Mixtape Of The Week

Mixtape Of The Week: Kevin Gates By Any Means

By Tom Breihan / March 26, 2014
I saw a lot of rappers at SXSW this year -- according to a few smart people I talked to, this was the year rap effectively took over the festival -- but I only saw one who cared about rapping to the exclusion of all else. On a packed rooftop full of industry gladhanders, at… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Vince Staples Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2

By Tom Breihan / March 19, 2014
Vince Staples came about as close as you can come to being a member of Odd Future without actually joining Odd Future. On the crew's first wave of internet-breaking mixtapes, Staples is all over some of the most indelible tracks, like Mike G's "Moracular World" and Earl Sweatshirt's "epaR," and his "Don't touch it, don't… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: 100s IVRY

By Tom Breihan / March 12, 2014
When the Berkeley, California rapper 100s released his Ice Cold Perm mixtape a couple of years ago, I initially took a pass on it because of Main Attrakionz fatigue. 100s came from the orbit of that Bay Area duo, who were in the midst of cranking out a staggering number of bleary, emotive, lost-in-the-fog… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Migos No Label II

By Tom Breihan / March 5, 2014
The Migos are, in some deeply fascinating ways, the early-'00s answer to Das EFX, the New York/New Jersey duo who introduced the much-lampooned tongue-flipping iggity-wiggity style to rap way the hell back in the early '90s. (Swear to God: I was planning on making this point before this Complex article did the same.) The… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Lakutis Three Seashells

By Tom Breihan / February 26, 2014
I've known guys like this, and you probably have, too: Charismatic dirtbags, greasy-faced self-destructive party machines, guys who are really fun to have around until they start stealing your stuff. Girls love dudes like this, and the dudes who love those girls get all confused and frustrated over that. Lakutis came up with Das Racist,… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Casino Frank Matthews

By Tom Breihan / February 12, 2014
The Atlanta rapper Casino is brothers with Future, the reigning king commercially accessible, emotionally resonant Auto-Tune burps. This, in itself, is not a good enough reason to pay attention to Casino. And Casino, to his credit, seems to be realizing this. It took a little while. Last year, Casino released Ex Drug Dealer, which… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Pearls Negras Biggie Apple

By Tom Breihan / February 5, 2014
When was the last time you thought about baile funk? The genre had its cultural moment about a decade ago when a young Diplo, on assignment for the FADER, traveled to Brazil and wrote about the frantic dance music that got played a huge dance parties in the favelas. Later on, Diplo released a mixtape… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Tree The MCTreeG EP

By Tom Breihan / January 29, 2014
How old is Tree? Do we even know? He certainly looks like a young man, but the Chicago rapper/producer has a voice like a gnarled, twisted, tougher-than-iron tree limb. He sounds like an 80-year-old Korean War vet who somehow taught himself to rap really well. He sounds like life has been chipping away at hi… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Young Thug & Bloody Jay Black Portland

By Tom Breihan / January 22, 2014
When rap weirdos go off the deep end, they generally don't come back. Consider, for example, Kool Keith, a transformative figure when he first emerged with the Ultramagnetic MCs and a deity within rap's late-'90s backpack underground, one who got successively goofier with every new persona and finally disappeared into near-total irrelevance. Or Lil B,… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: DJ Angelbaby Get Pumped Vol. 2

By Tom Breihan / January 15, 2014
For the past year or two, the cool dance-music subgenre among music-critic types has been Chicago footwork -- a bizarre and organic homegrown house-music tributary where the berserk hi-hats seems specificially programmed to send skilled dancers into cardiac arrest. I wish I liked this stuff more than I do. To my ears, footwork is too… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: 2$ Fabo We Amongst U

By Tom Breihan / January 8, 2014
When Ghostface Killah snarled, on "The Champ," about those "stuck on 'Laffy Taffy,'" he was not alone. A certain breed of self-serious rap fan looked at the butt-centric novelty hit, a genuine Billboard #1 in the early weeks of 2006, the way Scottish villagers must've once looked at Viking warships. As someone who lived i… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: King Louie Drilluminati 2

By Tom Breihan / December 18, 2013
For me, and for a lot of other people, Kanye West's Yeezus was the rap album of the year -- and the album of the year, period. But general consensus says that the biggest problem with Yeezus as a rap album was the actual rapping -- the deluded, snarled, all-over-the-place word-delivery. I don't agree; Kanye'… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Ian Isiah The Love Champion

By Tom Breihan / December 11, 2013
I didn't write this week's Album Of The Week piece on R. Kelly's Black Panties, but I agreed. And here's why: For all the obvious hilarity at work, and all the smooth craftsmanship, there's an honest desperation at work. Kelly is making jokes and being willfully ridiculous, but he's balancing that out with a… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Lil Bibby Free Crack

By Tom Breihan / December 4, 2013
Lil Bibby might have the world's least intimidating rap name. It evokes the following things: Smallness, actual babies, and journeyman NBA point guard Mike Bibby, who had a nice run with the early-'00s Sacramento Kings but who was never exactly Ron Artest. (Maybe I should be happy that Lil Bibby didn't go with "Lil Laettner"… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Rich Kidz A Westside Story

By Tom Breihan / November 27, 2013
Atlanta still makes rap groups. You don't hear too much about rap groups anymore, since the genre, at its highest levels has progressed toward a winner-take-all solo-stardom model, and since nobody wants to be thought of as the less-talented member of a popular crew. (Pet theory: OutKast is now reuniting because Andre 3000 realizes that… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Death Grips Government Plates

By Miles Bowe / November 20, 2013
Last week Death Grips dropped a new album out of nowhere -- a really good new album -- but considering it's a spontaneous digital, free release, we decided it fit better in MOTW than AOTW (plus we wanted to give Blood Orange's awesome new album some love). But let's just get straight into it,… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Da Mafia 6ix 6ix Commandments

By Tom Breihan / November 13, 2013
Can you imagine SpaceGhostPurrp's face when he first heard "Murder On My Mind"? I can't, since I'm not entirely sure what SpaceGhostPurrp looks like. But SGP has built a career by digging deep into, and reveling in, the sound of grimy mid-'90s underground Memphis rap music, specifically the early Three 6 Mafia stuff. Before they… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Young L Convulsion

By Tom Breihan / October 30, 2013
Whether you love his whole thing or whether you're hopelessly, painfully confused by it, Lil B is, in 2013, a tremendously important rapper, a transformative figure in the internet-rap underground. The rap music that exists on the genre's Tumblr fringes would sound very, very different if he hadn't free-associated his way into internet infamy four… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Vic Mensa Innanetape

By Tom Breihan / October 23, 2013
"Vic Mensa" is a terrible rap name. The young Chicagoan rapper actually has the name Victor Mensah on his birth certificate, which lessens the blow a bit. But the name still rankles; it's like if I started rapping and took "Tom The Smart Person" as my alias. And there's a lot of other stuff about… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Lil Durk Signed To The Streets

By Tom Breihan / October 16, 2013
Chicago teenage-nihilist-rap fatigue is a very real thing. Last year, in this space, I recommended Lil Reese's hard-as-hell tape Don't Like, shortly before a video of Reese beating the shit out of a girl materialized on the internet. And even if that kind of thing doesn't have an actual bearing on the music, I… More »


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