Terrace Martin: Locke High (Mixtape Review)

The East may have made it, but the West surely has decorated it. Most recognized for serving as a young saxophonist for Diddy and as a signature contributor to Snoop Dogg’s The Blue Carpet Treatment, The Masterpiece and Ego Trippin’, Terrace Martin releases his highly anticipated and anxiously awaited mixtape Locke High. The West Coast artist, musician, and producer is assisted by new comers T-Lee and Problem, while Kurupt, DJ Quik, and Uncle Chucc are repeat offenders who’ve previously worked with Martin.

Martin’s love for music is evident in every track, with his unique style and sound as he incorporates his jazz background into the smooth G funk beats. Snoop opens up the project on the soulful “Intro” and takes things back to the Deathrow days on “How The Gangstas Do” with lines like: “Got a hundred n****s with me now ready to ride / Blue rags on our face in the black Cadillac / There that n****s go, shoot that n****s right in his back / Gangsta sh*t is back on the map.”

It’s undeniable that Martin is a true musician, infusing hints of Jazz with the rawness of West Coast Rap. “End Of My Jam” lends his signature saxophone skills to the beat, which can be attributed to his work with Art Farmer, Herbie Hancock and Billy Higgins. Other noteworthy selections include the ode to inebriation “I’m Toe Up” and “I’m Good” where Problem sounds right at home over a combination of thick bass licks and sped up soul samples.

While this effort holds up well, it does bare some noticeable flaws. Sonically the electric guitar driven “Misunderstood” is in the same vein of Snoop’s “Sexual Seduction”, but featured vocalist YN doesn’t finesse the track as well as The Doggfather. Also with plenty of songs about haters already out, “Haters” featuring Uncle Chucc and T Lee seems like overkill.

While not perfect, Martin’s Locke High is still a respectable attempt to fill the slight void in West Coast Rap. More proof California is still here.

Terrace Martin

"End Of My Jam"