REVIEW: “The Fly 2”

DOWNLOAD: Willie The Kid – “The Fly 2”

Many moons ago the criminally underrated high exalted Don Bishop Agallah suggested the mixtape is the album. Fast forward nearly a decade later and the industry has certainly embraced 8-Off’s approach. As we turn the corner on the first quarter, Reakwon’s “Shaolin Vs.Wu-Tang” is the only official full-length album that stands among the elite 2011 releases. This year’s other notable projects have been distributed exclusively through Mediafire Records. In the digital age mixtapes lacking focus and original production are likely to go in one ear, out the other, and subsequently into the recycle bin (ask Pusha T).

Willie the Kid’s latest effort matches the towering quality of Agallah’s debut solo mixtape, and raises it a beautifully executed central theme. Although extended metaphors involving high altitudes and aircrafts have admittedly been run into the ground by many of Willie’s peers, “The Fly 2” actually lives up to its title, as the project is largely an exhibition of acute skill and craftsmanship. As one would expect the music is wrapped around several excerpts from the 1989 film of the same title, which accentuates the spooky atmosphere already present in much of the tape’s production.

In true science fiction thriller fashion, “The Fly 2” deliberately gets off to a leisurely start. The intro is followed by the tape’s most leaden offerings—“Al B Sure Dart” and “Dragon Fly”—making for an unconventional sequencing considering fans are accustomed to artists swinging hay-makers in the first round. However, the ensuing tracks experience a sharp uptick in pace and intensity, never returning to the initial state of calm until the outro.

One of Willie’s strongest assets is his ability to convey genuine earnestness. His lyrics often reflect the thoughts of an overly analytical individual. “Die Free” is essentially a pep-talk addressed to himself, attempting to inspire ambition and justify his current direction. When Martin Brundle isn’t wrestling with his self-conscience, he’s rapping really, really well.  His emphasis on alliteration rivals Rick Ross, while the delivery echoes a heavy Wu-Tang influence (especially Cappadonna) when he inserts abrupt halts mid bar, only to continue traveling in a different direction without missing a beat.

Willie’s technical prowess highlights the project’s lone misstep. While in the past he’s been outclassed by the likes of Lil Wayne, Freeway, Nas, and Scarface, most of his recent collaborators haven’t contributed anything noteworthy enough to warrant retention. Outside of Styles P and Alchemist, “The Fly 2” would have benefited from replacing the away team with the home team.

“The Fly 2” is a remarkably cohesive piece of work, yet it’s failed to garner the level of critical acclaim bestowed on Willie’s contemporaries. It will be interesting to see what measures The Embassy take to drum up enthusiasm from the blogosphere. From what I understand we’re suckers for tube socks and ridiculously inefficient acronyms.

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Comments on: "REVIEW: “The Fly 2”" (22)

  1. mobbdeen said:

    BOW!

    Good shit.

  2. Wow …

    That hurts …

  3. Wow …
    That hurts …

    ^^^^^

    Huh?

  4. Heroine Headliner said:

    Wow …

    That hurts …
    —–
    PAWS on tha pork…..

  5. NovemberEnd said:

    Prod. B+
    Lyrics: B+
    Musical Vibes: A-

  6. mobbdeen said:

    When is the HH article dropping? All this other shit is foreplay, no homo.

  7. Heroine Headliner said:

    Resurrected like Makaveli…..

    Pray my soul burns…..

    MAYBACH

  8. @NEnd

    That’s not too far off at all, actually.

  9. AmpGeez a.k.a. Chief Heavy said:

    “Shooter like Booth shot Lincoln….”

  10. AmpGeez a.k.a. Chief Heavy said:

    His emphasis on alliteration rivals Rick Ross, while the delivery echoes a heavy Wu-Tang influence (especially Cappadonna) when he inserts abrupt halts mid bar, only to continue traveling in a different direction without missing a beat.
    ^^^

    Real talk, the kid Willie is nice with the flow.

    Good write up LT.

  11. This is what we OPENING with ? This kinda shit?

    RIP tudda competition

  12. @Amp Thanks, I’m looking forward to checking out writing from other contributors in the near future. Should be interesting.

  13. @HI

    You actually gonna make me take a listen to this mixtape now, lol. Great write-up. I definitely gotta step up for my first post.

    JihaD

  14. @Jihad Appreciate that. Let’s get this (George Bush) money.

  15. I peeped this mixtape on the strength of this review, and I have to say I’m very impressed. I can’t believe that the bloggasfear is giving positive reviews to forgettable tepid crap like Has-Lo’s new album when this mixtape combines similar elements into a much better final product. If you keep posting reviews of this discernment here, you will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with.

  16. indeed. nice write up.

  17. @Thun Appreciate that man. I think dude just flew under the radar. Maybe due to the DJ Drama affiliation?

    @cOLD Appreciate that brother.

  18. […] REVIEW: “The Fly 2″ – hl examines the most recent effort from Gun Rule, Michigan’s Willie The Kid. […]

  19. Excellent review, very well written. I’m going to check this tape out. One question to the author, and everyone else for not bringing this up:

    Have you listened to Pharoahe Monch’s new album “W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)”? I was very surprised when you wrote “Raekwon’s ‘Shaolin Vs.Wu-Tang’ is the only official full-length album that stands among the elite 2011 releases”… I feel, as do many heads from my experience, that it is an instant classic and an amazing album. Even if it’s not your personal favorite, it seems pretty elite level material from one of the illest MC’s around.

  20. Oh and I wrote a review for it that you might like to check out if you haven’t listened to it yet:

    http://www.realhiphophead.com/2011/02/album-review-pharoahe-monch-war-does.html

    BTW, if I really do dig the tape, I’ll make a post on my site with a link to this review.

  21. @RealHiphopHead I love Pharoahe. I think he’s on of the illest MC’s ever. This review was written before I’d heard that album, but I think it still stands. W.A.R. is the most underwhelming project Monch has ever been a part of in my opinion. Some of the lyrics are crazy, but the album isn’t something I care to hear again.

    Thanks for checking out the review. I’m going to check out you W.A.R. review, maybe you’ll change my mind.

  22. […] the Kid – “The Fly 2″ What can i say about The Fly 2 that hasn’t already been said by my e-fam, HL ? Something i noticed today, was how well this would fit in with the Wu catalog, even though so many […]

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