Regions erect icons so large that they leer and oppress the younger generation. Every new rap artist in Atlanta is held against Andre 3000, while New York rappers do their best to imitate Jay-z right down to his ad-libs. This is the reason that The Game lost his mind and killed more fictional people on his LAX then Rambo. He wants to be Cube, Mack 10, and Ice-T – or at least stand next to them.
Pac Div doesn’t care about all of that, a trait that might be the most vital in crafting good music. Make the music that you like without any pretense. Pretentious reviewers will marvel at your originality because of this. Pac Div are just three guys who have known each other since High School cranking out fun music. The problem is that sometimes it’s stupid. Their single, “Mayor” from the Church League Champions mixtape gets a lot of MTV Jams play, and rightfully deserves to be mixed in the endless loop of Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka videos. Pac Div make music that is funny to them, but sometimes it’s funny only for them.
Mania does not fall into this category. They make earwig music for you to repeat over and over again while pumping your fist until your loved ones hate you. Creative sampling is part of the equation, and unfathomably catchy choruses are mandatory, but Don Cannon needs to be credited here as well. In the last year or so, he has touched some pretty fantastic projects (most notably Flordian punchline rapper Laws.) The Cannon approved sound is marked by trunk rattling bass, and tracks like “Anti-Freeze”, “SuperNegroes” and “Your Fucking Song” are evidence of this but it’s not a complete description. You can see the makings of “Pharcydian” lyrical teamwork and sound/lyrical diversity in these songs like “Fallin’” for instance. Weed songs like “Take Me High” flow into the deeper, reflective stuff like “Nobody’s Perfect” and create a thumping smoked out party atmosphere that is fun and rough enough around the edges to smell like LA smog. This is more for your car than for the club.
If you think new Lupe Fiasco albums change the world, this mixtape will most likely offend you. If you think Common is the best rapper to ever live, Mania may not be worth the download. I don’t have to defend lines like “pussy as good as peach cobbler” from the “Chief Rocka Freestyle”. I just laugh: it’s a joke and it’s funny. “So we in church/ and it’s the part of the service/ where the old lady speakin’ I’m already thinkin’/ about what’s poppin’ next weekend.” This line from “Saved” explains Pac Div fairly well; these are young, talented, impulsive kids who have a hard time sitting through the spiritual without diluting it through humor. They don’t pray to icons or wait for co-signs.
Every song on Mania rattles and thumps with the precision of great mixing, sharp drum kicks, and deep overwhelming production we normally associate with less lyrical emcees who need the assistance. These three can surf the beat perfectly and cleverly while making everyone wish they had made the beat. It’s so good that the repeated Cannon DJ drops can be excused.
Download this and bang your head and laugh. If you are the type who can let hip hop be fun.
you can download Mania here