Mixtape Of The Week

Mixtape Of The Week: Cities Aviv Black Pleasure

By Tom Breihan / December 5, 2012 - 3:43 pm

First up: If anyone released a worthy rap mixtape in the past seven days, I haven’t been able to find it. The closest thing would be Trina’s Back 2 Business, which French Montana “executive produced,” and which sounds pretty much the way a middling French Montana mixtape would sound if French had a more interesting… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Mouse Millionaire Dreamzzz

By Tom Breihan / November 28, 2012 - 12:03 pm

About five years ago, I flew down to Orlando to spend some time with the then-rising Baton Rouge rapper Lil Boosie, for a profile that King magazine never got around to publishing before it went out of business. It wasn’t fun. Boosie, at least that day, was kind of a dick. He was in tow… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Action Bronson Rare Chandeliers

By Tom Breihan / November 21, 2012 - 2:47 pm

Some weeks, I have to dig deep into the internet’s weirder recesses to find anything remotely worth writing about in this column. And some weeks, the deluge comes: A wave of mixtapes so good, and so varied, and so complicated that it almost doesn’t seem fair to pick one and then write about it. Thi… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Iamsu! $uzy 6 $peed

By Tom Breihan / November 14, 2012 - 2:30 pm

I’ve spent some ungodly chunk of my adult life attempting to write critically about rap music, and one of the hardest things about the genre to approach is one of its simplest elemental building blocks: The simple idea of flow, of words tumbling intuitively over each other. Some rappers have it, some don’t, some have… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Curren$y Priest Andretti

By Tom Breihan / November 7, 2012 - 4:55 pm

Over the past few years, Curren$y has become a model of online cult-rap consistency, a guy who reliably cranks out three or four eminently listenable mixtapes per year. And at a certain point, that reputation could be coming back to haunt him. While his old buddy Wiz Khalifa is out there making actual (if mostly-annoying)… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Gucci Mane Trap God

By Tom Breihan / October 31, 2012 - 3:08 pm

Knee-jerk Gucci Mane haters, I am no longer talking to you. Three-plus years after Gucci’s still-staggering 2009 breakout, if you’re still unwilling to concede the mere possibility that Radric Davis is good at making rap music, I can’t do a thing for you. I’m sorry. Your life is not as fun as my life, and… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Lil Durk Life Ain’t No Joke

By Corban Goble / October 25, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Earlier this week, Queens rapper Homeboy Sandman penned a thoughtful essay for The Huffington Post about the perpetuation of negativity in rap music by the rap-music industry. Sandman argues for records like Oddissee’s admittedly slept-on People Hear What They See, a pensive, musical rap LP that hasn’t gotten much exposure (it’s only available on iTunes,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: ST 2 Lettaz R.E.B.E.L.

By Tom Breihan / October 17, 2012 - 1:35 pm

Huntsville, Alabama’s G-Side were one of our great active rap groups — a hard-rapping throwback duo who pushed each other and came with their own hard-earned aesthetic. They cranked out dizzily great albums with astonishing frequency and had a surprisingly intense live show, but they never managed to break out of blog-rap anonymity the way… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Deniro Farrar & Shady Blaze Kill Or Be Killed

By Tom Breihan / October 10, 2012 - 4:52 pm

This is a weird week for mixtapes. The big news is obviously Black Bar Mitzvah, the new Rick Ross tape, and he’d had a spot reserved in this space ever since I first saw the ridiculous image of Ross’s face inside a Star Of David. But Black Bar Mitzvah turns out to be a total… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Death Grips NO LOVE DEEP WEB

By Tom Breihan / October 3, 2012 - 5:07 pm

With all the furor about its sudden online leak, it’s easy to forget that with NO LOVE DEEP WEB, Death Grips have done something that about a million other rap crews have done: Released an album’s worth of material for free online. There’s a whole garden industry of that happening nowadays, and it’s called mixtapes. More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Freddie Gibbs Baby Face Killa

