Welcome back to Tale of the Tape, your weekly destination for mixtape analysis. The ratings work like this, Heavy Rotation is superior product, and any Hip-Hop fan should enjoy it. Peep It means that has its moments, but some may just not feel it. One And Done is exactly that, fans should listen one time. Drop It means that you have a certified coaster on your hands.
This week, we have Detroits own Black Milk in the mix with his new effort ELEC. For some international exposure we look at Canadian emcee JD Eras Coming To America. Block huggers and internet thugs alike will be primed to see The Diplomats and D-Block have come together for DukeDaGod Presents: Presidential Paper Volume 1. Mixtape commish Mick boogie drops his Honor Roll mixtape and finally, the unconventional Charles Hamilton delivers Staff Development.
DukeDaGod Presents: Presidential Paper Volume 1
One And Done
Dipset hasn't been the most productive collective lately. Amidst beef inside and outside of the camp, the releases have been sparse at best. That's why for fans, DukeDaGod Presents Presidential Paper Vol 1, could have presented hope for a return to prominence. Instead, it presents a group of uninspired tracks tacked together with bland beats and even more bland lyrics. With Dipset, even if there isn't a profound sense of lyricism, there is proof of swagger. In this tape, there is none.
Even so, there are some impressive tracks hiding amongst the filler. Static Selectah's "Living For The City" shows Jadakiss dropping a tough sixteen. J.R Writer's "Ride Or Die" features the young gunner at his best, slaying bar after bar. 40 Cal's "Memories" stands out as a well produced and introspective track. These few tracks amongst others ("Get Rich", "Smashtime Freestyle", "Who Expected it") save it from being a complete failure, but they can't don't do more than that.
Detroit has some heat. With the second hot mixtape from the city in as many months, the D may be the city to watch. Dont take it on faith; simply listen to ELEC, as you can hear the finesse that Black Milk uses to craft his cuts. With guests like Royce Da 59, who wilds out with Caltoit and Ras Kass on Go Hard, The Genius GZA on 7 Pounds, and Busta Rhymes who spazzes on Mouth Music; this mixtape covers much ground. Milk even goes in himself with tracks like Give The Drumma Sum showing his dexterity in not just production, but the art of the emcee.
Charles Hamilton is an interesting character. That could be surmised by just paying attention to the introduction, where he asks if there needs to be an intro, and proceeds to answer his own question by doing one. Eccentrics aside, Staff Development is a solid mixtape. His crew gets in the mix, behind Hamiltons own production. That is where the disc wavers, as its hits (I.S.As High) and misses (J Means Rock The Join). However, Hamiltons distinct flow brings it home, especially on stand outs Jet Blue & Party of Five. Pay attention to this guy.
Mick Boogie is one of the top mixtape DJs in the game. His latest, Honor Roll continues the tradition. In a tape hosted by MC Serch, Honor Roll pays tribute to the legends being honored by VH1s Hip-Hop Honors 2008 awards. Various artists come together to do each legends classics, and do them justice. Look no further than the '08 versions of Childrens Story by Kidz In The Hall, Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk with Joell Ortiz, Scram Jones, and Loot. Additionally Stakes Is High is covered twice by U.N.I. and Talib Kweli respectfully, Short But Funky is tackled by the West Coasts own Mista Fab, and Hip-Hop Hooray with AP. It is a fitting tribute for De La Soul, Too Short, Naughty By Nature, Cypress Hill, and Slick Rick. Props are deserved for the Commissioner for this one.
Coming To America
It can get warm up north. JD Era is an interesting lyricist, combining a hard hitting flow with some interesting lyrics. On Coming To America he makes a good case on why people should be listening to the kid. The evidence lies in tracks like Hollywood where he displays his flowing potential and A Millie, where he attacks the already overused beat with some serious venom. However, theres some blame to place upon DJ Wristpect, as his awkward fades make this one an odd listen. Either way, for those who want to take a trip north, you will be hard pressed to find someone better than Era.
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