Mixtape Of The Week

Mixtape Of The Week: Various Artists Garage Swim

By Tom Breihan / May 8, 2013 - 4:57 pm

In the mid-’90s, when I was in high school, the German label Crypt Records had cornered the market on the sleazy, knuckedragging, oilstained-bowling-shirt garage rock that was all over the American indie underground at the time. Its roster teemed with hair-slicked, hormone-addled hammerheads: the New Bomb Turks, the Devil Dogs, the Gories, the Lyres, Nine… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Chance The Rapper Acid Rap

By Tom Breihan / May 1, 2013 - 3:03 pm

Chance The Rapper is going to irritate the shit out of a lot of people. This is unavoidable. His voice is a pitched-up puberty-squeak, cracking and cackling and warbling all over tracks, never quite flowing even when it flows. And when he does lock into a straightforward rap cadence, he leaps out of it just… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Big K.R.I.T. King Remembered In Time

By Tom Breihan / April 24, 2013 - 3:54 pm

A$AP Rocky’s “1 Train” is probably the year’s most self-consciously cool rap song — seven boldfaced blog-rap names, painstakingly assembled and sequenced, all attempting to outdo each other with their oblique references and studiously casual cadences. But as the song ends, things change. We hear a voice, one that sounds Southern to the point of… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Cassie RockaByeBaby

By Tom Breihan / April 17, 2013 - 4:40 pm

Once upon a time, people hated Cassie. In 2006, she was a 19-year-old model-turned-singer whose big single, “Me & U,” may or may not have been about blowjobs. After a couple of notoriously bad TV performances of the song, some joker started an online petition saying that Diddy should drop her from Bad Boy, and… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Problem & Iamsu! Million Dollar Afro

By Tom Breihan / April 10, 2013 - 3:09 pm

I had a strange realization the other day: I was getting ready to write a Mixtape Of The Week piece about Casino, Future’s brother, and his Ex Drug Dealer tape, which I like OK but which I was just choosing because Future is all over the tape and because I like the way Casino say… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Western Tink & Beautiful Lou Mobbin’ No Sobbin’

By Tom Breihan / April 3, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Sometime last year, around the same time I first heard his stuttering foghorn bass-tones on Kitty Pryde and Riff Raff’s “Orion’s Belt,” I jumped on Twitter to say that Beautiful Lou was better than Clams Casino. This was kind of a ridiculous thing to say; the young Texan producer Beautiful Lou doesn’t quite work i… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Bodega Bamz Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z.

By Tom Breihan / March 27, 2013 - 4:06 pm

As far as I can tell, the three most interesting things about the Spanish Harlem rapper Bodega Bamz are as follows: His nicely sculpted beard, his vague A$AP Mob affiliation, and his name, the last of which is either great or terrible, depending on which mood I’m in. He’s not an inherently fascinating figure. He… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Travis Porter Mr. Porter

By Tom Breihan / March 13, 2013 - 10:52 am

The ancestral Oakland pimp-rapper Too Short is arguably one of the, let’s say, 10 people in history who have had the most impact on rap music. His trajectory — hand-to-hand cassette sales to national fame — is one that countless rappers have imitated and countless more have aspired to. His cold-eyed sex-life memoirs are pretty… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Gucci Mane & Young Scooter Free Bricks 2

By Tom Breihan / March 6, 2013 - 2:14 pm

Earlier this week, for about half an hour, Gucci Mane officially changed his name to Guwop, announcing the change on his Twitter: “Thanks Fans, for 8 years as Gucci now it’s Wop turn.” It didn’t last long because Gucci’s fans’ predictable Twitter freakout changed his mind, and Guwop became Gucci again. As bursts of lamentable… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Young Thug 1017 Thug

By Tom Breihan / February 27, 2013 - 2:56 pm

Young Thug has probably the most generic rap name imaginable; it’s like a character that Finesse Mitchell would’ve played on a halfassed SNL skit in 2005. When you see a name like that, you imagine you know just about all you need to know about its owner without knowing anything. But the real Young Thug… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Gucci Mane Trap God 2

