G.B.E. peers, is all about that staccato cadence. It works: “F**k You Up” drives with Nightmare On Elm Street synths and violent declarations. The latter is essential to the tape which can become redundant. And everything before “F**k You Up” is hit or miss. Kruger is adequate but there are more nightmares than dreams on here.