Waka Flocka Flame – “Flockaveli 1.5” review

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As a way to create hype for his upcoming 3rd album Flockaveli 2, Atlantan trap rapper/Gucci Mane protégé Waka Flocka Flame is making his 17th mixtape a prelude to that long-awaited album & he has enlisted from 808 Mafia co-founder Southside to produce 10 of the 15 tracks. The tape starts off with “Shootin’”, where Flocka is angrily talking about murdering his haters over a murky beat. The song “Blue or Red” talks about his crew murdering yours whether your a blood or a crip over a dreary trap beat from Metro Boomin’ & the track “Money” brags about the things he has bought from selling drugs over a chaotic instrumental. The song “Rap Game Fucked Up” vents about all these studio gangsters over an ominous instrumental from B Wheezy & the track “Workin’” talks about the drug dealer life over an lively beat from Tarentino. The song “AM 2 PM” looks into a day in the life of Waka over some monstrous bass & the perfectly titled “Birthday” is a fun anthem for anyone looking to get lit on their birthday. The track “Feel ‘Bout Me” is Waka basically telling you he doesn’t care what others think of him over a menacing instrumental from both Southside & TM88 while the song “Lose My Mind” may have a crazy flow along with a nice piano-trap beat from Fuse, the hook is super annoying. The track “Trappin’ n Rappin’” talks about doing just that until his last day & the song “No Lie” flaunts about being real & you being a fraud over some thunderous Southside beats. The penultimate track “Hit a Lick” talks about the lavish life & while the Quavo feature is uncredited, it may be the best one on the entire tape. The mixtape then closes with “How It Feel”, where Waka is telling the listener  they don’t know what he’s been through from the suicide of his brother Kayo Redd to asking Gucci why he let Todd Moscowitz in his ear over a spacey trap beat from Black Metaphor. Honestly, this is almost as great as his debut & a nice prequel to his next album. The production & energy are more animated than ever & I’m happy that Waka finally limited the number of features on here unlike his past efforts

Score: 3.5/5

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L.A.R.S. – “Foul World” review

L.A.R.S. is a Detroit horrorcore duo consisting of childhood friends & longtime collaborators Bizarre of D12 fame & King Gordy of the Fat Killahz. The duo originally formed & debuted as The Davidians on Esham’s Butcher Shop mixtape back in 2008, but now they’re re-emerging with a new name along with a recent record deal with Twiztid’s Majik Ninja Entertainment & this 7 track mixtape preluding their upcoming debut album.

The opener “L.A.R.S. (Last American Rock Stars)”, sees the duo talking about partying over a decent rap rock instrumental from their DJ & honorary 3rd member Foul Mouth, who produced all but 1 song on the entire project. The next track “Put Me Thru” has a very surprising soul sample throughout & the way Gordy talks about this woman who’s being physically abused is super vivid. Also, there’s one line during Bizarre‘s verse where he accidentally mixes up Conway with his brother Westside Gunn (both of whom got signed to Shady Records earlier this year). The song “Fuck Yo Baby Daddy” with Big T shittalks an unnamed baby daddy over a decent trap beat from Rooq, but I think both Gordy & T’s verses at the beginning & the end respectively fit the concept a lot better than Bizarre’s verse in the middle. The track “Lose Your Mind” gets gangsta over a sinister boom bap beat & the way they go back & forth with each other just goes to show how strong their chemistry still is. The song “Mother’s Best Friend” is a hilarious sex tune over a jazzy instrumental & then the penultimate track “Savage Life” talks about how insane Gordy & Bizzy are over a fittingly sinister instrumental. The closer “I’m a Celebrity” then boasts about the lavish life & the rap rock instrumental here sounds a lot more exciting than the one we heard during the opener.

I personally think Majik Ninja is one of the rawest labels out right now & I think this latest mixtape from their newest sign act is no exception. Sure it feels like an EP given that’s only 7 tracks & 23 minutes long, but Foul Mouth’s production is on point & both King Gordy & Bizarre sound as crazy as they’ve ever been. Here’s to their upcoming debut album & hopefully some solo albums from both MCs at some point in the future

