Sol Invictus

Artist: Bolo Nef
Album: Sol Invictus
Rating: 4.6/5.0
Download: http://underworlddustfunk.bandcamp.com/album/sol-invictus

Sol Invictus is a pharmaceutical vortex of beats and feelings. The meditative tones carefully cradle introverted, spiritual and resolutely desolate lyrics. These are the sounds playing as an ancient Samurai bladesmith crafts a flawless and honorable sword. Rhythmically folding and pounding the white hot Tamahagane, shrouded, inhaling and exhaling an undetermined murky haze. Or an astronaut wandering thoughtfully and aimlessly on a sandy dune in a vacant desert planet several galaxies away. An album made for the past, and the future, and no time in particular.

Listen: http://underworlddustfunk.bandcamp.com/track/mud

Slow Motion Jacuzzi

Artist: Lil Flip
Album: #Timeless
Song: Apollo Creed
Rating: 4.6/5.0
Download: http://www.datpiff.com/Lil-Flip-timeless-mixtape.509594.html

There are certain catalysts unbeknownst to us that ignite incredible gladness. Never anticipated and always welcomed. Only two days removed from vacation I could already sense the inevitable and unsettling return of the usual viscous moss blanketing my brain. Apollo Creed was the elixir needed to remind me of the weekend’s lucrative existence, the fumes fueling our empty tanks.

Apollo Creed is unique in the sense that the sample used should by all means be sad. The words and rhythm layered across however suggest the perfect anthem for an appetizer: slow motion yacht party followed by main course: equally slow motion Jacuzzi after-party. (Two of the most joyous events in all of human existence, regardless of point and place in time, one does not exist without the other) Cherish the feeling of your top lip sliding over the cold metal of your grill. Listen and let the melody be the backdrop to your daydream of uncaring, friends, and the drink.

Yeezus will not rise again

Artist: Kanye
Album: Yeezus
Rating: 1.5/5.0
Download: iTunes

GIVE ME BARABBAS over Yeezus.

Clumsy, disorienting, lumbering. Yeezus isn’t a trail of palm leafs announcing a triumphant return, but rather the path to Kanye’s complete and utter spiral into triviality. Some of the production on the album is tolerable and redeemable, the rapping on the other hand is an eruption of tediousness.

I just talked to Jesus, he said whaddup Yeezus” is an actual verse on the album…nuff said. In I Am God Kanye asserts “I am a god, hurry up with my damn massage” if this is the case he’s clearly a god that’s both deaf and judging by the banal rhyming  just proudly graduated from the 2nd grade. He cleverly rhymes God with God.

Kanye doesn’t really qualify as a human anymore. He’s morphed into something far more annoying. He’s that cloud of sulfur gas that someone crop dusts a train car with before leaving. That Trojan Virus you got while trying to leach the Teen Mom 2 porn. A Bar Louie. A pair of fivefinger vibrams. That piss soaked toilet paper that your forced to wipe with in the port-a-potty after a regrettable but unavoidable Lollapalooza dump.

I’m officially starting the rumor that Rob Kardashian ghost wrote this entire album. I’d like to thank Kanye for hissing a bunch of steaming hot zoo breath into my ear for the past 50 minutes. I would imagine I Am God is what Nick Cage was listening to during the bee scene of Wicker Man to achieve the below facial contortion and display of annoyance.

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90’s Thunderstorm

Artist: Pepperboy & Squadda B
Album: Rebel Musik
Rating: 4.7/5.0
Download/Listen: http://pepper-boy.com/album/rebel-musik

I felt as though I was standing…silently nodding and remorsefully staring,  during a fake thunderstorm in the 1995 Bone Thugs Crossroad video. Or any video from the 90’s which for some reason was, judging by the videos, an unseasonably rainy decade. This is one of my favorite past times. It was an admirable feeling, and welcomed. Letting the beautiful production of Keyboard Kid and nonchalant delivery of Peppaboy and Squadda B sweep me away.

The production on the mixtape is innovative and original, a marriage of beats and rhymes that were non existent even 5 years ago.  Blowing seamlessly and careleslly like a tumbleweed propelled by swisher smoke. Pepperboy and Squadda B sound right at home on them. It really is a rarity when you can play an album from start to finish with minimal skips, such as the densely vibrant song produced by Kira below. Do yourself a favor and gladly accept the free download.

Absolute Summer

Artist: Kool & Kass
Album: Peaceful Solutions
Rating: 5/5
Download: http://koolandkass.bandcamp.com/

The CTA has caused me immense white hot blinding rage over the past few days. At one point I was stuck on a shuttle bus grid-locked in a complete log jam and the CTA driver virtually held me hostage in that urine soaked, chicken bone encrusted hunk of teeming tin. The absolute only thing that prevented me from taking things into my own hands with a sock full of quarters was the Kool & Kass mixtape Peaceful Solutions.

