Mixtape Of The Week

Mixtape Of The Week: Lucki Eck$ Body High

By Tom Breihan / August 13, 2014 - 2:53 pm

You know that clicking sound that the back of your throat makes when it’s really tired? That deep door-creaking thing? The one that disappears completely when you speak at any volume above a mutter? That clicking sound is where Chicago rap teenager Lucki Eck$ lives. That clicking sound almost never shows up on rap records,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Jeremih N.O.M.A. (Not On My Album)

By Tom Breihan / August 6, 2014 - 2:23 pm

A few years ago, Jeremih came off like Trey Songz’ younger cousin, or like a poor man’s Usher: A slick young R&B loverman who sounded happiest when he was playing songs that could conceivably get played in the club. Some of his songs were great — I loved the way he glided over the track… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Zuse Plugged

By Tom Breihan / July 30, 2014 - 1:40 pm

The definition of “mixtape” has changed a lot over the years, especially when it comes to single-artist projects. Mixtapes were once, of course, actual cassettes, documents of DJ mixes, sometimes with exclusives or freestyles thrown in. By the time I started paying attention to them, mixtapes were ways for established rappers to keep their name… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Shlohmo & Jeremih No More

By Tom Breihan / July 23, 2014 - 2:43 pm

Jeremih and Shlohmo are an unlikely combination for a lot of obvious reasons. One is a black guy from Chicago who sings slick, radio-directed R&B, and the other is a white guy from Los Angeles who produces tricky, intricate instrumental bass music. They probably would’ve never gotten together if Yours Truly hadn’t matched them u… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: DVS Mutant League

By Tom Breihan / July 16, 2014 - 3:25 pm

DVS is a character, an ex-New York hardcore guy who now works in a strip club and who does all the standard self-promotional rapper things on Twitter while also being funnier than most actual comedians. He raps in a double-time yammer but never tries to sound like anything he’s not. Even at his most motormouthed,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Slim 400 Keepin’ It 400

By Tom Breihan / July 9, 2014 - 4:15 pm

Near the end of YG’s My Krazy Life, easily my favorite rap album of 2014, there’s a posse cut called “When I Was Gone,” and it’s a weird one. Other than YG, there’s nobody famous on that song; they’re all random Compton guys, guys you assume have known YG forever. And they aren’t rapping about… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Woop Woop Lingo

By Tom Breihan / July 2, 2014 - 3:01 pm

Can I be honest here? This column isn’t getting any easier to write. Part of it is that I’ve been writing the thing for nearly three years and there are only so many ways to say, “This person raps well.” But it’s also become harder and harder to find mixtapes that take complete advantage of… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Cakes Da Killa Hunger Pangs

By Tom Breihan / June 25, 2014 - 3:14 pm

Lord Jamar, the least-great member of the once-great New Rochelle rap trio Brand Nubian, has found himself a maddening niche in 2014: He’s rap’s Glen Beck or Michael Savage, the pundit who goes beyond conservatism and into straight-up hate speech. In a series of video missives on the bloodsucking video site VladTV, Jamar has said… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Young L MVP

By Tom Breihan / June 18, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Lil B is no longer the most important or innovative member of the Pack. The Based God’s entire head-blown love-the-world schtick has had a tremendous impact across underground rap, but he’s been working that style for years now, and he’s not exactly bursting with fresh ideas. B’s recent mixtape Hoop Life is actually his best… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Tim Vocals Timtations

By Tom Breihan / June 11, 2014 - 3:19 pm

The Harlem singer Tim Vocals is an artist who thrives on contradiction. First, and perhaps most important, there’s the contradiction between your ego and the fact that you are listening to someone who voluntarily chose the name “Tim Vocals.” It’s just a fascinatingly awful name, and it’s already sent me down a 10-minute mental spider-hole,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: DJ Moondawg We Invented The Bop 2

