Elle Varner-Conversational Lush
You might remember seeing her in the brightly colored video to her hit single, “Only Wanna Give It to You” (ft. J Cole). From that you can tell the girl has pipes; her mixtape only expounds on that. Conversational Lush is a jazzy and smooth yet intriguing and entertaining mix of songs about a variety of topics, mainly the ups and downs of love and life. Refill and Feel Like A Woman talk about more about infatuation, while Runaway and I Just Can’t explore feelings of rejection and other hardships. The song that really made Elle dope in my books is the first song (after intro Hello), entitled WTF. This story-telling song describes a really, really crappy day in the life of Varner, with the hook simply repeating, “What..the..fuck.what..the fuck..damn..damn..” To be such an interesting and shocking song, her delivery is smooth and it definitely made me anticipate the rest of the track/mixtape as well as respect her for being able to tell a story so well in such a smooth way. This mixtape is definitely a must-listen; and coming a rap-head like me, that says a lot. Check it out and enjoy!!! 🙂
DOWNLOAD HERE: http://bit.ly/HunRAB
Here’s the video for the smooth, southful ballad Refill 🙂
As we all know by now Wiz Khalifa released his long awaited and highly anticipated “Taylor Allderdice” mixtape last week. Following Wiz’s open letter to fans apologizing for the style and quality of his Gold certified “Rolling Papers” album, Taylor Allderdice is his highly hyped return to the mixtape music that gained him millions of world wide fans or “Taylors” as he would call them. Does it deliver? How does it compare to Kush & Orange Juice, How Fly, or even Flight School? (All classics in their own right) Or does it even stand up against the other major mixtape releases this year? (Rich Forever, LiveLoveA$ap, etc.)
Well lets start with the numbers. In addition to trending worldwide on Twitter for 3 days the release of Taylor Allderdice actually CRASHED the Datpiff site as they experienced more hits in one night then they ever have in history. It was reported that they were experiencing 20,000 refreshes per second, yes per SECOND, as fans continued to refresh the Datpiff website untill they could finally download the mixtape. Downloads on Datpiff stand at over 725,000 with almost equal numbers on livemixtapes.com, not to mention the countless other free music destinations on the web. If mixtapes had certification it’s safe to say that Taylor Allderdice has gone a few times platinum.
But what about the music? The production from Sledgren and Cardo aims to create a smooth feel that is grand in presence. This is a Wiz mixtape, so the beats are made to be zone out smoking music and that has been executed fairly well. Wiz cleverly rhymes about his come-up in to superstardom and how he sees so many rappers imitating his style and subject matter. However, the constant rhymes about weed and money do grow tiresome. He rhymes about weed and money WELL but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There are several Juicy J and Chevy Woods features and even a 12 bar verse from Lola Monroe. She seems to be a work in progress but Wiz blatantly looks to uses this mixtape to propel the artists on his Taylor Gang label in the spirit of Lil Wayne on the Dedication 3.
Stand out cuts like “Nameless”, “O.N.I.F.C.” and “Never Been Part II” featuring Rick Ross and Wiz’s fiance Amber Rose are reminiscent of Kush & Orange Juice and remind us of the smooth feel good tales that made us fall in love with Wiz to begin with. “Mary 3X” is the ode to marijuana song that we all expected but it doesnt fail to deliver endearing quoteables. On that track Wiz rhymes “I remember putting weed in my videos, niggaz thought I was insane// now every time I turn on a video, I see the exact same thing”.
On “Favorite Song” he exclaims “play something I could spend some money too!!” over a club and smoker friendly Rob Holladay beat. I also even enjoyed the piano laced and Frank Ocean sampled “The Cruise”. But there’s something slightly disturbing; EVERY song is followed by an interview clip of Wiz talking ab0ut his money, Juicy J or haters. Now these clips do offer some helpful insight to the artist but once you’ve heard them all, they begin to become extremely annoying. I’ve even begun to gain the habit of pressing skip when each song gets to its final 20 seconds. I’d dear to say that these clips have grown so annoying that it takes away from the experience of what matters…. the MUSIC.
Now Taylor Allderdice is GOOD but it’s not Kush & Orange Juice. It’s NOT classic. It deserves to be in rotation with the other major mixtape releases this year but the bar has been raised. His fans will be satisfied; but if Wiz Khalifa wants to step in to the next tier of rappers, I’ll be looking for the next mixtape and album to be more timeless. With Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. and Rick Ross putting out quality tapes and a myriad of new artists emerging Mr. Khalifa must get just a little higher…
March Mixtape of the Month
photo courtesy of livemixtapes.com
Although it was just dropped on the 5th and the month of March is nowhere near over, 4Eva N A Day, the 4th mixtape from Mississippi MC Big K.R.I.T. is well deserving of the title of Mixtape of the Month.
K.R.I.T. caught the attention of many last year with his critically-acclaimed mixtape Return of 4Eva, with songs like “Rotation“, “Time Machine“, and “Country Shit” (feat. Ludacris and Bun B). This mixtape showed K.R.I.T.’s talent as a producer as well as an artist, blending smooth beats and a smooth flow with hard-hitting lyricism that made many listeners think. On tracks like “Another Naive Individual Glorifying Greed and Encouraging Racism“, he boasted “I don’t wanna be another nigger!”; showing a social consciousness that many of today’s rappers, scarred by the thought of having to conform to the expectations of some record labels, are scared to display. 4Eva N A Day continued this tradition.
While still maintaining his Southern Influence, this mixtape (still produced, arranged AND mixed by K.R.I.T., by the way) is more infused with jazz, offering an even smoother and unique experience for the listeners. The tape is a day in the life of K.R.I.T., with the first song being “8:04 AM“, followed by “Wake Up“, and the last two tracks being “5:04 AM“(of the next day) followed by “The Alarm.” Each song takes a different look at aspects of day to day life with “Temptation”(which includes a Big Tuck “Not a Stain on Me” sample) being more of a fun track dedicated to pursuing women and enjoying life, while songs like “Red Eye” and “Yesterday” express regrets and contemplation about past and present relationships.
The video for “Boobie Miles“, a very motivating an encouraging song, was directed by Va$htie and dropped earlier this week as well as debuting on BET’s 106 and Park yesterday.
Check out 4Eva N A Day for yourself. You won’t regret it!
The Boobie Miles video can be found here!