Big week for the hip-hop world. Two highly anticipated sequels – Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 (Read the review in today’s DTH if you haven’t) and Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II – were released on Tuesday, and a bevy of good mixtapes dropped as well. So, in honor of the week we’re having, I’m gonna throw in two extra tapes today to make it five.
One tape that I’ve been waiting on for a minute is the Mick Boogie presented remixes of Peter, Bjorn & John entitled Re-Living Thing. If you caught the Back to the Feature tape by Wale you know there’s a lot of potential in rappers over PB&J. Luckily, Wale is back on a track with Rhymefest and Young Chris over the same song, “Nothing to Worry About.” Other emcees include Naledge, Mickey Factz, Bun B, Rapper Big Pooh, Talib Kweli, GLC, Big Sean and really too many others. Producer wise the tape is also talent heavy. DJ Jazzy Jeff, 6th Sense, The Kick Drums and Cookin’ Soul fill the linear notes. This is a cool tape/project that you should check out even if you’re not a hip-hop head.
What’s Good?: “Nothing to Worry About” Feat. Wale, Young Chris and Rhymefest, “Just the Past” Feat. Big Sean, Black Milk and T3, “Lay It Down” Feat. GLC and Trouble Andrew
I had mentioned the first installment of this tape last week, maybe. Anyways, K’Naan is back with J. Period to present The Messengers Episode 2: Bob Marley. This week it’s all about the influence Bob has had on K’Naan. Lots of remixed Bob and some fresh verses. K’s voice delivery is amazing on top of the reggae filled beats. Guest spots filled by Kardinal Offishall, Steele, Bajah and Netic the Rebel put a nice gloss on the tape, but K’Naan is the obvious star here. Only thing that really upsets me is that “Sun is Shining” is only an interlude, not a whole song. Oh well, I’m being picky.
What’s Good?: “Shot the Sherriff (Messengers Remix),” “Fatima/Stir it Up (Messengers Remix)”Tracklist and Download link for The Messengers Episode 2: Bob Marley
Gerald Walker is a relative newcomer. He’s been floating around the Interwebs for a while, and it took me a while to catch on, but I’m a fan now. Walker is smooth, seems like he would steal your chick, and it’s not just because his newest tape is called Evening Out with Your Girlfriend. The guy talks in meter, like an African American The Streets. There’s also some solid production from Gerald himself and William Andrews that make the tape pop. Look out for the Stax Records sample on “Half of Your Life Is Fucking Up, The Other Half is Dealing With It.” Did I mention he has great titles.
What’s Good?: “Half of Your Life Is Fucking Up, The Other Half is Dealing With It,” “Living My Life”
Let’s get to some local flavor. Kaze, a figure in the Chapel Hill rap community, teams up with G-Unit DJ Whoo Kid for his newest tape First in Flight. If you’ve listened to Kaze before, you’re going to get more of the same gritty, savvy, lyrical street music. This thing has some emotion on it. Original beats and some remixes make up the 12 tracks, all solid, including appearences by 9th Wonder and Jake One on the boards. This is more cohesive than a lot of albums.
What’s Good?: “Best I Ever Had,” “Reminisce,” “Blowing in the Wind”
I mentioned Lexicon last week, I think. He’s an aspiring emcee still studying here at UNC and has just released Cecil: The Preview. All the production is by Lex or fellow UNC student Dekory Rashad. Lexicon uses a slow delivery that adds some suspense to each verse. A great technique to get you hanging onto each word. Check out to support some local acts.
What’s Good?: “Dude on the Side,” “P.O.E.”