By Tom Breihan / June 4, 2014 - 2:02 pm

There are moments where I feel like bop, the fast-growing Chicago dance-rap subgenre, was invented entirely to irritate and frighten and confuse aging rap fans, to force upon them the realization that their edge has been lost for a long time. Bop might be best understood as the sunny, starry-eyed flipside to the cold, hard,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: PeeWee Longway The Blue M&M

By Tom Breihan / May 28, 2014 - 12:08 pm

Atlanta, man. City full of weirdos. Look at some of the city’s biggest rap stars at the moment: Middle-aged bad-joke craftsman 2 Chainz, soul-baring Auto-Tune gurgler Future, yammering helium-voiced button-pusher Young Thug. These guys all have personal styles that influence and infect each other, but sometimes it also feels like they’re locked in a neverending… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Young Chris Gunna Season

By Tom Breihan / May 21, 2014 - 2:08 pm

At this point, “mixtape” pretty much means the same thing as “album,” with the crucial caveat that it’s available for free online and there’s a good chance that some DJ will be screaming over the track intros. With this column, I’ve considered anything that you can download without paying, including plenty of releases that venture… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Mac Miller Faces

By Tom Breihan / May 14, 2014 - 11:17 am

I was really enjoying hating Mac Miller. He was so much fun to hate. Here was this annoying bemused-goon Bob Marley poster-type motherfucker who came out of nowhere and rode the Wiz Khalifa wave to fratty stoner-rap stardom. At SXSW a few years ago, while waiting for Big K.R.I.T., I saw him play one of… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: 2 Chainz Freebase

By Tom Breihan / May 7, 2014 - 1:49 pm

It’s funny how this Mixtape Of The Week business works. Some weeks, there will be absolutely nothing exciting happening, and some weeks we’ll get so many good mixtapes, often on the same day, that I practically bust an eye vein stressing about which one I’m picking. Last week, for instance, was so barren that I… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: The Devil VIOLENCE

By Tom Breihan / April 30, 2014 - 1:20 pm

For whatever reason, all the best all the best albums I’ve heard this spring have been dank, dark, hopeless, fearsome, towering things, all expansive wrath and monolithic misanthropy: Triptykon’s Melana Chasmata, EMA’s The Future’s Void, Wovenhand’s Refractory Obdurate, Nux Vomica’s self-titled joint, the Swans album that’s about to come along and peel your fucking skull… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Gucci Mane & Young Thug Young Thugga Mane La Flare

By Tom Breihan / April 23, 2014 - 2:42 pm

Someone on Twitter (and I wish I could remember who) pointed out a fascinating factoid recently: Every time Gucci Mane goes away to prison — something that happens way too often — one of his 1017 Brick Squad understudies blows the fuck up. First, it was OJ Da Juiceman. Then, it was Waka Flocka Flame. More »

Mixtape Of The Week: DJ Uniique The New Klassiks

By Tom Breihan / April 16, 2014 - 1:40 pm

In that amazing new John Jeremiah Sullivan New York Times Magazine story about forgotten country blues geniuses, Sullivan discusses one old musicologist’s idea of geographic clusters of influence: “how in one county you would have dozens of fiddle players, but in the very next county, none — there everyone played banjo… this was how culture… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Girl Talk & Freeway Broken Ankles

By Tom Breihan / April 9, 2014 - 10:39 am

I’ve always had a problem with Girl Talk, and my problem has been this: When he piles on those shards of pop hits so quickly that you barely have time to register what the song is before it’s over, I mostly just find myself wishing I could hear the whole damn song. That ADD hyperblitz… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Zuse Bullet

By Tom Breihan / April 2, 2014 - 12:24 pm

Here’s today’s exercise in weird geography: Zuse is a rapper from Kingston, Jamaica who currently resides in Atlanta and who takes his name, sort of, from the King of the Greek gods. (I suppose it’s also possible that he named himself after the German computer pioneer Konrad Zuse, but this seems less likely.) On hi… More »

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