It’s that time again. We’ve painstakingly picked out the best mixtapes of the past week just for you. You’re welcome.
Don Linen, Trillmatic
Smooth production and an even smoother vocal delivery (Linen’s flow induces Curren$y-like chill-ness) is what drives Trillmatic. The 18 track mixtape remains consistent from beginning to end; Linen effortlessly changes his flow from chopped-and-screwed slowness, to rapid wordplay. And it all works to create an impressive release.
Standout track: “Always”
Yung Jet, Fly Af
“I ain’t even close to my prime you know / I got time to grow.” It’s a testament to the 18 year-old rapper’s already recognized talent. After releasing My first Flight Yung Jet returns with Fly Af, a tape that booms with vigorous boasts and head-bobbing beats. Jet deserves kudos for having a song dedicated to strippers that samples the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Off With Your Head” (for real, It’s great). Jet has an A$AP Rocky-esque delivery to him, but it is not a blatant imitation. Jet’s still trying to find his voice but he’s doing a good job so far.
Standout track: “The Anthem”
Fred The Godson, Contraband
Fred is very New York and it shows in his latest mixtape, Contraband. Although it starts off slow the tape kicks into high gear with “The City,” and rarely loses momentum. Fred has the boasts but it’s his personal narratives that hit hardest. “Would’ve Been” is motivational without sounding cliche. “Flow behind them bars / I could’ve been writing behind them bars.” Fred has been praised for his rhymes for quite some time and Contraband only reinforces why that is.
Standout track: “The World Would Keep On”
Travis Porter, Mr. Porter
Travis “turnt-up” Porter. If Porter does not refer to himself as such already, he probably should. Mr. Porter is an onslaught of upbeat, trap-on-trap-on-trap tracks with ridiculously enjoyable hooks (check out “Wassup”). Porter also succeeds with laid-back songs like “Baddest,” where he showcases his rapid flow. Also, Trinidad James’ ad-lib game is on another level (“4 My Niggas”). Porter is strongest in his hooks and his rhymes are adequate enough to drive each song to the end. Not too bad, Mr. Porter.
Standout track: “9 Outta 10”
OJ Da Juiceman, Juice World 2
Juice World 2‘s tape cover foreshadows just how crazy (in a good way) the mixtape is. OJ is essentially the illegitimate cousin of 2 Chainz and Future, due to his over-the-top and lol-inducing hooks (check out “Life On The Edge”). His high-pitched inflections contrast the tape’s production: horror movie synths and spaz-trap hi-hats and bass. Some songs take away from the tape (“Freestyle”) but OJ is here to trap and turn up. And Juice World 2 does just that.
Standout track: “Bandz In Yo Face”
Jason Lyric, JaysonLyricEverything
For a first mixtape JaysonLyricEverything is really good. Lyric, a Dallas, Texas-based rapper, has potential. He draws from his Texas predecessors (“Beginning of the N” could very well be an ode to Mike Jones, especially with its hook) while creating a new sound. At 21 tracks the tape could have been shorter. After “RepN” each song loses momentum and takes away from the tape as a whole.
Standout track: “Champagne Wishes”
Jae Retch, King Shit: The Sessions
King Shit is something of a compilation: a 15 track tape that derives from several unreleased Retch mixtapes. Retch can rap and although there are a few awkward tracks on King Shit (“Lord Have Mercy” and “Had It All”) he makes up for it with songs like, “Change The Game” and “Be A Man.” (The latter has one of the coolest samples in recent times.) Retch still has room for growth but dude is definitely on to something.
Standout track: “Change The Game” feat. Levi Lyric
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