Fair play to Funk Flex for this though, as the lineup is unbelievable and essentially a snapshot of mainstream hip-hop at this moment in time. Appearances include A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Fabolous, Action Bronson, Slaughterhouse, Young Jeezy and many, many more; for a full list, check out the back artwork over at Funk’s place. Many of the tracks from this tape have leaked out individually in the last 24 hours too, and thankfully they’re tagless versions, with one notable example being the Joey Bada$$ effort on the mixtape. If you’re after any of the other individual tracks, I’m sure a quick Google search can help you there, otherwise grab the bumper project for free below.
It’s tough to quite pinpoint why, but Krit’s music just doesn’t seem to stick with me. There’s clearly talent there, demonstrated well on some of his features, but for some reason I don’t find myself replaying much of his material at all despite his heavy critical and hip-hop community acclaim.
Could this be the project to change that? The features will certainly help. Bun B, Smoke DZA, Wiz Khalifa and Trinidad Jame$ appear alongside the ubiquitous (for better or worse) Future, whilst 9th Wonder contributes a beat to a project otherwise fully helmed by Big K.R.I.T. himself. There aren’t many rappers I find myself latching onto these days, but I do find myself pulling for this guy to be one of them, purely for his multi-talented nature and the regularity with which he delivers work. Stream and free download below.
It’s fair to say that for most of the hip-hop community, the jury’s out on whether CyHi’s got enough to really make an impact. He seems to have had some great opportunities, from several features on Kanye’s much-loved G.O.O.D. Fridays series a couple of years ago to his inclusions on the Cruel Summer album, but never seems to do enough to stand out.
It’s another chance to change that here, and he’s got a great cast of supporting acts to help him boost his reputation. Guest spots include Childish Gambino, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, Smoke DZA and several more, whilst the production lineup features Lex Luger, Beat Billionaire and a couple of newer names behind the boards. Generally speaking, I’ve tried to support CyHi’s work where possible, and here’s hoping the Atlanta native can now justify that; find out for sure with the free stream and download below.
On recieving Smoke’s K.O.N.Y. mixtape in October, this was the standout track. That’s not just because of the feature and Batman-related title either: the production is J Dilla’s hugely-underappreciated and utterly phenomenal Over the Breaks (sidenote: Dilla fans in London and Manchester, check out these Dilla-related events).
Backed by booming percusson and snarling synths, DZA opens with a very likeable, Pusha T-esque verse, combining the thoughts of a ‘disaffected youth’ in with some aggression, and packaging the lyricism into a good flow that rides the beat well. Joey’s on next with a slick delivery of his own, throwing together some very clever lines in a performance that quite simply oozes confidence and quality, and he’s unquestionably a great fit for this dark and intense production.
The beat is allowed time to breathe towards the end, and that allows the video’s story to surface unopposed. The monochrome filter serves to enhance the production’s downbeat nature, whilst the video’s focus on the grittiness and inherent perils of street life are in turn boosted by the audio, building to a dramatic twist at the end that makes this worth watching. It’s a raw, realistic video and when backed by the excellent audio, it’s one you’ll watch several more times. Great audiovisual.
I don’t give this guy nearly the attention he deserves in my iTunes. He’s dropped off several projects in recent years which the hip-hop community seems to have met with relative approval, and yet I’ve not fully committed myself to listening to any of them yet.
This will change now. It appears that not only do hip-hop fans appreciate this guy, but his peers do too as the features on this tape make for salivating reading: Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Big K.R.I.T., Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Twelvy and many more. For a mixtape that mostly came out of nowhere, that’s quite the list he’s assembled and I’m sure most of those don’t lend their names lightly. If, like me, you’ve neglected DZA’s work, there’s pretty much no excuse now and I’ve got complete confidence that he’ll deliver the goods here. Free grab and/or stream below.
After that unbelievable Prototype cover, I highly doubt I’m alone in looking forward to another remix/cover from JBIII, and hence I’ll let this go before R&B Friday.
This time he takes on Kanye’s fantastic Runaway beat, lacing the track with his great vocals. Crucially, he changes the entire feel of the song by switching the lyrical content to focus on a relationship/love aspect, and adding a softer, more subtle delivery (come on, Kanye does repeatedly shout ‘douchebags’ in the original!).
Smoke DZA comes through with a guest verse too, rounding off the track nicely with some strong bars that are full of sharp honesty. Great remix all-round.
A quick one from me. Both tracks are pretty dope, and definitely worth grabbing even if you’re just a fan of one/some of the featured artists. The Statik Selektah track is especially good, considering it has a frighteningly talented line-up.