Mixtape Review: SMKA – The 808 Experiment Vol 2
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Download: SMKA – The 808 Experiment Vol 2
Atlanta has been killing the music game lately. It’s a proven fact. Both the overground (Gucci, T.I., Luda) and the underground (Janelle Monae, Brittney Bosco, etc), have been bgreaking barriers and perceptions about the South, and such dynamic acts like Outkast, Goodie Mob, and Jeezy have cemented the city as a “go-to” place for critically acclaimed music for the past decade.
So I’m not surprised SMKA’s 808 Experiment would be fire. If you think that the South is all about spinning rims and stupid dances, think again. The SMKA production team, headed by 808 Blake crafts some of the most diverse beats I’ve heard all year, pulling everything funk, soul, indie rock, and spaced out beats, the Southern boom that has permeated the airwaves for years. The result is a contrastive mic of songs and instrumentals that avoid the typical pitfalls of most Southern hip-hop you hear on the radio today.
In addition, some of the South’s rising stars are featured, including Alabama’s Yellawolf, Proton, Hollyweerd, Aleon Craft, Playboy Tre. Even hip-hop favorites Nappy Roots and Tanya Morgan make an appearance. Highlights on the tape include the spaced-out Hollyweerd/Aleon Craft collabo “So What,” Yellawolf’s matriarchal anthem, “Dear Mama,” and Brittany Street’s Lykke Li sampling “Let Me Go.”
The SMKA compilation might lack the star power of Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon All-Stars compilation from a few years ago, but it is a solid piece of work, and should do good things for all who were involved. Even though people might say that the South has “killed” hip-hop, the amount of talent in the land of okra and sweet tea is still strong.