Musical talent can be easier to absorb when it’s rough around the edges. There’s just something about hearing an artist before there’s any label hype or overblown features, when they’re coasting organically on the strength of their will, still recording out of love and not quite sure how to put together a complete project. For Nashville MC Petty, that window of raw exposure is now, with his impressive new mixtape Petty Presley.
The loosely-themed Elvis project is comprehensive in quality, covering just about topic you can think of with album-worthy cuts that feature the raw rhymer showing off his unfiltered personality via an array of impressive styles. Whether the 615 new jack’s delivering X-rated radio-flows on “Dough Together” and quick-witted braggadocio on “Oh My God,” or heartfelt honesty on “Song Like This” and the aggression of a hustler on “In This Bitch,” you can tell he’s hell bent on turning any emotion he can into dope music for the masses – a task in which he succeeds quite well.
However, the same eagerness that fuels his studio sessions and makes the majority of this tape so good is ironically also what holds it back from being great. At a daunting 21 tracks, the man obviously puts value in his words and seemingly wound up not being able to trim the fat. But that problem is really a double-edged sword, as you can’t deny some of the substance he adds to “I Got This” and “The Recipe,” despite those instrumentals being well past their prime.
Bottom line, Petty might not be completely polished, but with the amount of variability showcased throughout this Petty Presley project, it’s obvious the potential is there. With room to grow, let’s hope this budding Tennessee titan can refine his act a bit and find someone who will give him the guidance needed to take a rap career to the next level. In the meantime, let’s soak up the ride.