Southside – Free Agent Mixtape
When your expectations aren’t high, then you can’t be disappointed, right? Even though I’m more than a little biased toward Southside because I’m always transfixed by the ominous bass of his beats, and love them in general, I wasn’t expecting too much from his Free Agent tape. It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith in him, but more so that the track record of producers turnt wack rappers wasn’t in his favor.
Free Agent is an especially pleasant surprise, though. With his producer brethren at his disposal, and years spent observing the rappers he fed beats to, the fact that it’s a solid tape shouldn’t technically come as a shock. If you’ve liked the other 808 Mafia tapes like 808 Mafia II and TM88’s tape that I’ve spent plenty of time and words raving about, then you’ll appreciate this. Unlike other artists who are still trying to find their voice, Southside sounds like he’s already found it, and beyond.
This time around, he didn’t upset me by stepping out of the booth…so long as he continues to make beats, of course. No telling what’ll happen next time, though, if he puts as much work into his rapping as he does his production.
Gotti Ft. Cap 1 – “Dope Boyz” Video
The video isn’t particularly incredible for “Dope Boyz.” The song belongs to Gotti, of Boo & Gotti fame, and of former Cash Money fame, I believe (see? there’s life after YMCMB, sort of). Chiraqi Cap 1 and some d boys round out the gist of the video as it’s one of those that highlights the homies, but who cares. This song goes.
The infectious beat had me bopping along before I was even paying attention to the song. That happens quite frequently with Zaytoven’s tracks, too, so whoever did this one is in good company.
Trae Tha Truth Ft. Kevin Gates – “Dark Angel” Video
“Dark Angel” is one of the rare instances where it isn’t a glaring mistake to let his verse go first in the song. While it’s certainly tempting to fawn over Kevin Gates’ verse and performance that lasts for the first couple minutes, that’s a disservice to Trae Tha Truth. In his rapid monotone delivery, he delivers an equally impressive performance, matching the gravelly, melodic Gates in cadence and crescendo up to the end.
OG Maco & Key! – Give Em Hell EP
Just the other day, I was wondering what Key! had been up to, and lo and behold, he drops an EP! If only thinking about something automatically willed it into happening…
Anyway, I get the whole “less is more” adage that Key! operates under, but the dude appears so infrequently that I forget about him, and I don’t like that. The Give Em Hell EP is cool and all – and when I say something’s cool, I mean it – but it still makes me want more Key!, whether it’s a project or song or production. I don’t want him to fade into obscurity.
Yakki Divioshi – “D.R.A.K.E.” (Prod. By TM88)
Yakki Divioshi, I don’t know who you are, but I enjoy “D.R.A.K.E.,” even if its artwork does remind me of that unfortunate forehead tattoo. Dude has that perfect blend of rapping where it’s not too rappy, and then hits that AutoTune with just the correct levels.
Without even appearing on the song, or quite possibly knowing it exists, Drake earns some cool points from me on this one. The one lingering thought that I have is that I wish Drizzy would collab with the 808 Mafia producers.