By Legend & William E. Ketchum, III
Inside A Change: Music Inspired By The Motion Picture (The Kickdrums) – [click to download]
With the success of directing music videos for everyone from Nas, The Roots, Jadakiss, Consequence and more, Rik Cordero‘s [click to read] first national movie has finally arrived. Inside A Change [click to read] takes place in the streets of New York where Chris Price struggles with the hard knock life and has to endure a 6 month bid. While the vibe of the mixtape (co-executive produced by The Kickdrums [click to read]), isn’t as street-oriented as his Queens residence, it showcases more emotion than ruggedness. Even the more street oriented artists portray a more positive message in their tracks. Saigon‘s “Change Gon Come” and Royce Da 5’9″ on “The Best Thing Yet” and Joell Ortiz/The Kickdrums “How To Change” are a good example of that. One thing that makes Inside A Change stand out is its wide range of musical variety. For every Hip Hop track, you also have R&B sprinkled in throughout the project as well as showcases new artists like James Watts, Jesse Boykins III, Novel and Wale. The music inspired by Inside A Change really displays a lot of character throughout and its positivity really shines, which should be a reflection of Rik Cordero and The Kickdrums as people, and their passion for what they do. Word to Consequence‘s “Closer.”
Gucci Mane – The Movie 2: The Sequel (DJ Drama) [click to listen]
With an over influx of Gucci Mane [click to read] material lately, a DJ Drama [click to read] sponsored mixtape couldn’t have come at a better time. If you remember, his mixtape Writing’s On The Wall [click to download] with DJ Holiday (his first mixtape since being released from jail) was a long awaited one for the streets. ATL’s Gucci Le’flaur is back at it with “Mr. Thanksgiving” with The Movie part 2 for some more of that Trap music that make them dope boys go crazy. With songs like the freak-a-leek induced “Beat It Up” with Trey Songz, Gucci Mane sounds like he’s at the top of his game (not to mention that song is followed by the Shawnna and Nicki Minaj-featured joint). Even Snoop Dogg joins the show on the “Awesome,” where So Icey meets Cali’s finest, grade-a medicinal. At the end of the day, Drama could have done a better job in orchestrating a more cohesive project and people should know what to expect with Gucci Mane — some of the most ignorant music out now, but you can’t deny his force in the South and/or the way the ignorance sounds good when the speakers ring out “party party party, let’s all get wasted.“
50 Cent – Forever King – [click to listen]
If it’s one thing 50 Cent [click to read] is known for doing is strategically garnering attention to projects he does. Titling the mixtape Forever King around the same time the King of Pop was pronounced dead, was as boastful as they come. He vouches the title changed because the mood of the mixtape took a turn for the second edition and it didn’t follow the same pattern the first one brought. “Respect It Or Check It” would have to be the track to set the mood of the tape. Weaving in and out of R&B and gritty street songs, 50 Cent finds comfort in other peoples songs. Most of the mixtape sounds reminiscent of his claim to fame when he first started the mixtape scene, back in the God’s Plan and 50 Cent Is The Future days. Even the Michael Jackson-inspired freestyle sounded something nice. But maybe it’s just the nostalgia we get when we hear classic tracks we grew up with again, considering in today’s internet age everything is short and forgetful. Regardless, Curtis knows the formula and as long as it works, he will continue to follow it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Max B – Public Domain 6 (Big Mike & Dame Grease) [click to download]
It’s been two months since Max B [click to read] was found guilty for his involvement in a robbery in New Jersey. Ever since then, the wave has quietly slowed down. On the music side of things, Max was sure to record as much as he could to keep the name alive while the bid held him down. Joining him once again is Big Mike, for Public Domain 6 alongside Dame Grease. PD6 just follows the same lane the first five volumes brought. Everything from the drugged induced “Cake (Remix)” with French Montana and Mac Mustard to the shorty-dedicated bitch slaps like “Cheaper To Keep Her” and “Porno Muzik” which are the type of songs that made Max B. The most personal track on the tape though, would have to go to his “Letter To Stack Bundles” dedicated to the late great Byrdgang member. Ironically, letters may be the only thing Max will be writing until further confirmation of a prison sentence.
XV – Everybody’s Nobody (DJ Enuff & DJ Benzi) [click to download]
Being cosigned by DJ Enuff coming out of Kansas has to be feat of its own. It’s not everyday you hear that kind of story. Everybody’s Nobody starts with a more mellow mood with the title track and “Awesome” before it switches up with more of the uptempo “A.D.D.” but where XV shines the most is on more personal tracks like “Come Back Down” and the Boi 1nda-helmed “Now Look” where he gets more personal with the pen. Even with most of the production being handled by Seven, the tape captures different styles of music all in one, which might go to show the different influences the Kansas native had growing up. Everybody’s Nobody definitely fits in today’s age of music and with features like Ne-Yo, Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa [click to read], it will stand out a little more than your usual tastes. Down the “Rabbit Hole” we go.
Pac Div – Church League Champions