Once again it’s on. Tale of the Tape is back to give you some direction on the mixtape game as we know it. This week gives us music from some interesting artists who have dropped from the radar from some time. Heads may remember Roscoe P. Coldchain as the masked up microphone bully accompanying The Clipse on Cot Damn. Now over five years later he drops There Will Be Blood.
Another special delivery comes courtesy of G. Dep. The once Bay Boy star is now independent, and is back with the first release on his campaign back to fame, The Hiatus: Deponomics Vol. 1.
Finishing the week is one half of Little Brother, Rapper Big Pooh, with Rapper’s Delight. Baller Ron Artest teams up with his group Worldwide Warriors and DJ Drama on The King Of Queens. Last but not least, DJ Green Lantern and Russell Simmons put together the presidentially powered Yes We Can. Lets get into it.
Yes We Can
DJ Green Lantern & Russell Simmons
This is an important year for all of us. On the cusp of the presidential election, DJ Green Lantern and Russell Simmons have gotten together and crafted a great mixtape. From its introduction featuring Barack Obama, Yes We Can makes a statement. With artists ranging from Kanye West who joins Malik Yusef on Promised Land, David Banner, Busta Rhymes, and Talib Kweli joining forces on Black, and Joe Budden ,Twista and John Mayer with Waiting On The World To Change 2008, Yes We Can shows true depth and really marks just how important the election is. Go vote November 4th.
Rapper Big Pooh
Rapper Big Pooh deserves your respect. The North Carolina MC has always played the background to most as the other half of the critically acclaimed group Little Brother. With Rappers Delight, he showcases his lyrically dexterity, and gives the people an idea of what to expect on a solo offering. Plastic Cups is the cream of the crop, as Pooh works a J Dilla beat alongside associates Chaundon and Joe Scudda. The only knock here would be the lack of solo work. Rappers Delight can feel more like a compilation than a individual artist mixtape as there are only two selections where Pooh has the spotlight directly on him (“Crazy”, “Dumb It Down”). However, there isnt a lack of good music. With him helming the mixtapes like this, he wont be underrated for long.
The King Of Queens
DJ Drama & Ron Artest
Sometimes cosigns can make you wonder. DJ Drama usually delivers quality tapes; the quality that earned the title of iPod king. With The King Of Queens, he delivers a hot dud. Ron Artest isnt as horrific on the microphone as many think, but the basketball star doesnt come with anything worth three minutes of your time. His group Worldwide Warriors is in the same boat. Tracks such as Nasty North and Exposure deliver plenty of evidence. Even an assist from DJ Kay Slay and Juvenile on Cash Money cant help this discs fate from being a drink coaster. This is the type of mixtape you would expect to hear from some artist down the street, not one of the best DJs in the game and a starter from the NBA. Avoid this one.
There Will Be Blood
Roscoe P. Coldchain
Where did Roscoe go? After murdering verses on the Clipses Lord Willin and The Neptunes Clones compilation, he was a ghost. There Will Be Blood is a great reminder of why you were waiting for an album on this guy. His signature gritty flow on Victory sets the tone for the rest of the disc. He works the Isley Brothers’ sample on Summer Breeze and also retools the classic Deep Cover. The punch lines and metaphors change, but the theme remains the same. Roscoe is back. Hopefully, he stays around a bit longer this time.
The Hiatus: Deponomics Vol. 1
Remember G. Dep? The once burgeoning Harlem emcee fell off the radar after a string of bad luck. He has returned, and with The Hiatus: Deponomics Vol. 1, its apparent he hasnt lost a step. Fans only need to listen to a couple tracks to get warm back up to Dep. Another Day tells a sordid tale of the street wrapped around gritty production while Straight From The Block is anchored by a more unhurried flow. On the flipside, Dem Struggle ends the mixtape on triumphant horns featuring a rapid fire G. Dep ushering the listener to run this back. He may find a few more students of Deponomics with this effort.
Tale of the Tape