Prince Of the Bity (Mixtape)

Artist: Young HootieTitle: Prince Of the Bity (Mixtape)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Conan Milne

When you proclaim yourself to be your city’s royalty, you’re going to have something to prove. Such is the case with Compton’s Young Hootie, who has bestowed himself with the title, and the name of his latest mixtape Prince Of the Bity (Larceny Entertainment). Fresh from unleashing his breakthrough mixtape Young Compton Hootie returns with a new set that shows he may be a contender for the throne.

On the title track, rapping over a soulful backdrop courtesy of upcoming producer J Steez, Hootie maintains that, despite his growing buzz, he’s, ”Just a fly gangbanger that’s real good at rapping”. On “I’m Young Hootie”, a bouncy introduction for new fans, he insists that his adversaries will be “the first to get punched on”. It’s refreshing to hear a rapper say that, when threatened he will just as quickly raise a fist as he will a pistol. Yet Hootie remains a rapper straight outta Compton, so some references to weaponry are to be expected. These work well at times, as on the simplistic “Stop, Cock, Pop and Roll”. “Gunz Up”, however, sports an unenthused, overly repetitive chorus. A shame, as throughout this release the rapper proves that he can lace the type of sing-song chorus that appeals to so many. Some may find the gun talk overbearing at times, but Hootie explains its place when he states that he’s from a ravaged background and, if you don’t feel his war tales, well, you’re probably not.

The best tracks on this offering, however, seem to be those that stray from the gangster subject matter that creates a quintessential West Coast record. Hootie is inspiring on “Shine”, an upbeat head-nodder where he encourages his following, regardless of their profession or bank account, to “get their shine on” and enjoy life. On “I Believe” the 21 year old sounds oddly touching and wise in his years, professing his loyalty to God and counting his blessings, showcasing his versatility in the process.

There may still be room for development for Young Hootie but, as an underground release prior to his official debut, this is a very impressive offering. His matured flow molds well around a varied selection of beats ranging from old-school funk to relatively modern productions. He’ll settle for the title of Prince but like Luda, this young cat is coming for that number one spot.