New Crack City (Mixtape)

Artist: Clinton Sparks/Busta RhymesTitle: New Crack City (Mixtape)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: The Closer

New Crack City introduces the Aftermath-powered Busta Rhymes to the streets. Gone are the hyperkinetic hijinx associated with Busta in the past. Instead there is a grittier, darker, more conventional music; a stark contrast from his earlier New World Order apocalyptic ramblings.

This mixtape collabo with Clinton Sparks has an inordinate amount of guest appearances, including new labelmate 50 Cent (“I’m Loco”). But Busta seems most comfortable with his longtime crew the Flipmode Squad. After a decade of Busta’s big-ups, followed by mixed results, you could see where familiarity would breed contempt. Not so on New Crack City, and that’s mainly due to some standout verses by Rah Digga, who spits with renewed vigor, and the arrival of newest Squad member Papoose, who demolished his introduction to the group on the standout track “Flipmode Bitch”. Switching flows and assaulting the beat, Papoose writes the highlight verse of the mix tape: “Rappers is Caucasians and Asian, naw I ain’t a racist/I burn guinea pigs to bacon, I burn chinks to lo mein and it’s not discrimination/ I burn you ni**as down to raisins. Pure sickness.

The mixtape gets a little repetitive and Busta’s newfound machismo can be hard to stomach at times. Clinton Sparks’ production, while gutter, can be monotonous after a while and the songs can blend in to each other. Overall, however, New Crack City provides ample spare ammunition clip for The Big Bang or any summertime whip with big speakers and open windows. 3.5 stars

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