Being as that nobody buys hard copy albums these days, the name distinction between mixtape, EP and LP matters very little. Technically Donny Goines’ 20X gets the EP label by virtue of its 6 track length, but the purpose here is to build on momentum, to change last year’s sleeper status to New York cover boy in 2010 and beyond.
At this, 20X does the job. Mostly. Goines rapping is on point as he showcases lyrical ability and charismatic presence worthy of the five boroughs. “No Apologies,” in particular is the type of updated hard track you’d expect from any respectable Brooklynite. Goines rhymes with the conviction of someone who believes he’s going to make it. Cue the shots at A&R’s everywhere: “And later on when the records are climbin’, up Billboard/remember how you never would sign him.”
Goines also uses the EP format to experiment with different production styles. The electro-dance rhythms of the Apple Juice Kid-produced “Short Circuit” mesh well with the vocal distortions Goines uses. A weird fusion of rock and dub-step carries “Rock NYC,” which works well enough. Both these tracks showcase an artist that’s open to experimentation and figuring out how to put songs together.
The briefness of the project means Goines won’t be able to rest on his laurels for long. As for what’s next, Goines sets the challenge to himself on Can’t Be Stopped,” to “pen my Illmatic or Blueprint.” A tall order, no doubt, and one that will require him to polish up weaker tracks and raise his rhyming another level or three. But you got to admire him for setting his sights high.
Download — Rocksmith Tokyo Presents Donny Goines – 20X