Thursday, January 22, 2009

You Know Rap Sucks When...

You download a new mixtape that's supposed to be good and the only song you really like on it is 11 years old. You see, I was listening to the new Mack Maine tape in hopes that maybe if I dug around enough I'd find out that some good music has come out this month. It's called This Is Not a Mixtape, and reasonably enough so, a lot of what's there is album-quality rap, whatever that means. Mack Maine's a talented rapper, he's sort of like a way better version of all those punchline-happy dudes in New York who've been pushing back their first album release dates for the past five years. When he's on a track with Wayne, four of them on this tape, he easily outshines WFB. (See here for example.) Which may not be saying much these days, Weezyologists (of which I'm not one) generally seem to agree that Wayne right now is at the nadir of his post-500 Degreez career, but maybe it's also just that after Wayne's verses it's a relief to hear someone who isn't rapping into a tube and takes a pretty straight-line approach to his craft. But as proficient as Mack Maine's raps are, I don't really have any desire to listen to this tape again. Nothing that he's doing here hasn't been done before, and it's all a little boring. All except for this one endlessly replayable track... that came out in 1998 and doesn't even feature Mack Maine. You see, in tribute to Soulja Slim, Don Cannon, who hosted this tape, thought it would be nice to just randomly throw a Soulja Slim No Limit album track on the tape. Now the song features Mystikal and one Tre-Nitty, but when you download the mixtape it just says "Ride With Me (f. Soulja Slim and Mystikal)," and lists the main artist as Mack Maine. So naturally when I heard the song I thought the second verse was Mack Maine's, and I was quite impressed by how skillfully he matched his flow to the melodic bounce-influenced steez that was popular in N.O. at the time. Easily the best thing he did on the tape, I thought, managing to get on an old track with Soulja Slim and Mystikal and not sound totally outclassed. But then I looked up the original... and it was the same song. Here I was, so impressed by Mack Maine's imitation of Soulja Slim, and it was some dude named Tre-Nitty. Oh well. At least Mack exposed me to a classic. In other news, maybe I'm biased by the strippers in this thing, but this seems to me like a surprisingly successful marriage of a classic West Coast sound and the Mobb Deep weedcarrier aesthetic. 40 Glocc, 'Finer Thangz,' yall.

Soulja Slim f. Mystikal and Tre-Nitty (and Don Cannon talking a little), 'Get High With Me.'




3 comments:

Trey Stone said...

not sure where said Weezyologists are coming from when C3 Wayne is significantly more technically skilled and creative than C2, let alone the first one.

then again i haven't heard those obscure pre-Carter mixtapes where he supposedly started getting good, so i guess i'm not a true fan

tray said...

No no, post-Carter 3 Wayne. Like this, uh, what's it called... Dedication 3. Yeah, that garbage. Yeah, I agree, C3 > C2, if only because C2 really tails off in the second half.

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