Fiend-Lil Ghetto Boy mixtape review
When Fiend made his full on comeback by releasing 5 mixtapes in 2011 under his International Jones (rap game James Bond) character we here at FME were all in. The engaging parts of the comeback broke down like this a) a new flow out of nowhere that sounded fantastic b) multiple top level mixtapes in a year c) each mixtape had an unrecognizable level of coherent slickness to it. Sometimes Fiend would be singing or rapping or both and you weren’t sure if this even counted as rap. It seemed connected to something totally different.
When his new mixtape Lil Ghetto Boy dropped, all the major music critics took to twitter with resounding approval even going so far as to say this is the project that will bring Fiend to the next level. All I heard on the first listen was questionable mixing and a less coherent lengthier project with a lot of gems. The Fiend I fell hard for in 2011 is absolutely here on tracks like Lil Sumptin(with Mouse On The Track) or Just Groovin(with Devin the Dude) and that persona is still polished as ever “Low mileage roadster headlights alone make you think you need a chauffer, 500 horses in that motor, vocalist version of Humphrey Bogart (Lil Ghetto Boy),” in this same song he refers to himself as professor of his sexual interests pressure points. The No Limit Fiend pushes International Jones off the track from time to time and yells WHOMP WHOMP, launching the determined rasp flow. Both flows are fantastic but the combination is jarring.
After repeated listens it’s become apparent that this is the mixtape for people who weren’t aware of Fiends versatility. With project after project of smooth sailing people forgot how hard Fiend can go, which makes songs like Perm N Uzi and No Apologies special. A lot of folks might have pegged the latter collaboration with Styles P as another occasion for Pinero to murder someone on their own track but it does NOT work out like that. Fiend goes hard and the two run at a feverish, spit your words out pace. Its one of the b The production is as diverse as his flow mixture sometimes easy like Sunday morning and just as soulful, at other points almost trap but can you really call it that? Wasn’t Fiend doing trap before they called it trap?
It turns out that this is a coherent mixtape. The two divergent musical faces of fiend are saying the same thing. On Lil Ghetto Boy Anthem he talks about poverty and violence in his hard WHOMP WHOMP flow “When I roll up these leaves I find myself reminiscing, it was baseball caps and bats now its silencers on gats…” while on The Coolest he’s International Jones but sharing how symbolic new shoes are to him. It’s still Jones talking about the ghetto and America the way he grew up knowing it. I was so spoiled living in the Tennis Shoes and Tuxedos world of International Jones that I wasn’t ready for him to pull the curtain back. By the end of Lil Ghetto Boy its all explained “…allow mind travel even when the present conditions are so bleak(Violent Violins).” The whole International Jones personality is escape and Lil Ghetto Boy still gives you that but its not afraid to wake you up from it to give full pictures of survival through poverty.
Lil Ghetto Boy showcases all of Fiend, every lane he has to choose from. In a way all of them lead back to the lessons learned from street life, if you go back and listen to his old No Limit verses they always have.
You can stream or download Lil Ghetto Boy below: