It’s that time again! Tapes on tapes on tapes. You’re welcome.
Gucci Mane, Trap Back 2
After acting alongside James Franco and Selena Gomez in Spring Breakers, Gucci Mane is back at the trap. The sequel to Trap Back is enjoyably consistent. There’s boastful Gucci-isms (“That’s your tender, after I hit her / Heard that she broke up with you on Twitter”); bangers with longtime collaborator Zaytoven and Mike Will Made It-approved joints. It’s familiar and Gucci proves that he’s still a two-for-one guy: memorable hooks and rhymes.
Standout Track: “That Pack” feat. Travis Port
Bangladesh, Ponzi Scheme
Without Bangladesh the world would neither have “Lemonade” nor “A Milli” and [a larger] part of the rap community would probably be unaware that a country by the name of Bangladesh even exists. Shondrae Crawford’s mixtape acts as a reinforcement of the super producer’s well-crafted sound. That being said, where Bangladesh encounters problems is in his raps. He’s trying to pull a Hit-Boy and like his GOOD Music counterpart, fails. It’s listenable but the rhymes and delivery feel imitated, and with a few additional listens it’s easier to pinpoint who Bangladesh is emulating. Plus, there’s 30 tracks. Sure, some of them are 30-to-40 second skits but for real, Bangladesh? Was it really necessary?
Standout Track: “My Girl Pu$$y”
Rich Boy, Back To Class
Rich Boy is trying to change his d’s into a’s with mixtape, Back To Class, and he may very well be headed to Trap University. Although 2007 saw the rapper at his prime, he sounds comfortable and confident six years later. Rich Boy’s delivery was always heavy, backed by a staccato flow. So it makes sense that he goes well with present-day trap production. But he showcases moments of being well-rounded too. There’s the Drake-ish “Party”; “Get Dat Doe” and its chopped-and-screwed introduction and the Mike Will Made It-esque melodies of “Break The Pot.” Rich Boy retains what made him popular, while readjusting his flows and beat selection for the times.
Standout track: “Break The Pot”
Harry Fraud, Adrift
What awaits at the end of the dock illustrated on Fraud’s mixtape cover? A sea full of bangers, that’s what. Essentially a compilation album with 10 previously unreleased songs, Adrift captures some of the best and recent Fraud-made tracks. It’s a buffet featuring almost every rapper that is currently popular. Mac Miller, Fat Montana, Danny Brown, Pusha T, Action Bronson, and there’s many more. It’s easy to pick and choose between tracks, which is what Adrift was made for.
Standout track: “Lay Low”
Cap 1, T.R.U. 2 It
T.R.U. 2 It is ferocious, which seems to be implied by the serious-faced lion on the mixtape’s front cover. Cap 1 is relentless but there’s a calmness to his street tales. And even when he’s pulling a Future (“6AM”) he does it in a way that’s not detracting. 2 Chainz appears on various songs on the tape, with his best verse on “Werk.” Such an accompaniment contributes to the tape’s appeal, but Cap 1 does a good job of ensuring his voice dominates on each track.
Standout track: “Werk” feat. 2 Chainz and French Montana
Gudda Gudda, Redrum
An AK-47 and streaks of blood–Redrum is at war. It’s a war centered around establishment, meaning Gudda Gudda’s establishing himself as a rapper worth caring about. And he succeeds. Past releases were often weak and Gudda had yet to find his own voice. However, on Redrum the Young Money MC seems to have finally found something that works. There’s still awkward moments (“Bob Marley”) but there’s progression in Gudda’s delivery. It’s also worth mentioning that he enlisted Jae Millz and Busta Rhymes, two very role models. It shows a certain confidence that Gudda didn’t seem to have before, and that’s refreshing.
Standout track: “Grave Digga”
Nitty, Something To Prove
West Philadelphia MC Nitty proves that he’s worth listening to with this mixtape. Nitty is at his best when he’s describing street tales: “Any nigga slide around that corner getting 30,” says Nitty on “My Side.” It’s a pretty description and makes you wary of ever visiting the Nitty residence. But the rapper can create some great hooks too. “Who Want A Molly” has club potential and “Philly Jawn” booms with earthquake bass and apocalyptic horns. Nitty still has much to prove but this is a tape worth listening to.
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