Sha Stimuli: Hotter Than July (Mixtape Review)

Effort and struggle don’t equal mainstream success. For anyone who needs a real time example within the culture of Rap could look no further than Sha Stimuli. The Brooklyn MC actually sat in the Ready To Die sessions back in ‘94, and as we fast forward to 2008, he still is a relative unknown to the masses. Has his ship sailed, possibly, as we know time waits for no man, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t dropping hot music.

The MC has dropped mixtapes almost every month this year, and Hotter Than July, his latest mixtape with longtime compatriot DJ Victorious, shows flashes of brilliance behind the traces of Stevie Wonder that can be deemed his best.

Given the title, and the status quo of mixtape music that is flowing through the game, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to think of this as a tape full of songs of getting stacks and making tracks. Hotter Than July is actually quite the contrary; this effort is full of tracks that call to the spirit of self reflection, storytelling, and solid music.

Tracks such as “Redemption” features three verses that each tells a story of the mistakes one could make and the attempts of wiping the slate clean. “Overjoyed” features a sped up and manipulated version of the classic and gives the listener with something that could be understood as a piece of Sha Stimuli’s soul.

The end of the track features the artist talking to a group of kids relaying their dreams back to them. However the song turns for the better at the end when a cynical kid opens up with realistic problems, and Sha ends the track. “How can I help dog / That’s how I felt / I looked at my Pops / Then looked at myself / I ain’t trying to be you idol / I just broke the damn cycle / Just Dream”.

With a summer that is sure to be filled with plenty of mixtapes from artists that may not be more popular as others, this tape stands above most as a tape could simply be summed up as good music. Stimuli’s flow is one of a veteran MC yet he avoids the tag of dated under Stevie’s music. Sha created a mixtape that may just be Hotter Than July.

Sha Stimuli