Mixtape Of The Week

Mixtape Of The Week: Kelela Cut 4 Me

By Tom Breihan / October 9, 2013 - 1:31 pm

If Cut 4 Me, the first mixtape from the D.C-born and L.A.-based singer Kelela, worked as a simple production showcase for the various names associated with the dance label Fade To Mind, it would be well worth hearing. The Brooklyn producer Kingdom started the label, and he’s part of a set of like-minded forward-thinking dance… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Meek Mill Dreamchasers 3

By Tom Breihan / October 2, 2013 - 1:34 pm

There’s a really great twitter, @MeekMillRapLike, that meme-ishly collects all-caps comparisons for Philadelphia rap star Meek Mill’s delivery: “MEEK MILL RAP LIKE HE STEPPED ON A LEGO PIECE,” “MEEK MILL RAP LIKE HE TRAPPED IN A ELEVATOR,” “MEEK MILL RAP LIKE HE ORDERING FOOD FROM THE PASSENGER SEAT.” There’s a reason this Twitter exists: Nobody,… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Project Pat Cheez N Dope 2

By Tom Breihan / September 25, 2013 - 4:43 pm

Before Kendrick Lamar had his “Control” verse, Gucci Mane had “Birds Of A Feather,” the song where he recklessly named just about every rapper he knew and let them know exactly where they stood with him. (This was, of course, a predictor of the Twitter rampage that got Gucci kicked off of Atlantic and sent… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Le1f Tree House

By Claire Lobenfeld / September 19, 2013 - 10:33 am

Late into Tree House is Le1f’s most sensual and sensory song, one aptly named “Oils.” If the title doesn’t emit a sense of sex, then the Potionz-produced beat, which drips with bedroom bass and porn soundtrack elements, should. The lyrics are equally toothsome, but it’s also where Le1f supplies one of his most character-telling pair… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Gucci Mane Diary Of A Trap God

By Claire Lobenfeld / September 11, 2013 - 5:34 pm

No less than a month ago, Tom had this to say about Gucci Mane’s 2013 output so far: “[He] has always been happy to absolutely fuck up our collective music-listening schedules. ‘Prolific’ just isn’t a sufficient word anymore. I am not exaggerating for effect when I say that I’ve lost count of how many mixtape… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: The Underachievers The Lords Of Flatbush

By Tom Breihan / September 4, 2013 - 4:33 pm

The kid still has his fans, and he’s by no means a lost cause, but one of my great rap disappointments this year has been the young Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$. Joey’s 2012 breakout mixtape 1999 was a ’90s-revivalist affair for sure, but it had a giddy energy working for it. Joey and his friend… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Hoax Hoax

By Tom Breihan / August 28, 2013 - 12:30 pm

First things first: I am cheating here. This isn’t a mixtape. The self-titled debut album from the Western Massachusetts DIY hardcore bruisers Hoax is out on vinyl, and if you want, you can drop $15 for a wax platter with six different poster inserts and art from a fuckload of artists. Going by the RunMore »


Mixtape Of The Week: Shy Glizzy Law 2

By Tom Breihan / August 14, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Shy Glizzy wants you to know that he is not Wale. On his song “I Am DC,” Glizzy throws a few shots at the more prominent rappers who claim his hometown: “These niggas ain’t from my city, don’t represent my city / They all around the world but I don’t catch them in my city.”… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Caleb James The Jones

By Claire Lobenfeld / August 8, 2013 - 1:26 pm

[Note: Tom has asked me to column-sit while he’s in Sweden and I’m totally going to observe the pretty lax practices he’s been exercising here lately regarding release dates and coverage date. I’m not doing it because I feel like he missed something (although, Rome Fortune’s Beautiful Pimp is definitely one of the best rapMore »


Mixtape Of The Week: Roach Gigz Roachy Balboa Round 3

By Tom Breihan / July 31, 2013 - 12:55 pm

I don’t like admitting this, but Roach Gigz used to give me headaches. When the San Francisco rapper first got internet attention for his first Roachy Balboa mixtape three years ago, just about every rap critic I respect immediately started touting him as an exciting young prospect, and they weren’t wrong. Gigz can rap hi… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Travi$ Scott Owl Pharaoh

