I hear so many complaints about hip hop nowadays it’s over whelming. I hear everything from hip hop is dead to New York rappers rhyme like they’re from down south to every rapper wants to be a pop star to my fave quote from Pras “too many mc’s/not enough mics.” And all of these complaints are valid in my eyes but there are some positives about hip hop in 2011. For starters, there are a lot of new mc’s that are killing the game right now like Jay Electonica, J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Stalley, Currensy, Khalim the Dream and Driz Lo (shameless plugs) to more artist are going the independent route to release their albums which in my opinion gives us better music and my personal favorite thing about hip hop in 2011 is that artist are giving us more free music than the average iPod can handle! Cats are giving you free mixtapes to help promote their albums and L.A. mc Co$$ falls right in line with releasing his free mixtape Sleepwalking before he drops his long awaited album “Before I Awoke” on June 21st.
Sleepwalking sets off with “Tha Realness (Abnormal)” and has Co$$ telling cats “I’m a Laker/no love for the Celtics or the Pistons/you’re more like a Clipper.” “Sinful (Fonetik)” has Co$$ naming all the gangs and sets in L.A. and “Five Bucks” has Co$$ riding a jazzy beats reminiscent of that classic Souls of Mischief sound. “The One (Tranzformer)” has Co$$ over a hypnotizing track while letting dudes know they can’t fade him and the mixtape ends with “What I Know Now” which has Co$$ examining how his life would be different if he knew then, what he knows now. But my fave track on Sleepwalking is easily “Sinful Continued” where Co$$ checks in with my hip hop quotable of the album over a ridiculous beats with the line “Peace to that mankind/n-ggaz is out of their damn minds/hammers with color bandanas tied around their handles/and they throwing up them hand signs/blamming with that damn nine/shooting a damn n-ggaz/shooter was on the handle bars/gangster in, gangster out/watch it be a gangster mouth/real n-ggaz don’t speak/you know them n-ggaz down the street/down to beef with you/not just you but those other nuckas that be with you/rock that blue, rock that red/know them color lines/watch out for those other sides/them goons will chop your head/will put you to sleep/rock your bed/sh-t I bled for that I don’t bang/and bullets ain’t got no face, they ain’t got no name.” After that, all I can say is, if “Before I Awoke” is anything like it’s prequel, we can go ahead and throw Co$$’ name into that hat of new mc’s that are killing the game.