Unremittingly smooth. Ruthlessly chill. An absolutely perfect mixtape for summer. It should be playing on every rooftop and every patio in Chicago. The perfect remedy to blast off the heinous stink of the Chicago winter. It beckons you to sit in the Chicago sun sipping large format saisons and not budging an inch for hours. Wordplay is outstanding and the variation in the duo combined with the plethora of producers makes for a very distinct yet oddly consistent sound.

Most diffusing and favorite song on the album Pleasance:

Mobbin No Sobbin

Artist: Western Tink & Beautiful Lou
Album: Mobbin’ No Sobbin’
Rating: 4.6/5.0
Release: April 2013
Free Download: http://mishkanyc.bandcamp.com/album/mobbin-no-sobbin

Mobbin’ No Sobbin’  is a gift. Mixtapes like these fall on the other end of the spectrum. Not questioning how someone could make a complete and utter nuisance like OJ Da Juiceman but rather how they could be giving such an incredible treasure away for free. The majority of songs find an admirable symmetry between wiry lyricism, militant drum machine beats and the subtle manipulation of samples and sounds that could probably be found in a Hans Zimmer score. It’s weird how weighty a song sounds when there isn’t a lot of variation in the sample. It becomes reflective and ruminative thriving off of the simplicity. Arouses a feeling of floating or swimming.

Another song on the album with a really unique beat gives you that feeling of being the last one up at the black jack table after a 48 hour binger in Sin City. Several novelty drinks deep and now on to the well whiskey cokes trying to dig yourself out of the perpetually growing debt. Sitting solo at the table with just you the dealer and a lipper going toe to toe until the sun pierces your evidence noirs and you attempt to stumble your way to the pool to sweat off the nights excess in the Vegas sun.

Charles in Charge

Title: Charles in Charge
Artist: Lyn Charles
Album: American Tragedy
Rating: 4.7/5.0
Download: http://www.datpiff.com/Lyn-Charles-American-Tragedy-mixtape.229070.html

Lace up your LA Gears, zip up your trapper keeper (with slotted gel pens) in that brand new Wolf Creek back pack, this song has that old school first day of class feel. Back when the first day of class was met with unbridled avidity. Where school was simply a venue to debut your dopest accouterment and assorted school supplies. Your biggest concern involved being the fastest kid in the class. Playing 500. Swapping Parental Advisory CDs. Getting a created player drafted in Madden 95 and beating Toejam and Earl. And debating who was better NWO or NWO Wolfpack. Incredible beat and though the lyrics are actually polar opposite you can’t help but smile when you hear this.

I’ve never seen the sitcom “Charles in Charge”, nor do I intend to. The Wikipedia page is underwhelming at best: “A 19-year-old student at the fictional Copeland College in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who worked as a live-in babysitter in exchange for room and board.”

Where are the zany schemes!? Where are the two identical twins split apart at birth only to be re-united in a nondescript department store years later!? Where is Kirk Cameron and more importantly the staple to any sitcom Alan Thicke? The introduction is lifeless. The only redeemable part is the surprisingly catchy theme song from which the sample was pulled.

I just wish more rap samples were pulled from these 90’s gems Chief Keef on a “Who’s The Boss” sample would go IN.

Nothing about the video below makes me want to have Charles in Charge:

Dream Pop

Artist: Deniro Farrar
Album: The Patriarch
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Release: March 2013
Download: http://denirofarrar.com/

I reviewed the BSBD and Deniro Farrar collaboration mixtape last week; coincidentally Farrar released “The Patriarch” this week.

The album gets three stars alone for the album art, a thoroughly disgruntled gold plated Darth Vader dressed in Pope Garments. His annoyance probably stems from reigning exclusively over the Catholic Church as opposed wreaking havoc on an entire universe. Also the fact that he is relegated to the pope mobile rather than his preferred kitted out  TIE-fighter (with the frog eyes).

Deniro_Farrar

The 13 different producers create a jagged and fleeting feel to the album, the variability in both beats and rhymes eliminates any opportunity for staleness to set in. There are some beats that Vader himself probably trained the varying Sith Lords to (though likely General Grievous preferred to train in silence), while others sound like the bedroom dream pop movement that has been steadily gaining popularity. Even those songs have a certain murkiness to them however, they are shrouded, highly introverted and reflective.  Again Farrar’s ability to meld remorse, with anger, with longing shines through and dissolves into the beats perfectly.

I would imagine something like this is the only thing that plays when Goku is training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, or perhaps the final bit of inspiration he needed before he ascended further than any Saiyan. I will take this over any heavy metal to work out to any day of the week. It is focused and poignant.  Word to the weary, with diversity of producers on this album it is not the easiest to digest, but if you appreciate great production and a unique rapping talent you should absolutely cop this.