By Tom Breihan / February 20, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Real talk: There have been more good mixtapes than good albums in 2013. I don’t know that there’s been a single out-and-out classic, but every week I have to make a seriously difficult decision when I pick a single tape for this column, and this week was harder than most. Iamsu! and Problem, maybe the… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Kevin Gates The Luca Brasi Story

By Tom Breihan / February 13, 2013 - 5:12 pm

Pusha T’s new Wrath Of Caine mixtape is a cold, impressively clinical thing. Its straight-faced drug raps might be a few qualitative steps up from everything else Pusha’s done in the last couple of years, but it remains harsh and spartan and unlovable throughout. The one moment where the tape comes alive for me i… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: The Underachievers Indigoism

By Tom Breihan / February 6, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Over the last couple of years, New York’s resurgent rap underground has hit upon a couple of winning strategies to find relevance: Be a weirdo, and pretend the ’90s never ended. Those two principles unite a bunch of New Yorkers who otherwise have nothing much in common: A$AP Rocky’s runway-ready DJ Screw homages, Action Bronson’… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Le1f Fly Zone

By Tom Breihan / January 30, 2013 - 12:51 pm

The New York rapper Le1f delivers all of his lines in a quasi-mumbly back-of-the-throat snarlpurr, to the point where it can be tough to tell what he’s saying. But on first listen to his new tape Fly Zone, this one bit, from “Airbending,” immediately jumps out: “I am whatever you say I am / Sto… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Master P Al Capone

By Tom Breihan / January 23, 2013 - 3:26 pm

If you grew up in the ’90s, loving Wu-Tang or Cypress Hill or the Beatnuts or the Fugees, you probably had a “wait, what?” moment with Master P. I remember mine vividly: One night in 1997, at the summer camp where I was working, after all the kids had gone down to sleep for the… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Future F.B.G.: The Movie

By Tom Breihan / January 16, 2013 - 3:41 pm

Future sneaks up on you. Way back in April, when he released his debut album Pluto, I enjoyed it, all its beeps and croaks and Auto-Tuned wails. But I never seriously considered naming it Album Of The Week over Spiritualized’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light. As the year wore on, though, I caught myself putting PlutoMore »

Mixtape Of The Week: DJ Angelbaby Get Pumped Vol. 1

By Tom Breihan / January 9, 2013 - 2:15 pm

In Baltimore, my beautiful burned-out wasteland of a hometown, things don’t change too quickly. The last time I filled up my minivan in town, a couple of weeks ago, the car next to mine was blasting Young Jeezy’s 2005 Gucci Mane dis “Stay Strapped,” a song that was in heavy mixtape rotation when I left… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Iman Shumpert Th3 #Post90s

By Claire Lobenfeld / January 2, 2013 - 5:28 pm

The NBA’s relationship with hip hop comes with enviable scenarios. The camaraderie between players and rappers is replete with sparkler-adorned bottles of Ace of Spades, red carpets at the ESPYs and GQ parties, and courtside congeniality during game timeouts. While both industries are attached to flossy lifestyles and that unity produces odd pairings like Tyler,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: King Louie Drilluminati

By Tom Breihan / December 19, 2012 - 1:43 pm

It’s an old story: The cult-beloved pioneer whose work helps found an aesthetic and paves the way for a young phenom to come along, take shit over, and seize the popular imagination. The 26-year-old Chicago rapper Young Louie became a local star by helping to popularize the grim, gutstomping drill music sound, and like every… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Meyhem Lauren Mandatory Brunch Meetings

By Tom Breihan / December 12, 2012 - 3:06 pm

A few minutes into the new mixtape Mandatory Brunch Meetings, the Queens rap bruiser Meyhem Lauren joins a very small circle: The tiny club of rappers whose between-verses shit-talk is as much fun to listen to as their actual raps. On “Mandated Participants,” the tape’s first song, Lauren pushes the tape’s title to its logical… More »