Let That Mac Rip: August 2015 Reviews

Posted: August 12, 2015 in Blog, Dyscyplynary Action, Hip-Hop, Mixtape, Music Review
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Chief Keef – Bang 3

As Atlanta had a near decade-long stranglehold on the Hip-Hop scene, 2012 saw a brief yet incredible break into the streak as Drill Music made its way into national ears. Firmly ahead of that movement was a then 16-year-old Keith Cozart having the streets in a chokehold with blistering singles “3Hunna” and “Don’t Like”, packed with an explosive sound from his in-house producer Young Chop. His breakout mixtape Back From The Dead, put the spotlight on Chicago’s inner-city youth combating the daily outings of their lives and the influences that surrounded them musically. As the de facto head of Glory Boyz Entertainment, Chief Keef had an unusual energy that propelled him to mainstream success.

Following prolific co-signs from Kanye West and Young Jeezy, Keef earned a deal with Interscope and exceeded expectations with his debut album, Finally Rich. His momentum stalled throughout 2013 due to multiple legal issues however, eventually being dropped from the record label in 2014. While many ruled him out for his misfortunes, Keef persevered making himself a true boss with his own label, Glo Gang, releasing projects and expanding his musical palette. Keeping himself in the cut like his pal Fredo Santana, Keef tried his hand in producing to impressive results. Maybe he’s following the footsteps of his mentor Gucci, because he’s continuing to release a ton of music of staggering quality and tighter songwriting. His latest release keeps the trend going of his Bang series.

Originally slated to be the second full-length on Interscope, a number of delays and clashes with the label kept Bang 3 in limbo for over a year and a half. It was worth the wait however, as Keef put his improvements as an artist on full display. While Young Chop doesn’t make a full presence on the album, Chop Squad DJ carries his spirit through much of the tape (“Laurel Canyon”, “Unstoppable”) as Keef sprinkles in his ballistic adlibs between his lines of imagery (Call me Lil’ Glo, I come through and dim your yard). He manages to tap ASAP Rocky and Mac Miller for some of the standout tracks (“Superheroes”, “I Just Wanna”), but he’s at his best when he’s at his weirdest and heartfelt (“Yes”, “Ain’t Missing You”).


Zona Man – No Advance

Fresh off his superb mixtape run leading to Dirty Sprite 2, Future is looking to put the flag back on his Freebandz label. Expanding to Chicago, he introduces Zona Man on his No Advance mixtape, complete with production from 808 Mafia, Metro Boomin’, and C-Sick. Easily names like that would have anyone pressing the download button out of curiosity, but Zona Man shows that he’s as technically gifted at crafting songs and rapping extremely well too. He’s right in the same lane with Lil Herb in bouncing in double-time and utilizing less is more with his projects. ‘I make money with drug dealers and movies with bitches/I don’t care about no love cuz there ain’t no feelings with business’ he opens on his best performance on “Boomin’ Like Metro”, showing that he has a good amount of potential in the Chicago scene and already the second best rapper in Freebandz right now.


ReTch – Finesse The World

‘This ain’t no Justin Bieber, but that nigga nice’ as New Jersey resident Retch P clearly states on the opening “Disclaimer”. He is one of an acquired taste that’s not for everyone, as every tale he tells is as real as it gets in his world. It’s gritty, dark, and nothing humorous, but there’s something appealing about the buzzing rapper and his nonchalant attitude towards the rise of superstardom. Just think of a hybrid of Roc Mariciano and Sticky Fingaz with an affinity for skateboards and lean, still serving on the corners and ducking the police over wintry production. His standout track, “Product Of Da Block” is where he is at his most visceral, looking to toss off frauds off stage while ignoring the new responsibilities a rap career brings (management telling me to leave that shit alone/but the feens keep calling on my phone). In a field where punch-you-in-the-face rap is shortening, Retch P could find a home soon enough.


Roy Woods – Exis EP

Like many who have heard the first episode of OVORadio Beats 1 show, they were introduced to who many would consider the true answer to The Weeknd in Roy Woods. Another Toronto native that happens to be signed to OVOSound, it’s quite difficult to avoid making comparisons to Aubrey’s former buddy from a vocal and aesthetic perspective. His Exis EP doesn’t help that much, as there was times where I confused on whether it was a song from Abel or not.  It’s not all that bad, as the Drake-assisted “Drama” is firmly addictive in execution.  “Get You Good” and “Jealously” also demonstrates that Roy Woods could have some staying power if he finds an identity. Only time will time, as his cohort PARTYNEXTDOOR found a way to escape that exact same fate not too long ago.


Lil B & Chance The Rapper – Free

Imagine if Russell Westbrook did align himself with Lebron James, Peyton Manning throwing hail maries to Dez Bryant, or John Cena and Cesaro winning the WWE Tag Team Championship. It still wouldn’t be as stellar and beautiful as the union of two of most beloved rappers in the internet era. When it was tweeted out that they were making a mixtape of Based Freestyles, it was met with a mixed of joy and skepticism. Sucks for those in the latter as this was a wonderful ode to what Hip-Hop is all about, ciphering with one another in good fun. And the raps are quite good too, with Lil B having a show-stealing performance on “What’s Next”. ‘As long as you understand God’s world, Man’s World could never hurt you’ , Chance lets out on “First Mixtape”, serving that in the darkest of times, the power of positivity can still light up the sky.


Honorable Mention:

Curren$y – Cathedral Music

Always up for surprises, Spitta’s new tape came and went as fast as the album that fell on deaf ears this year. After all it was done in a day.

Old News Boy – Zone 2 Lucas Scott

From Cali to ATL, whirling instrumentals and the lamenting of the heart brings out the best of hood love tunes for the young upstart. (“I Want That Jeep”, “Komugi”, “Warm Water Remix”)

Babeo Baggins – posi+ive

From Tumblr obscurity to Complex features, the Barf Troof founder’s premiere solo effort glimmers with glitter and stuns with a moody backend desiring for more.

Kool John & P-Lo – Moovie!

HBK Gang’s duo of debauchery lets the world know what ‘Shmop Life’ is all about: Partying, sexing other dude’s women, and getting paid. (“Every Night”, “Can You”, “Greenlight”)

Tink – Winter’s Diary 3

As her debut album is preparing for release, Timbaland’s hopeful Aaliyah successor holds her fans over with a nice compilation of icy tunes and a weird 80s pop tune in the end.

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