We “old heads” enjoy bitching and moaning about how Hip-Hop today will never stack up to the “Golden Era”– its fun, and in many ways, it’s true. Constant comparisons between the “new hotness” and your favorite rapper from the 90’s are unavoidable.
But let’s be realistic.
We aren’t getting another Illmatic; There will NEVER be another Biggie, and do you really believe you can compare Drake and J. Cole to Hov and Nas? Well… good luck with that.
For all you old timers out there, GET OVER IT. Enjoy the now. There is a lot of good music out there, and you don’t have to try very hard to find it. Your favorite artists are releasing free albums and mixtapes on Twitter. [Insert your preferred hip-hop blog here] neatly organizes all of the day’s leaks, and all you have to do is download and listen at your convenience. Hell, if you can’t download an album before its release date, you should be more than a little surprised! (*daps U-Torrent and Mediafire*)
On the other side of the coin, however, is the constant release of tons of crap– And I mean TONS. Not even bringing retail albums into the equation, there’s hundreds of mixtapes dropping every day. Go to Datpiff right now, and check under “new today”. Go ahead, I’ll wait …………………
My point (i’m getting there, chill) is that in spite of the instant availability that the internets provide, a lot of good shit can fly under the radar. Why bother with the latest tape from Young Handjob the Unholy or Donnis
(yes, shots) when you could just avoid the mixtape scene all together? I know i got sick of the the “download, then delete, repeat” cycle, and eventually i just quit trying. It’s also easy to forget that not everyone is an internet addict who knows what’s dropping, when it’s dropping, who produced it, who did the cover art, and every other detail that’s constantly aggregated on your favorite rap blog.
So for your consideration, the #GBMgang wanted to make sure we give you a second chance to catch the 5 best mixtapes to drop so far this year. You may have missed them, or maybe you downloaded one of these gems and left it sitting in your download folder awaiting a listen thats never coming. Hell, maybe you got as far as the intro before you CTRL + ALT + DEL’d that shit into the recycle bin..
It’s the internet era. This week alone, there is going to be 100 new songs that command your attention, but i wanted to give these tapes a little more well deserved shine before we move on and consume the next batch of new music that is without a doubt on it’s way.
Being that my disdain for Southern Rap has been well documented, I enlisted the services of fellow young republican and bamma rap enthusiast, Shellz to round out this shit and give it some geographic diversity.
For those of you who remember Fiend from his “Whomp, Whomp” No Limit Records days, this new International Version of Jones will throw you off, but (maybe) not in a bad way. Now a part of the Jets (Currensy collective), International Jones has transformed himself and his music from the more aggressive New Orleans sound to the smoother, Ski-esque (yea, I made that up) sound currently receiving a well deserved revival. Featuring features by Currensy, Trademarc (who?), and BiG KRIT, the whole project is the type of breezy, blowing smoke on the traffic cop while your on your way to scoop another niggas girl music thats a necessity now that the spaghetti straps and mini-skirts are getting dragged out of the closet.
Juicy J and Lex Luger – “Rubber Band Business”
For: People who know how to turn their brains off; People who enjoy recycled bass lines.
Sounds Like: Anything else Lex Luger has cut-and-pasted into Pro Tool for the last 2 years, except with more angry, humerous Down South rap.
Juicy J, one half of the Triple Six Mafia, has finally shaken off that post- Oscar lull and moved on from attempting to be Reality TV stars (the show was dope tho, word to Big Treice and SugarFoot) and struck out to work on solo projects, as they have a habit of doing from Time to Time. While DJ Paul and Drumma Boy continue to work on their solo project, Juicy has gone for self, singlehandledly making the only Wiz Khalifa song worth listening to, “The Puff Bus”, and dropping the excellent Rubber Band Business collab project with
inferior producer Lex Luger. Lots of dope synths, heavy 808s, and a level of debauchery other, treble voiced rappers could never hope to meet over these types of beats.
Note: I never listened to the last song on this project– Ya’ll know I don’t fuck with cops.
Pusha T – “Fear of God”
How excited was i for Long Live the King, Pusha’s upcoming solo debut on G.O.O.D music prior to hearing Fear of God ? To keep it short and simple, only sorta. The last Clipse LP was the Malice show, Push had signed to the biggest blouse rap label in the world, and dude shows up at the VMA’s wearing a salmon colored suit ? I was skeptical. Post Fear of God expectations ? Sky fucking high. Pyrex P absolutely murders every original production on this one. He chose the right beats, he got the right features, and he murdered it. A handful of freestyles that were pretty much underwhelming held this project back, but it definitely accomplished it’s goal – prove to the skeptics that Push will be fine on his own, and you should be excited about the upcoming album. I’d like to say that P won’t be wearing blouses in a year or two, but I can’t call that one.
Willie 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 others have tried to replicate the Wu style before and failed, Willie somehow pulls it off without even trying. This tape would recieve the coveted “holy ghost music” ranking, but one of the criteria for a classic is how it stands the test of time. We may not have had years to see how “The Fly 2” will age, but it definitely shares some characteristics of a classic. To say it flows like an album should, would be an understatement. This shit is a movie. If you haven’t given this a thorough listen, slap yourself, then slap Deen’s mama.
Stalley – “Lincoln Way Nights” (Intelligent Trunk Music)
I had to include the homie Stalley on this list. I know a lot of people were checking for him on the strength of “Harsh Ave”, which was produced by Ski, but no one expected homie to come with this type of product, especially with virtually unknown producer, and fellow Ohio native Rashad. Stalley proved that Ohio can breed more than just thugs n’ harmony, white trash and a King with no ring(yes, shots.again). Stalley showed a few different sides on this one, switching in and out of the radio friendly lane with Slap, and back to his comfort zone with more of a conscious, almost spoken work type flow with joints like 330. This tape is a banger, and for once – it’s time to give someone from Ohio a little credit.