Score: 4/5

$ki Mask “The $lump God” – “YouWillRegret” review


In light of fellow Members Only co-founder XXXTENTACION exploding into stardom, $ki Mask “The $lump God” is releasing his 2nd mixtape with Republic Records. The opener “Rambo” has an obnoxious hook, but the way he gets braggadocious over this abrasive trap beat is so animated. The next song “JustLikeMyPiss” with MadeinTYO sees the 2 talking about how attractive their ladies are & the trap instrumental here compared to the opener is much more eerie. The track “Bird is the Word” is a sinister gangster anthem & the Surfin’ Bird reference during the hook was unexpected, yet cool. The song “BabyWipe” could very well be $ki Mask’s best song yet, as it has an energetic instrumental & the way he flows over it is just deadly! The track “Gone” talks about getting intoxicated, but it just overall sounds unfinished. The song “Adventure Time” has a decent beat, but the verses don’t really do anything for me. The track “EverTookATab?” talks about drugs & the bass is THUNDEROUS! The song “Winnie” has a great rapid-delivery, but the hook is super corny hook & he’s just repeating himself. The penultimate track “Energy” has a guitar-tinged trap beat that’s actually pretty cool, but the hook is bitten off of “Pornography” by Travi$ Scott & it sounds underwritten. The tape then closes out with the hard hatting almost chopper-like XXXTENTACION duet “H2O”, which was taken from the Members Only 3 mixtape. As his first release with a major label, this was a decent mixtape. $ki Mask’s energy & flow are definitely there, but a lot of the tracks seem unfinished. I definitely hope his upcoming tape with Timbaland will be much more superior

Score: 3/5

Future & Young Thug – “SUPER SLIMEY” review

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If it wasn’t enough that Future dropped his self-titled album & HNDRXX earlier this year along with Young Thug dropping Beautiful Thugger Girls mixtape back in June, the 2 Atlanta trap superstars are now coming together with a surprise collaborative mixtape. The opener “No Cap” sees Future & Thugger getting braggadocious over an eerie beat from 808 Mafia co-founder Southside & then on the next track “3”, they channel their inner pimp over a futuristic-ish (no pun intended) trap instrumental from DY. The song “All da Smoke” is a party anthem with a fitting cloudy trap instrumental & the track “200” is yet another braggadocious tune, but this time with more of an atmospheric trap instrumental from Tre Pounds & Wheezy. The track “Cruise Ship” is a Thugger solo cut & I love how insanely energetic he sounds over this dreamy trap instrumental.

The song “Patek Water” is basically Young Thug & Offset rapping about not wanting to go back to being broke & not only was I disappointed that Future only did the hook on here, but Offset’s line near the end about “her sucking on semen” made me cringe a little bit. However, Future makes up for it by having the track “Feed Me Dope” to himself as he raps over a sinister instrumental. The song “Drip on Me” sees Future & Thugger linking back up once more to get mafioso over a wavy instrumental & then the track “Real Love” is an spacey sex tune with Future sounding more slick to set the vibe in contrast to Thugger sounding hype. The track “4 da Gang” is another Future solo cut, but with him talking about how nothing’s changed & repping his Freebandz crew over another cloudy beat from Fuse.

The song “Killed Before” is another Thugger solo cut & despite the verses being decent, I really love how he got London on da Track to bring back that country rap vibe from Beautiful Thugger Girls. The penultimate track “Mink Flow” gets back to the braggadocio bars over a hard beat from Mike WiLL Made-It & with the closer “Group Home” venting about their break-ups, Future’s verse is more sad & Thugger’s is more fittingly hostile considering the fact that he broke off his engagement with his ex-fiancée Jerrika Karlae recently.

Modern trap fans would dream of someone as unique as Future doing a collab project with someone as versatile as Young Thug & in the end, I think this is better than the Drake & Future collab mixtape What a Time to Be Alive that they did back in 2015. Sure it’s not super lyrical, but I see that Future has a more natural chemistry with Thugger then he did with Drake. On top of that, the production is almost as lively & the deliveries are just wild

Score: 3.5/5

Young Thug – “Beautiful Thugger Girls” review

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After a 2 month push-back, Atlanta trapper/singer Young Thug is finally releasing his Drake-executive produced 13th mixtape. The tape opens with “Family Don’t Matter”, where he’s talking about his homies over a beautiful country/trap instrumental. The next song “Tomorrow ’till Infinity” is about Thugger wanting to spend the rest of his life with his fiancé Jerrika Karlae & the production on here is just THUNDEROUS! The track “She Wanna Party” if you couldn’t tell is about a wild party chick over a smooth ass instrumental. The song “Daddy’s Birthday” gets braggadocious over a mellow instrumental from longtime collaborator London on da Track & surprisingly Scott Storch.

