“They say every movie needs to be scored,” Jim Jones explains on the intro to his latest mixtape, Vampire Life 2: F.E.A.S.T. The Last Supper. “Well, we always make it cinematic for you.” The introduction, “F.E.A.S.T. Prelude,” has a haunting choir that sets the tone for what he says will be a movielike experience. Comparing this tape to a movie, Jones falls short of a cinematic masterpiece but still manages to provide something enjoyable for his longtime fans.
Those fans will appreciate Jones’ boasting and entertaining adlibs, as Jones does little to switch up the Dipset formula for success. “Paper Chase” showcases Jones’ patented delivery and it also demonstrates his penchant for humorous interjections. For instance, after bragging that he’ll drown in dough, Jones adlibs that he needs a lifeguard. While fans will enjoy this, detractors will note that he rhymed “all kind of dough” with “counting dough” and “drown in dough,” a trait commonly found in his rhymes on this album. Unimaginative multis aside, lyrical expertise has rarely been a focal point of Jones’ work and it shouldn’t be looked for here.
Instead, robust instrumentals and melodic, memorable hooks have been integral to his success (i.e. “We Fly High”). Jones delivers some of that here, often hiring others to perform hooks, as heard on “Imma Get Mine,” which features Sen City. “Show Off” shows the same, as well as the Future assisted “Don’t Judge Me,” a standout on the tape. Still this doesn’t always hold true. “AirOnes,” for example, has an uninspired hook (“I been grindin’ hard in my Air Ones. How these niggas gangstas when they share guns?”) and this type of showing leaves much to be desired. Even fans may have a gripe with this tape in that they’ll be hard pressed to find a solo Jim Jones cut, as he too often relies on a supporting cast here.
If this album were in fact a film, it may not be the most critically acclaimed, but it’s sure to draw hope and applause from longtime Dipset supporters. While Jones bares much of what has made him successful in the past, it’s hard not to notice the flaws and lack of versatility in the 21 mixtape cuts. Perhaps Jones is right in his assertion about movies. It’s true that every movie needs to be scored, even ones that aren’t particularly moving.
DX Consensus: “Just a Mixtape”