By Tom Breihan / September 26, 2012 - 2:51 pm

When Freddie Gibbs first arrived on the mixtape and blog scene a few years ago, he had a couple of big selling points. There was the staggering technical mastery, of course, the fluidity and speed with which he spun his rich hardnose baritone through gratifyingly guttural comfort-good crime-rap beats. But there was also the backstory:… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Waka Flocka Flame Salute Me Or Shoot Me 4

By Tom Breihan / September 19, 2012 - 2:35 pm

There aren’t too many sure things in this world, but here’s one of them: If Waka Flocka Flame records a song called “Randy Savage,” in which he and various other rappers scream professional wrestlers’ names and yell the word “flex” a lot, I am going to love it. This song has a target audience of… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Gunplay 601 & Snort

By Tom Breihan / September 5, 2012 - 2:33 pm

Five or so years ago, most rap mixtapes consisted of rappers grabbing each other’s beats by the handful, competing to see who could do the most damage to “A Milli” or whatever. (But no, seriously, it was almost always “A Milli.”) But later — possibly during Gucci Mane’s dizzy 2008-2009 rise, or at whatever moment… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: A$AP Mob Lord$ Never Worry

By Tom Breihan / August 29, 2012 - 12:07 pm

When A$AP Rocky first went viral last year, with the “Purple Swag” and “Peso” videos, he came off like a mesmerizing alien hybrid, an extraterrestrial visiter who’d somehow learned about Earth culture entirely from fashion Tumblrs and Boot Camp Clik videos. And even though he was making music that was, on its most basic level,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Mikkey Halsted Castro

By Tom Breihan / August 22, 2012 - 3:02 pm

Here’s how the Chicago rapper Mikkey Halsted describes himself on the second track of Castro, his new mixtape: “The common denominator ‘tween Chief Keef and Common.” Thanks for doing my job for me, Mikkey Halsted! And it’s true that Halsted does exist somewhere on the continuum between two different eras of Chicago rap: The tortured… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Riff Raff Birth Of An Icon

By Tom Breihan / August 15, 2012 - 2:12 pm

There’s a very good chance you’ll hate Riff Raff. In fact, if you’re reading this, there’s a decent chance you already do. For a certain breed of rap fan, Riff Raff is a kind of exaggerated boogeyman version of everything that’s wrong with the genre: Embrace of novelty, voracious consumption, bad tattoos, Soulja Boy affiliations,… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Beautiful Lou Sumone 2 B Young With

By Tom Breihan / August 9, 2012 - 2:48 pm

Kitty Pryde is a 19-year-old apple-cheeked Claire’s employee and giggly quasi-novelty rapper. Fred Da Godson is a classical New York hip-hop miserablist with a thousand-yard stare. Himanshu is a politicized Queens wiseacre and veteran zeitgeist-capturer. Lil B is a self-made rap Sun Ra whose continued existence in the rap universe is a puzzle that just… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Kane Mayfield Rhymes By Kane: Thievery Corporation Edition

By Tom Breihan / August 1, 2012 - 2:48 pm

I grew up in Baltimore, practically the duo’s back yard, but I never had a very difficult time ignoring Thievery Corporation, the bourgie downtempo electronic duo from DC. From what little attention I paid, they seemed to represent just about every aspect of dance music that I found the most boring: Expensive suits, sleek graphic… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Flatbush Zombies D.R.U.G.S.

By Tom Breihan / July 25, 2012 - 12:34 pm

The Flatbush Zombies who I first encountered in the “Thug Waffle” video were, and are, as much a collection of freaked-out signifiers as an actual rap group: Unruly twisted mini-dreads, massive beard, out-of-focus Ol’ Dirty Bastard eyes, grungy skater clothes, hair-bleach, gold fronts, biker-punk vest-spikes, slurry broken-teeth voices, constant references to shambling reanimated corpses. They… More »

Mixtape Of The Week: Lil Reese Don’t Like

By Tom Breihan / July 18, 2012 - 3:37 pm

Lil Reese is one of many, many teenage Chicago rappers who suddenly finds himself holding a major-label contract, and he secured that position for himself by being the other guy on Chief Keef’s suddenly-iconic low-budget smash “I Don’t Like.” For my money, he’s the guy with the best verse on any version of “I Don’t… More »

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