The track “Do You Love Me?” is another song about Jerrika & while it kinda reminds me of “LOVE.” off of Kendrick Lamar’s latest album DAMN. (especially during the hook), I thought the one line on here like about “busting in her hair Milky Way” was funny as fuck. The song “Relationship” is a duet with Future & I love how they trade back & forth about treating their ladies right over a joyous trap instrumental. The track “You Said” with Quavo sees the 2 talking about their relationships with Jerrika & Quavo’s side-chick over a Latin guitar-tinged trap instrumental, but I didn’t think it had to be 7 minutes long. The song ”On Fire” has a dreamy instrumental & lyrically, Thugger is asking Jerrika for a threesome but in a hilarious fashion. The track “Get High” is a nice down-tuned piano party anthem & while I wasn’t crazy about the Lil Durk verse, the Snoop Doggverse is perfect for this considering the fact that he’s one of hip hop’s biggest stoners.

The song “Feel It” melodically raps about having sex over a just as intoxicating instrumental & despite not being crazy on the songwriting with the track ”Me or Us”, the way he sings over an acoustic guitar & some heavy bass is just beautiful. The song “Oh Yeah” gets introspective about being a father & a future husband over a spacey instrumental. The penultimate track ”For Y’all” expresses his gratitude for his success over an acoustic guitar with some triumphant horns during the hook & the closer “Take Care” beautifully speaks on posing to Jerrika over a surprising almost-electronic instrumental.

Despite me never being huge on Young Thug, I think this was just as great or maybe even better than his last mixtape Jeffery. Primarily because it’s a prime example of how versatile Thugger really is, despite him being a polarizing figure in recent years

Score: 3.5/5

J Tantrum – “Hidden Faces” review

After spending the last few months dropping singles, California emcee J Tantrum is now delivering his 3rd mixtape exclusively on DatPiff. The opener “Reap’N” gets braggadocious over a somewhat jazzy boom bap instrumental, but then it transitions into something more eerie halfway through. The next song “Fear the Real” is basically a message to all the Waco rappers out there & the vibraphone instrumental enhances the ominous vibe of the song as Tantrum’s delivering his aggressive bars. The track “Green Light” sees Tantrum getting vulnerable & the somber pianos enhances the stress that he’s venting out. The song “Basics” has a decent spacey trap beat, but the A.Chal hook is beautifully sung & both Tantrum’s delivery & flow is off the wall insane.

The track “The Essence” has a solid beat change from having heavy bass into something more gloomy & his bars during the first 2 verses are straight hardcore. The song “Geddit” charismatically talks about getting money over a piano-trap beat & A.Chal’s hook here reminds me of Frank Ocean for some reason. The song “Nothin’ But a Thang” gets on some gangsta shit & the Guu verse is ok, but the hook is kinda weak to me. The track “Find Out” talks about taking the crown & living like winner now over a funky bass guitar. The song “High” raps about his squad being The A-Team & fucking you up for slippin’ some vibraphones along with some heavy bass & DJ scratches.

The track “Wop” has an ominous yet abrasive beat & while I didn’t expect the A$AP Twelvyy feature at all, he definitely came through. I also like how first verse in Spanish, but the hook sounds too comatose for me. The song “Dutchboy” is basically Tantrum taunting wack rappers yet again over a druggy instrumental & the line about calling him Lamar despite not having crack under his nose is just absolutely hilarious. The track “Damn Lil Mama” sees J getting back with Guu to get on the romantic tip over a smooth instrumental & the next song “Bonnie” talks about his down bitch with a rest the soulful vocal sample in the background.

The track “Hide” is just lethal over a set of twinkling keys with a sinister bassline & the Da$h verse on the song “Not Guilty” might be my favorite feature on the entire album. The song “Izm” gets back on the gangsta tip over a jazzy instrumental & the rhyme schemes on the penultimate track “Gas Chamber” are just bananas from start to finish. The tape then closes out with “‘Bout It”, where he’s flaunting about him being real along with you being a no name & the trap beat is abrasive is Hell.

