Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top 10 Tracks From Funk Flex's New Mixtape (Mixape Review)

Funk Flex's new mixtape, Who You Mad At? Me or Yourself?, is like a compilation of every rapper, producer and singer he could contact and it drags on with over 50 tracks and a running time of over 3 hours! Flex exclusively released it on his app to promote it and in true Flex fashion, made it harder to enjoy in the process. When the download was finally available, the mixing quality was sloppy, Flex's bombs and growls were annoying and the amount of throwaway tracks make it overkill. I personally only enjoyed about 15 of the tracks, almost all were exclusively on the first playlist. 

The tape tries to appeal to all hip hop fans,  but further alienates it from being a good listening experience. For example, the twerk song "Shake It", is sloppily thrown in between an average J. Cole offering (Maine on Fire) and a standout Childish Gambino track. There's no organization and by the time Mac Miller is rapping about salamanders and masturbating the mixtape is running on fumes. The second playlist is the worst with Flex just throwing southern rappers and singers on it. French Montana appears way more than necessary and the lyrics get repetitive. The most impressive feat of the mixtape is the production, and how East Coast artists come out on top.

Mixtape rating: 3/5

However, the tape does have some bright moments between the trash and here are the top 10 songs from both playlists to save you some time. 

1. The LOX - Who You Mad At? (prod. by Jahlil Beats)

With a blaring beat recently used on XXL's freshmen freestyle, The LOX's title track sets the bar for what's to come. Jadakiss is the show-stealer but Styles P opens the track with ferocity, "death comes in threes, you know that it's three of us" and also raps the chorus with Kiss. Sheek Louch isn't impressive but than again when has he been? Overall the track serves it's purpose and brings the energy with murderous bars. 

2. Fabolous - Money Talks (prod. by Araab Muzik)

After working together on The Soul Tape 2, Fab and Araab Muzik team up once again for "Money Talks" which is another display of Araab's sampling skills which keep getting better. Fabolous flows smoothly with his punchlines but it's good to see how much Araab Muzik has progressed as a producer from his mixatape For Professional Use Only. He was recently shot in an attempted robbery but he is in the hospital recovering and will be back killing the boards soon. 

3. Action Bronson - Live From Kissena Boulevard  

(prod. by Statik Selektah) 

I posted this song when it was first released and Bronson's homage to his hometown of Queens is still a great anthem. Statik Selektah produced the jazzy instrumental sampling Jay-Z and Queens native/Bronson's favorite rapper, Kool G Rap. Bronson continues to write hilarious lines like "I want to meet the bitch that invented head", don't we all. 

4. Slaughterhouse (prod. by DJ RellyRell) - House Gang

Slaughterhouse has been bipolar with music lately. Their last album was a disappointment but every once in a while someone passes them a good beat and lets them show off their lyrical abilities and that's exactly what "House Gang" does. With a glorious beat and a catchy chorus, the four MC's slaughter the track in true form. 

5. Childish Gambino (prod. by Chemist) - Think of Me

I've been a fan of Gambino since he started rapping years ago and while Flex's intro is distracting and unnecessary, Gambino still kills his spot on the tape. This is the first track he's put out in a while, other than features, and it's a perfect example of his humor, authenticity and social commentary. Gambino's blend of comedy and social issues can take a while to get used to, but it's refreshing to see an artist not recycling the same topics. The song could have been on his last mixtape Royalty and if you haven't heard it yet I suggest downloading Culdesac and and EP which are among his best. 

6. Uncle Murda - Do Sumthin' (prod. by DJ Mustard)

With a basic piano progression Uncle Murda brings back that 90s New York sound which he does better than most "street" rappers today, especially since Prodigy hasn't done anything good lately. He's not the most lyrical but the song stands out on the mixtape which sounds repetitive after a while. 

7. Jadakiss & Styles P (prod. by G.U.N. Productions) - In and Out

The LOX stole the show on the mixtape with two slots on my top 10. Jadakiss is the most talented of the group but Styles P is a good second and this song shows why. Much like Fat Joe and Big Pun's "Twinz (Deep Cover 98)"the two rap back and fourth like alley-oops where the other finishes the rhyme scheme. The beat is dirty with a Nas sample which makes this entertaining and proved to the new artists that Kiss and SP still got it.  

8. Joell Ortiz - (prod. by Statik Selektah) Roll Deep

Joell Ortiz's last album was average and really didn't show off his lyrical abilities like his radio freestyles did. The highlight of his album was "Battle Cry" produced by Just Blaze and he killed it. So I think the key to bringing out the best in Ortiz is a producer who shows Ortiz their best work. Statik Selektah sampled the perfect latin sounds to make "Roll Deep" a Puerto Rican anthem which hasn't been done since Big Pun. The chorus also samples of M.O.P. and Big Pun. Check out the video here

9. Reek Da Villain & Vado (prod. by Khrysis) - I Came

I haven't heard a lot of Reek Da Villain's work other than features but he absolutely caught a body on this hard track produced by Khrysis. I'm a fan of Vado too but Reek was out for blood and came with it.

10. Pete Powerz (prod. by Harry Fraud) - X Marks the Spot

Pretty much the only highlight on the mixtape's second playlist is "X Marks the Spot", which features an all New York-native cast. The only problem I had was when black Budha/Fred Da Godson called himself the one of the best lyricists since Big Pun. Sit down son, that's not a title you just give yourself. The beat is another gem from Harry Fraud and it features many artists I don't really listen to, other than Fat Joe,but they do the beat justice while representing the birth place of hip-hop. 

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