VadoSlime Flu 4 (Mixtape Review)  DX Consensus: “Just A Mixtape”

While other New York artists were scrambling to record responses to Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Big Sean’s “Control,” Vado asked if he should. As of today, he hasn’t, but in that same time frame, he dropped a mixtape. The former UN affiliate, and continuous MH representative has continued to be a voice for a newer New York scene, but he’s been somewhat silent since linking up with We The Best Music Group. While Slime Flu 4 does a good job of representing for New York with several Big Apple rappers featured and remakes of New York classics, for Vado, it appears to be a step back from previous tapes in the Slime Flu series.

Vado’s latest opens with “White Collar,” which features the same sample from “The Education Of Sonny Carson” featured on Ghostface Killah’s “260.” Vado comes off with the same slick wordplay he’s known for, rapping, “Top of the ranks / In the town, hit armored Brinks / Ben Afflexed on niggas, more than Shabba Ranks / Main bandit / Named Gambit / Pull cards fast, like professor, they can’t stand it…” The N.O.R.E.-assisted “Slime Pt.2” is a remake of Capone-N-Noreaga’s “Blood Money pt.3.” Recognizing the importance of sequencing, Vado follows that remake with “Fast Lane” featuring Raekwon, paying homage to the Kool G Rap and Nas Classic “Fast Life.” When Vado isn’t remaking New York classics, he’s teaming up with New York’s finest. “R.N.S” finds him collaborating with Jadakiss and Troy Ave. Maino and Lloyd Banks appear on “The Town,” and UM (formerly known as Uncle Murda) appears on “Boy.” Part of the problem with Slime Flu 4 is the abundance of collaborations. Of the 15 songs, Vado only appears solo on five. While in the DJ Khaled We the Best Music Group way of thinking, this may appear to be a decent number of solo tracks, it limits listener’s ability to truly see where Vado is.

If the production on Slime Flu 4 feels like you’ve heard it before, it’s because in some cases, to a certain extent, you have. When listeners aren’t getting obvious remakes of classics (The aforementioned “Slime Pt.2”and “Fast Lane”), they’re still faced with very popular samples (“In the Air” with the clear Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight” sample). Otherwise, the production on Slime Flu 4 is often undistinguishable, giving the tape a very bland feel. This is compounded by the fact that the subject matter rarely strays from drug talk and New York streets.

Overall, this is probably the least open Vado has been in the Slime Flu series, and arguably the most features he’s had as well. Instead of being the showcase of an artist to a new audience some might expect with this being Vado’s first project since the signing of his deal, Slime Flu 4 comes off as a sheltered preview, with him hiding behind features and remakes. If anyone is unfamiliar with Vado, they are better off checking previously released Slime Flu tapes and hoping this isn’t a representation for of how the Harlemite will be presented going forward on We The Best Music Group.