Starlito-Funerals & Court Dates Mixtape review
It’s become pretty commonplace to hear a rapper call out that they make movies. Projecting that big screen cinematic larger-than-life story can draw in a lot of fans. Starlito’s new mixtape Funerals and Court Dates feels more like a play, spotlight on him as the sad clown Pagliacci oscillating between horrifying threats “that mac 11 get hot after 5 shots so I put a coolant on the nozzle…why stop? You can tell im on the syrup when ihop (Fi’e that dope up),” Tasteless jokes “she give me brain now I know what’s on her mind(golden girls and grahams),” and wrenching personal admissions “so unfortunate probably never know what a fortune is…but the materialistic world we in…probably never know how poor we is.”Money Cacti.
Anyone who listened to the Step Brothers mixtape Lito did with Don Trip knows that he can punch-line drop on a very high level. Funerals and Court Dates represents perfecting the mixture of different elements of lyricism. On the title track he exercises the kind of storytelling that feels more genuine than flashy “best friend in a nightgown….hospital visits im trippin they got me biting down. Every night fighting im livin just like im dyin now. My voice of reason just quiet down.” By the end his main character is in outright confession mode “son if your hearing this it means i aint make it. Loved your mama to death and drove your grandmother crazy. Take nothing for granted I was greedy and lazy..used the bullsh#t excuse of im feedin my baby.” Robin Raynell works well with Starlito bringing in a somber, outside voice(not sure you’d call it a chorus). Cy Fyre produced that song and two others, one being the super fun hand clap based beat that brings Lito together with one of Houston’s biggest commodities, Killa Kyleon.
My favorite guest performance is probably B-Rad who stretches and drones a semi-mumble behind Lito on Strange Fruit Roll Ups. The song includes a moment where Lito stops amidst threats to weak rappers and says “damn…right now it just occurred to me that…love is nothing but a word to me.” When someone explores these elements it gives way to biblical level contradiction. As poignant as that moment is, earlier you can find moments where he bites viciously into nameless mc’s like hitting a hip hop industry sized speedbag. He’s all over the place. He threatens to never stop firing his mac 11 but later on the song Lost states with tears in his voice “I’m pretty sure gunfire killed more dreams than excuses.”
It’s a play about violence and the cycle it creates. When he raps over Chief Keef’s Love Sosa beat he knows that you recognize it and mutates the beginning “These bitches don’t love nobody and the hoes is for everybody. Bought a pistol for $40 it probably came with a dead body.” Of course this title is changed to Love Hate Lito. The most shocking part was on the song Lost when he admitted “shit come from the soul, get on these songs be ready to tear up wit you.” It was the acknowledgement of the audience, the author and stars understanding of the experience created. Somehow he’s able to take a very short 11 songs and make them into one of 2012s most important lyrical statements, somehow he takes Kendrick Lamar’s Money Trees and makes it more depressing…naming it Money Cacti. In pursuit of money and getting cut up along the way, feeling useless and powerful at the same time Lito talks about trying to change while staying the same. As long as Starlito is here to smile and cry for the street life don’t ever let anyone tell you that rap music glamorizes violence, some of it does, but Funerals and Court Dates sure doesn’t.
stream or download Funerals & Court Dates below