Artist: CopywriteTitle: Cruise Control Vol. 1 (Mixtape)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Max Herman
In the realm of independent Hip-hop, there are usually two types of MCs: those who vow to remain self sufficient for life and those who are willing to sign with what ever major label can help propel them into prominence best. The always-commanding Copywrite, however, falls somewhere in between. Dissatisfied with the lack of publicity he got from his last label, Copywrite has been looking elsewhere (including Roc-A-Fella) for support. In the meantime fans of this fiery-voiced MC have been left feeling a bit empty handed without any new material to cop. But Copy’s ample new release, Cruise Control Vol.1 (O.D.O.T./Nature Sounds), is bound to satisfy his existing listeners while thoroughly introducing the unfamiliar to this explosive Ohio native.
This 76-minute mixtape, filled to the brim with scorching new tracks and freestyles, is proof that this MC hasn’t been slacking a bit. Moreover it represents the bridge he’s crossing, between the battle-oriented raps of his past and the more expansive subject matter he’s shooting for. With his ridiculously slick flow still intact, Copy often keeps things braggadocios here–boasting about sexual conquests, his crew and of course his own lyrical prowess. Talking about wack MCs, however, is barely part of the program. Copy even takes a stab at a few worthy club joints, like the Jay Dee-produced “Clap!” and “Happy Hour (P.Y.P.),” produced by J-Zone. Thankfully he doesn’t sacrifice his lyrical agility while doing so. But on songs like “Size 12’s” Copy is able to humble his self as he deals with his father’s passing without fear of sounding soft (Sample lyric: “I’m not the type to lie about my past / or stand here and front like I don’t cry about my dad.”).
From examining the more serious side of his life or just having fun, Copywrite has a fairly expansive release on his hands with Cruise Control. While his freestyles, laced with some familiar instrumentals (by Kanye West, Mobb Deep and others) aren’t going to leave you in deep concentration, they successfully showcase Copywrite and his O.D.O.T. (Ohio Dogs On Top) crew’s ability to spontaneously rock the mic. Only time will tell whom Copywrite will sign with, but until then this mixtape provides an adequate assortment of this unwavering MC’s recent recordings.