Artist: Jae MillzTitle: 2005 Is Mine (Mixtape)Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Jesse Fairfax
Aspiring street MCs try to gain fame by building the ever so popular mixtape buzz. Give DJs a mean 16 bars over a familiar instrumental and enough talk generates for a label to offer up a record deal. Jae Millz built his reputation from the ground up battling on the streets, mocking competitors with long winded verses. The Harlem native became a household name when P. Diddy tested E. Ness’ mettle against him on the first season of Making Da Band. From there he showed up on the popular Smack DVD, put out more mixtapes (Once Upon A Time In Harlem Vol. 1 & 2) and after a failed arrangement with Warner Brother Records, his forthcoming debut Back To The Future will be released on SRC/Universal Records soon. His latest mixtape, 2005 Is Mine is a worthwhile preamble for the album, proving Millz ready for the limelight.
The opener “The Statue” is a dark track introducing who he is with the ammunition of hard hitting street rhymes: “N*gga I ain’t frontin, I’m the motherf*ckin statue, you weak bastard I’ll smack you, Take it back to 9-2 I’ll j## you, take it back to ’89 I’ll map you
Now bring it back to ’04 I’ll clap you, take it to ’05 n*gga I’ll wrap you, Just some slang for you rap fools yall don’t match dude”. Along with sharper rhymes, Millz differentiates himself from other mixtape young guns with his respect for the old school. On “Ah 1, 2 Ah 1, 2” he gets down over the Rhythm Heritage’s “Theme from SWAT” break (popularized on Capone n Noreaga’s “Thug Paradise”) with the title borrowing from Biz Markie’s “Make The Music With Your Mouth”. “Take Them Back” finds him on top of the classic Apache break. Keeping with today’s times he effortlessly rides over Alchemist’s “Hold You Down” and Jadakiss’ “By Your Side” beats, allowing both vocal samples to fill in where he leaves off as done on the original songs.
In a braver feats of rhyming he does justice to Kanye West’s off-time “Spaceship” instrumental on “The Vote”, and speeds up his flow over Crime Mob’s “Knuck if You Buck”. But even the best rookies make mistakes and the audience could have done without the uninspired “What’s Up What’s Up”. Remakes of classics hardly ever go over well, as shown with his attempt at Ice Cube’s “It Was A Good Day”. Constant shoutouts to your crew, team, and organization also quickly run their course. Overall, this mixtape displays Millz as a well rounded up and comer with serious determination and appreciation for both the art of rapping and the culture in general. Consider him the Hip-Hop Marty McFly.