Mixtapes of the Month: July
There was a time when mixtapes were loose collections of songs not good enough to make an album. Those days are over. In 2014, 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 “Mixtapes of the Month” series narrows down the last 30 days (give or take) to four projects guaranteed to ensure the month’s best work doesn’t pass you by.
So without further ado, here are five new ones for your tape deck, desktop or iPhone.
Beldina, Opening Act
Everything about Beldina's Opening Act screams warm weather, parties, and springtime. Her powerful, catchy vocals on songs like "Smoke" and "New Generation" will have you singing right along with a big ol' smile on your face. Don't worry, she still showcases a slower, R&B style on efforts like "Cloud 9." There's something for everyone on this project. A big part of Opening Act's warm, vibrant feel is the production. Almost entirely produced by Ali Paya, the whole project has a consistent, electronic feel, brought on by the heavy synth use. In other words, it’s perfect for a sunny day or that first barbeque. This might be her Opening Act, but Beldina will have you shouting "ENCORE!"
De La Soul, Smell the D.a.I.s.Y.
Mention the ‘90s to any hip-hop head and watch a smile shoot across their face. There are very few things fans of the genre love more than ‘90s — we call it the Golden Age for a reason. One of the most beloved groups of that Golden Age is a little trio by the name of De La Soul. Though they may be veterans, De La is still putting on a hip-hop clinic for anyone who cares to learn. Earlier this year, they released their whole library for free and now, they give us another free project featuring production from the greatest producer to ever do it. On top of eleven classic beats from the legendary J. Dilla you will find a few classic De La Soul verses superimposed to create a brand new, yet vintage sound. You have probably heard some (if not all) of these bars, but we guarantee you haven't heard 'em like this. So hop in the time machine and enjoy some ‘90s nostalgia courtesy of “Smell the Da.I.S.Y.”
Bop Alloy, Another Day in the Life Of...
There are plenty of rap songs about infidelity, but how many emcees have penned a song about their marriage proposal? If that’s the type of real life hip-hop you’re looking for, then look no further than Bop Alloy’s latest project. Comprised of producer Marcus D and emcee Substantial, true to its title, Bop Alloy’s Another Day in the Life Of… is a heavily jazz-influenced and transparently honest chronicle of a man who’s not only striving to be a better artist, but more importantly, a better person. From the mellow “Another Night at Club Family” to the purely instrumental “Saxophone Jones Revenge,” there’s no shortage of music made to expand your horizons here. Nothing wrong with music that lives out an escapist fantasy as long as you always remember what truly matters. An album like this is what truly matters. Listen on DJBooth.Net.
Paris Jones, March EP
You might think that Paris Jones lacks a little creativity when you see that his new EP is entitled March EP, but wait just a second. We bet you didn't know he has also been releasing a project a month for all of 2014. Just think about that for a second. Most emcees drop one, maybe two (if we are lucky) he is dropping 12! Though one project is exhausting, Paris isn't showing any signs of fatigue. We all love to hear a great emcee, but sometimes, you just need a dope beat to vibe to, which is why this project is such a breath of fresh air. The six track effort is not without a bar here and there, but for the most part, it's all about the boards. Instrumental tapes have to have something special, or they sort of lose steam, but lucky for us, this one is in fact special. It may only be six tracks long, but Paris Jones’ March EP will have your head noddin' from start to finish; you might even get whiplash.
CYNE, All My Angles Are Right
We always try to be as unbiased as possible with these, but we can't simply hide our love for CYNE (Cultivating Your New Experience). And if you love pure, deep hip-hop, you too will enjoy CYNE's All My Angles Are Right. This trio, hailing from across the country, consists of two beatsmiths, Enoch and Speck, and Cise Star on the mic. In this case, three is most certainly not a crowd. The trio work together to form a cohesive, fluid sound that really makes you feel like you are listening to something important. Everything they do is so well thought out, well executed and drips quality. It'll take more than a few listens to truly take in this album, but it is well worth your time. Sit back, relax and let your new experience be cultivated.
July 21, 2014 via Pepsi