Being a rapper from Dallas, Texas must be tough stuff. Tremendously overshadowed by Houston, it has a pretty monochromatic spectrum of famous Rapping sons. While there are few good rappers in its local scene, you really only have two rappers of mainstream renowned: The D.O.C & Vanilla Ice. Even MC 900 FT Jesus is really only know in the Alt-Rap outlays of Hip Hop cognoscenti. Trying to break out, then, must be quite a difficult task indeed. And yet, Tum Tum, silly name be damned, has held it down pretty well. Formerly only known for a feature on a Mike Jones track, Tum Tum’s exclamatory flow, sometimes clever wordplay, and surprising knack for thug romance material on last year’s Purp Kobain, made for a surprisingly excellent release. Tum Tum still looks to be expanding his name beyond his city, but on his newest “FreEp” Dallas EP he finds himself in a bit of a slump, and will most likely not expand his fan base.
As far as production goes, Dallas EP is a collection of middle of the road, southern-style trunk bumpers. While solid, it generally lacks the interesting and diverse sonic palate of Purp Kobain. Anyone familiar with that tape will most likely start to grumble as soon as “NFL”, a Lex Lugar influenced yawner begins. Over beats like this, Tumzilla doesn’t sound as energized as he did on the hazy, smoked out production of Purp, Instead he spits thick tongued flows reminiscent of Rick Ross’ nursery rhyme swing at its most boring. This trend of boring, middling beats and rhymes continue on the Dallas EP until it begins to take off on its B-Side. “Me and My Bitch” is a contender for summer jam of the year, as Tum Tum shows off his tough guy romancing skills over a wonderfully laid back soul beat, and a very effective female singer hook. Conversely, “The Ewings” has enough energy and dynamic in its hook and its guitar sampling loops to compel, even if the rapping isn’t always on point.
If The Dallas EP was supposed to be Tum Tum’s stepping out project, than it’s not as effective as Purp Kobain was. At 12 tracks, one being an intro and another “Award Winning” being a standout track on Purp Kobain, this tape is pretty lean. If Tum’s The Dallas EP works at all, it really only works as a reminder to mixtape followers that he still exists. If you are interested in Tum Tum, you’d be doing yourself a service by checking out last year’s barnburner instead of this year’s blunder.