Overall, this mixtape is right behind The Come Up for J Tantrum’s best work. A couple of the features were decent & I wasn’t feeling some of the hooks, but the production hits hard for the most part & the bars are just as nastier than ever before. I personally feel that Tantrum is one of the best in the LA underground right now & this tape definitely solidifies that

Score: 4/5

Slaughterhouse – “House Rules” review

Almost 2 years after their excessively commercial sounding sophomore album welcome to: OUR HOUSE, Slaughterhouse is returning with their 2nd mixtape to promote their upcoming 3rd album Glass House. The self-titled track (which kicks the tape off) has no specific topic as said by Royce da 5’9” midway through his verse, but everyone sounds happy to be together again & the instrumental has this uplifting atmosphere to it. The next track “SayDatThen” is basically about speaking your mind over an hardcore boom bap instrumental from Nottz & I absolutely love the story that Joe Budden tells during his verse of the track. The !llmind interlude is actually KXNG CROOKED & Joell Ortiz respectively rapping 2 long verses over a nice organ loop provided by the song’s producer !llmind. The next track “Trade It All” is a Joe Budden solo cut & you can just tell that he was channeling everything into the 3 insightful verses he delivers over a wailing guitar. The next song “Keep It 100” is a Royce solo cut & while the creepy vocal sample hanging in the background is decent, Royce’s bars about honesty are just as sincere as the last song was. The track “Offshore” may be almost 10 minutes long, but all 4 members individually vent about shit they’ve been thinking about fantastically & the orchestral sounding instrumental sounds very rich & organic. The CROOKED solo cut “Struggle” sees him reflecting on the days when he was living rough & the eerie instrumental enhances the vivid storytelling. The Joell Ortiz solo cut “Life in the City” has a cool rap rock instrumental from The Heatmakerz & Yaowa’s confrontational bars fit the sound like a glove. The penultimate track “I Ain’t Bullshittin’” doesn’t have Budden on it at all, but that doesn’t stop the other 3 MCs from delivering abrasive verses about haters over a decent instrumental from araabMUZIK. The tape closes out with “I Don’t Know”, where everyone minus CROOKED spits about the streets over a gritty beat from Harry Fraud. While I don’t think we’re ever gonna get Glass House at this point, I find this to be the supergroup’s best release since their self-titled EP back in 2011. Primarily because Slaughterhouse returns to their hardcore roots after the pop rap sound that was all over welcome to: OUR HOUSE didn’t suit them at all. I also found the 4 solo tracks from each member was a great way to introduce themselves to anyone who’s hearing them for the first time. So if Shady Records DOES end up releasing Glass House, THIS is how it should sound

Score: 3.5/5

Gucci Mane – “Droptopwop” review

To celebrate a whole year of being a free man, Gucci Mane is delivering his 58th mixtape & he has enlisted Metro Boomin’ to produce it in it’s entirety. The tape’s opening track “5,000,000” sees Gucci bragging about how much he makes in a day & the bass on here is just THUNDEROUS! The next track “Tho” sees Gucci freestyling over some Atari-esque loop with some trap snares & it’s actually not too bad. The next song “Hurt a Nigga Feelings” brags about the shit he has over some sinister synths & hand claps, but he does it so charismatically. Especially during the hook. The song “Helpless” is a sex tune, but I don’t like how the bass sounds so loud that you can barely hear the synths. The track “Met Gala” has some really nice bells throughout, but it feels more like an Offset song given the fact that he dominates the track up until Gucci’s verse pops up during the last minute & a half. The song “Finesse the Plug” talks about how life’s a gamble & the main loop on here sounds really creepy, but the delivery was just meh. The song “Dance with the Devil” has some twinkling high-pitched keys throughout & I actually like how he’s talks about a man getting arrested & a woman trying to act gangsta on here. The song “Both Eyes Closed” has a decent beat & Gucci’s verse isn’t bad at all, but the 2 redundant guest verses from 2 Chainz & Young Dolph flat out ruin it for me. The penultimate track “Bucket List” talking about him getting & doing things he never thought he would over a murky trap beat, but the “she may get this dick like 1%” line at the beginning of the 1st verse was just corny to me. The tape closes out with “Loss 4 Wrdz”, where Gucci & Rick Ross talk about getting fucked up on drugs, but Ross actually goes in harder than Gucci did on here. While some still knock of Gucci Mane, he certainly is more tolerable than all of these mumble rappers nowadays. Plus, he has gotten better since his release from prison (both as an artist & as a person) & this tape is no exception at all. Metro Boomin’s production is just as dark & hard-hitting as ever & given that Gucci has sounded great over Metro’s beats before, for him to finally rap over them for the duration of a full project was bound to happen soon & I’m glad that he finally gave it to the fans to commemorate being a free man for 365 days
Score: 3.5/5