MUSIC: High Definition, Low Bias Mixtape Roundup
by Reginald Duvivier
Let’s get this out of the way now, the sequel to Action Bronsons and Party Supplies mixtape Blue Chips is a lesser work. Party Supplies is a pretty solid producer who’s great at finding hidden sample gems on the Internet but finds himself relegated to un-ironically sampling “Tequila” (aka the Pee Wee Herman theme) here. Action Bronson, who’s on the low a very vivid storyteller, can barely stay on topic within a bar. The original Blue Chips mixtape was a breakout record for both artists; a technical showcase for their talents. Blue Chips 2 is filled with lazy samples and thrown off one-liners and should suck. But somehow they messed around and released the most fun rap record I have heard this year.
Bronson’s rapping like a witty teenager trying to impress the kids at the lunch table pounding out beats, and Party Supplies is having fun sampling artists he definitely can’t afford to in real life like Phil Collins. It’s a summer party record, and unlike some “better” rap records recently it’s found something that hip-hop loses sight of at times; the concept of fun.
If you want your hip-hop a bit more serious, frequent Bronson collaborator and NYC rap stalwart Roc Marciano has dropped The Pimpire Strikes Back. Despite it’s horrible ass name, it pretty fucking great. Marciano keeps the production soulful, dusty and ominous; around half of it is self-produced and he surprisingly keeps up with greats like Madlib and Alchemist. Roc Marciano drops those smooth threatening raps that call to mind a more coherent and wordier Prodigy from Mobb Deep. He sounds like he might pour you a glass of scotch before curb stomping you to the ground.
Both the mix tapes we spoke about are sample heavy which honestly no rapper outside of Yeezus and Jay-Z can afford to professionally put out. Because of this the last fifteen years of hip-hop have gotten weirder as far as musical backdrops are concerned. Dopehead is one of members of Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade crew, recently dropped his latest mix tape Devils Night. Here he rages misogynistic raps against some great dark, simple and future leaning beats. I assume, SKYWLKR, who produced some of the standout tracks on Danny Brown’s XXX, had a lot to do with the beats here. He’s going to be a force (unintentional pun) in the future.