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It’s been a minute, but I’m back with another round up of recent local rapps. (I’ve also officially christened the column, partially in tribute to the great Mr. Magic.)
Likeblood f/ Bobby Valentino – “Money Over Here“ As of late it seems like there are too many rappers and not enough rap groups. Mbea, Young E & Dre Strong, collectively Likeblood, are wise to pool their resources and create a strong hip hop trio. For their most recent single the trio has linked with A-Town crooner Bobby Valentino (whose name I cannot mentioned without a nod to Mista) to cut “Money Over Here,” which notably sounds like popular hip hop. It could comfortably be programmed into a PGC playlist without sounding like an obvious local concession.
Bear Witnez! – Bear Season Mixtape Bear Wit lives up to his name by rapping like a bear does. He’s hungry and growling. Also he spits lots of metaphors about hibernation and such. Dude sounds best on post-MOP/Freeway style bombastic soul production and the tape does start to lose some steam when he steps out of that comfort zone. Still I’m really looking forward to some sort of cage match battle between him and Big Bear. Standout cut: “DC United” f/ Wale & Kingpen Slim
Wale f/ Colin Munroe – “Bittersweet“ Wait. How the hell did they clear the “Bittersweet Symphony” sample? “Bittersweet Symphony” barely cleared the “Bittersweet Symphony” sample. Anyway, for those not keeping score, DJ Toomp originally passed this beat to Atlanta’s Born Wit It for last years underground favorite “Stack My Paper Up.” Obviously Born Wit It didn’t have the Jimmy Iovine stacks necessary to get the song a proper release, so Wale got their table scraps. What made the Born Wit It record so compelling was how disconnected it was. They took this totally emotional beat and rhymed about gettin money to it. And in turn they made stacking paper seem like a grand, emotive event. Wale takes the more predictable approach by making a record about how bittersweet life is. Then he raps about cortisone or something. The dude Colin Munroe looks a little like the guy from The Verve.
Don Juan – Twit Tape Mixtape Another new tape from recent Jive signee Don Juan, intended as a more “lyrical” counterpart to his previous Lookie Looky tape, the Twit Tape sees him mostly kicking a string of short form freestyles over popular beats. Beyond that the concept of the tape is vague at best. Is it a mixtape you are supposed to twitter about? Or a mixtape about twitter? I don’t even know. But like most twitterers, Don Juan keeps his raps brief and to the point. Enjoyable and forgettable. Standout cut: “Crispy” f/Fever, Tyme & Skware.