Mixtapes of the Month - September 2013
There was a time when mixtapes were loose collections of songs not good enough to make an album. Those days are over. In 2013, an age where artists recognize that the road to stardom is paved with free music, mixtapes have become full, original bodies of music in their own right. But all that free music also means discovering something truly worth your time can be harder than finding a needle in a digital haystack. That’s where our friends at djbooth.net come in. Their new “Mixtapes of the Month” series will narrow down the previous 30 days (give or take) down to three projects guaranteed to ensure the month’s best work doesn’t pass you by. So without further ado, here are three new ones for your tape deck, desktop or iPhone.
DJ Charlie White, “Let Go”
Don’t get us wrong, we love a talented emcee as much as the next hip-hop head, but sometimes we just want to listen to some great beats; can you blame us!? Well, when the beats are as intricate and head-nod inducing as the ones found on DJ Charlie White’s Let Go project, heck no you can’t!
To the untrained ear an instrumental album might seem a little unfinished, but even your grandma (assuming she is not a hip-hop fan) could tell you Charlie White says more with the boards than some emcees say with the mic. Whether you are an emcee looking for inspiration or someone who needs music to get work done—sometimes a boisterous emcee can break your focus— there is plenty to chew on here. "Let Go," the title track, features a soulful, stretched vocal sample priced by a relentless snare perfect for running that last mile or knocking out your work with a deadline looming. Just four tracks later, White completely changes the mood, cooking up a pensive piano-driven beat littered with samples (including a Kanye chop) made for a rainy summer evening or a sleepless night. At the very least, Let Go allows you to play A&R, debating which emcees would sound dope over these beats. The best part? You can’t be wrong; when the beats are this good, even you and I could be rappers.
Allan Rayman, “H.O.H.W.”
Canada has brought us some pretty great stuff, like for example maple syrup and hockey. Our Northern neighbor, Toronto specifically, is also responsible for bringing some really incredible music. We all know Drake has Canadian roots, but there are some super talented indie artists sprouting up everywhere you turn. The latest (and perhaps the soon-to-be greatest) T-Dot talent is Allan Rayman.
Blending one part Drake and one part Weeknd, sprinkled with a dash of Citizen Cope, Rayman creates a crooning concoction all his own. His beats are often foggy, and synth driven, but his raspy yet smooth style certainly gives his cuts a gritty undertone. His sung-rapped style is entrancing and on cuts like Mickey and Mallory you wont be able to resist his unique style; despite its grimy feel, this cut goes down so easy and leaves you wanting more. Lucky for you, there are nine more cuts to enjoy on H.O.H.W. If adding content with endless replay-ability to your library doesn’t interest you, at the very least you can impress your friends by turning them on to this future chart topper.
ANTHM, “The Fire Next Time”
Although it provides my friends with ample ammunition to make fun of me, I love golf; both playing and watching. When I am on the links, shanking one out of every four shots and sending my ball for a swim, I am always amazed at how effortless the pros make it look. Consider ANTHM hip-hop’s professional golfer. On his latest free EP The Fire Next Time, ANTHM makes rapping seem so effortless; the mark of a true emcee.
While it might seem like this comes naturally to ANTHM, rest assured, he puts isn so much hard work; you don’t get a sound this pure without busting your hump. This is no more obvious than on "I Remember." On "I Remember," the New York native dances atop a soothing boom-bap beat rattling off an array of lines—each one more intelligent than the last—that, despite his effortless delivery, grab you and ring out in your brain, long after the song ends. While the former Wall St. banker’s sound is unlike anybody else’s, you can hear a faint resemblance to Kendrick Lamar on Bear With Me. The cloudy vibe and hazy chorus would bring a tear to Kendrick’s eye, and if he were to listen to the whole EP, he would be crying rivers that still aren’t as fluid as ANTHM’s flow.
September 10, 2013 via Pepsi