Rating: 7.5 / 10
Of all of the artists that are listed on XXL’s annual Freshmen List for 2012, Don Trip may be the most underrated. He’s been consistently dropping mixtapes for quite some time, but chances are that because of the XXL nod, his latest may be his most scrutinized to date. “Guerilla” is a DJ Drama-hosted affair that has as solid timing as it does rhymes and concepts, and it should definitely be checked, most notably for the street narratives that Don delivers.
Surprising to some and common sense to others, Don Trip is extremely well-rounded as a rapper and shows off different sides of his persona without even trying. The honesty is present from the beginning with clever lines rooted all throughout the self-titled track, from narrating about his personal feelings of doom (“They say the money keep me high, oh how I pray I never land / but I don’t pray so wonder why I feel damned”) to his ride-or-die tendencies (“Ridin’ with that fire like a cross from the Klan”). He also addresses the situation with not being able to see his son throughout the 17-track outing (although not in detail like his video with Cee-Lo).
However, the most impressive aspect of the project isn’t the solid production (helmed by The Renegades, Cool & Dre, Drumma Boy and others), the clever punchlines, the legit features (most notably 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, and Juicy J) or his ability to put together complete songs (“New Lifestyle” feat. Arion is a great example of this). The best parts of “Guerilla” are the songs that have Don Trip taking on the role of a storyteller. “Trap’d In Da Trap” tells a story of a man who’s stuck in his life, but his circumstances keep him from breaking out. A different element is added in each verse, piling on more and more drama that restrains him from escaping. In contrast, “Shut Up” relates a story about a female who almost ruins a street transaction in more ways than one, adding a different part of the developing story in each verse. After being exposed to that side of his talent, it’s hard to listen to songs like “P***y” without it feeling like filler, although the 2 Chainz verse is addictive and the ad-libs throughout Trip’s verses are Rozay-like.
The narrative side of Don Trip adds a refreshing twist to an already impressive outing, but he’s not a chump in any other aspect. If anything, “Guerilla” proves that not only is he consistent, but there’s more potential as well. It’s easy to say that he sounds like a more “lyrical” Young Jeezy, but that would be understating it, and also digressing from the point that DJ Drama described Don Trip best during one of his most-quoted ad-libs:
Indeed it is.
Download it for yourself here.