The same month Mitchy Slick made a Hip Hop ode with his Strong Arm Steady brethren on In Search Of Stoney Jackson, the Southeast San Diego emcee brought his Wrongkind group out to remind you of his bandana republic, and deep street ties. With Yellow Tape, Mitchy carefully and provocatively offers a musical reflection of west coast gang life in 2010. Much like that of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube’s intro to “Natural Born Killaz,” the audience is warned from the album’s opening, and which side of the yellow tape you end up on can be easily determined.
“Takes A Real G” is a non-forced offering of the brutal realities and lyrical imagery of drugs, money, death and murder over a sinister yet bouncy happy track. The Dae One production pays respect to ’90s masters like Daz Dillinger and Battlecat, while the serious lyrics are delivered with a laid-back authoritative assurance.
“Keep Giggin’,” with its sing-song chorus and lyrical pontifications is a tale of a hustler with a lineage of pimps, hustlers and gangsters. The question is, what else was he gonna be? Gangsta 101 continues with “What Happened To The Turf,” the musical top layer is like an old time musical jewelry box, repetitive… going around and around it helps to spin the mellow smoothly told tale. Lyrically reminiscing about the past as he drives around and cruises the old hood, Slick remembers what used to happen and how things used to go down, but now everybody thinks they are a G. This is a completely solo vocal, over a Kye Kong beat. This shows Mitchy’s experience in Rap, and why he’s easily been a leader for San Diego Rap.
“Whatsbitkerdendat” is another representation of authenticity on Yellow Tape. According to the song, the real gangstas bemoan that even if you might’ve shot a couple of people, it still doesn’t mean that you are “real,” especially when you act shook in tight situations. Perhaps the best offering on the album is “He’ll Shoot,” which has a repetitive chorus that warns of blasting bullets. It’s a passionate cry while acknowledging at the same time being an influence on a lil’ homie that will recklessly shoot. Two of the more notable lyrics in this song are, “Fed him gunpowder as a puppy,” and “Was his sensei at making grown men lay in a fetal position for dissin’.” The track rocks with a hard in your face snare, tentative but rhythmic high hats, piano keys that peek in and out and sound alike G- Funk era synthesized string highs.
Yellow Tape is what it is and when it’s at its best it doesn’t disappoint. It occasionally misses its mark with songs like, “Free” and “I’m Outta Here.” “I’ll Ride For Him” had potential, but the hook winds up bringing the whole track down in quality. On the completely opposite side of that statement is “Let’s Go Girl.” With a R&B chorus and interchanged verses, scenarios are laid down for the listener. One of the track’s scenarios explores the hard life of a home girl raped as a child by her father, later in life she then makes the transition to being a “top ho.” Another scenario is about a stubborn, pretty girl out to acquire luxuries and monetary things by any means necessary. Simply put, the song ain’t nothin’ but real life in the cold world.
Mitchy Slick is not trying to sugarcoat anything or deliver any kind of butchery with a moral ending. His music has tunnel vision: it’s all about gang signs, representing your set. Although this work is far from The Chronic, it’s fully-aware of the west coast blueprint’s to build an empire (as Mitchy also incorporates more than just a couple of mentions of Suge Knight). The Wrongkind captures classic Gangsta Rap’s personality of misogyny, glorification of drugs, guns and the street life all lovingly hugged and encased with a dark sense of humor.