Artist: DJ SnickaTitle: Biggie Blendz (Mixtape)Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Robert DeGracia
It took long enough for longtime New York City club DJ Snicka to compile a Notorious B.I.G. project. With 10 years of mixtape production under his belt, including mix-heavy tributes to Mary J. Blige, Kanye West and Jay Z., Biggie Blendz is a playlist deep with the late rapper’s hits, and dubbed as the new 48th piecing to Snicka’s thick list of mixtape essentials.
As the blend tape has been archaic in mixtape locales, they have become virtual generational pushovers in the market by today’s mixtape standard. Armed with PC music software and a CD burner never made becoming a hands-off DJ easier than now. However, Snicka’s production on this project goes beyond typical voice-overs and cut and paste icons, as he reintroduces the critical mixing criteria within the DJ skill set. He echoes the classic formula of blending as a process similar to finding Ms. Right on Match.Com: it’s all about pairing up perfect partners. Key finds on Biggie Blendz are “One More Chance” over the Snoop’s “Drop it Like its’ Hot,” “Hypnotize” over the reggaeton anthem, “Oye Mi Canto,” and “Venue” over Ciara’s ”Goodies.” The “Dead Wrong” blend over Fabolous’ “Breathe,” has already caught radio play (Hot 97) as even Biggie’s former DJ, Mr. Cee featured this blend on his late night mixshow. There are also several unreleased live tracks from B.I.G. in London.
Biggie Blendz reminds us that ingenuity has not been totally sacked, and can be just as potent a DJ tool as a punchline is to a rapper. Whatever the classification, the mixtape world can learn to mix well with at least one more blend.