The Tale Of The (Mix)Tape: Stat shatters his Checks & Balances, B.I.G. Gets Better

AllHipHop Staff

If any writer on this site tells you Hip-Hop isn’t in their soul, then they aren’t really a colleague of mine. We do this for real son. Why else do you come to the Tale of the Tape? You know at the end of the day, when the chips are down, and they are shoving music down your throat, The Honorable One got your back like the tag on the inside of your shirt collar.

This week, Tale of the Tape gets Bigger & Better with the Notorious One, and a sense of some Checks & Balances. We listen to artists who want to have the system smashed, get into ones ill mind, and check in with the next Boogie project. Fair warning to anyone who wants to be competition, we will Chris Brown you…allegedly.

Bigger & Better

Notorious B.I.G.

Peep It

Capitalizing off Biggie seems to be an easy way into the gaining the spotlight within the Hip-Hop conscious. Sean Combs made a career out of it. However, with everyone doing blends from Mick Boogie to your local pro tools amateur, it takes a bit of skill to actually stay on someone’s hard drive. Bigger & Better doesn’t hold up to its lofty title, however, there are a few gems (“Young G's”) and of course, it’s the same B.I.G. lyrics you love (“Everyday Struggle”). Worth a spin or two, but I doubt this one holds tight.

Checks & Balances

Stat Quo

Heavy Rotation

Stat Quo has been getting better and better. His latest rash of mixtapes has been going to straight to the heart, giving topical humor and substance between the oft eye opening “YEAH” and a J Newt skit. Checks & Balances sees Stat go in once again; giving a mixtape that is worth listening to front to back. Headlined by tracks that feature the other Southern lyrical luminary Phonte and Midwest mixtape masher Royce the 5’9 (“Homage To Premier”), remixes (“Say You Will”) and listenable tracks (“Armageddon”), Stat Quo may have the chance to be looked among the best eventually.

SMASH The System

The Kickdrums

Heavy Rotation

There are actually producers who don’t scream for camera time. They don’t run in the videos screaming catch phrases. They don’t jump on the track just to talk the random tough talk. They just make good music. The Kickdrums are a part of that class of producer, with tracks from the criminally underrated Ray Cash (“Do Ya Job”), to brand new lyrical monsters Slaughterhouse (“Move On”). Just listen.

Before There Was Love


Peep It

The left coast, especially recently, has been quite the melting pot for the next class to develop. Hate it or love it, it also has some of the best representation of the new “hipster” Rap scene. U-N-I tends to make their presence known amongst a few of these beats (“Stakes Is High”), especially at the end of the tape (“Start My Day”). This group has plenty of potential, and hooking up with Mick Boogie is always good for your career. However, this one starts slow, and won’t stick in rotation for too long.

Blaps, Rhymes & Life v.2


Heavy Rotation

Illmind speaks to a specific class of producer. The one time protégé of 9th Wonder has now become a sought after beatsmith in his own right. The industry seems to have kept their ear to the underground and everyone from 50 Cent (“Who Run It”) to Scarface (“It's Not A Game”) to Diamond D (“Don't Beg”) get a chance to work their rhymes over his beats. He is one of the producers to watch in 2009, but until his new stuff comes down the pipeline, take a listen to some of his best work in 2008 with Blaps, Rhymes & Life v.2.


Tale of the Tape 02.11.09