By Tom Breihan / July 24, 2013 - 2:17 pm

In the grand tradition of Iamsu! & Problem’s Million Dollar Afro and Rich Homie Quan’s Still Goin In Reloaded, here’s another column about a mixtape that didn’t come out in the past seven days, one that’s taken a few months to prove just how important it is. This one is different, though. Both Million DollarMore »


Mixtape Of The Week: Rich Homie Quan Still Goin In Reloaded

By Tom Breihan / July 17, 2013 - 3:10 pm

This was a slow week in the mixtape universe. The two best rap full-lengths (two best full-lengths in any genre, really) were actual official albums: Ka’s The Night’s Gambit and Kevin Gates’s Stranger Than Fiction. There were no big mixtapes and no exciting newcomers, or at least none that I heard. I’d love to convince… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: TeeFLii & DJ Mustard Fireworks

By Tom Breihan / July 10, 2013 - 3:51 pm

Another week, another pretty great mixtape of horny, spacey California R&B. And why not? The stuff sounds great in summertime, existing specifically to soundtrack sunlit top-down cruises and sweaty-nightclub seduction attempts. Last week, it was Ty Dolla $ign’s uproarious Beach House 2, an act of ribald assholism so bald and confident that it felt almost… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Ty Dolla $ign Beach House 2

By Tom Breihan / July 3, 2013 - 1:41 pm

On Monday afternoon, within a couple of hours of each other, two mixtapes from highly-touted coastal musicians with dollar-signs in their names hit the internet. Both have vaguely seasonal titles, but other than that, they’re about as different as two mixtapes can be while sitting next to each other on DatPiff’s front page. One of… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Katie Got Bandz Drillary Clinton

By Tom Breihan / June 26, 2013 - 4:11 pm

A quick programming note: El-P and Killer Mike’s Run The Jewels is out now, and it is a monster. The music I usually consider for this column is the music that’s out there for legal free download, and Run The Jewels qualifies on that front. But El has repeatedly insisted on Twitter that Run The… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Migos Y.R.N.

By Tom Breihan / June 19, 2013 - 4:36 pm

A couple of days ago, when I was writing about Yeezus, I was bathing in that album, thinking about it for days on end, playing it front-to-back on repeat for hours. Yeezus is a great album, but it’s not exactly a friendly one, and the experience was weirdly exhausting. It’s been a while since a… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: DJ Mustard Ketchup

By Tom Breihan / June 12, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Tyga is not an especially good rapper by any metric, but he still made my favorite single of last year, in any genre, with “Rack City.” That track seems to hover in space. Its evil wobbling synth-bass, icy fingersnaps, mechanized hey chants, and perfectly places snare smacks are all just as important as Tyga’s nasal… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire Kismet

By Claire Lobenfeld / June 5, 2013 - 5:35 pm

When I think about Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire’s output, more often than not, the thing that strikes me as most distinctly impressive is his lyrics. For eX, storytelling with a thesaurus-like grasp of wordplay is paramount. But we don’t necessarily use the same yardstick we did in the past in regards to vocab wizardry and the… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: Tree Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out

By Tom Breihan / May 22, 2013 - 2:15 pm

The Chicago rapper/producer Tree calls his style “soul-trap,” and that’s a better genre descriptor than a critic nerd like me could come up with. Seen from a certain angle, Tree is an inheritor to his city’s Common/early Kanye conscious-rap throne. His music can be placid and thoughtful, full of doomed narrative and poverty-contemplation and emotional… More »


Mixtape Of The Week: August Alsina The Product 2

By Claire Lobenfeld / May 15, 2013 - 6:10 pm

The-Dream has a knack for pulling out a variety of things from the artists he works with. Just today, Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland released a Dream-produced track, “Dirty Laundry,” recounting an abusive relationship and her post-DC mixed feelings about Beyoncé. For that matter, some of Bey’s most enormous girl-power anthems came from The-Dream’s pen. More »