Mixtape Review-Live Fast, Die Young by Rain
Having reviewed previous Rain projects I’ve long been under the impression that three variations of the North Carolina MC exist: pimptastic blaxploitation Rain, goin’ in blackout style Rain, and perceptive contemplative Rain. On his new fascinating project Live Fast, Die Young these personas that have always been different enough to make a case for multiple personality seem to be merging.
If you are under the impression that the title is a nod to Yolo and dudes driving into telephone poles at a hundred twenty miles an hour while tweeting, Rain clears that up on the Live Fast, Die Young Intro “So when I say live fast, die young I don’t mean live reckless and die at a young age. I mean live fast, don’t procrastinate and leave with a young spirit when its time to hit the grave.” He breaks it down with all the insight I’m used too from perceptive contemplative Rain but in the strong smooth straightforward tone of pimptastic blaxploitation Rain. On the next song Lord Knows My Heart I’m anticipating more contemplative Rain and its there but he started talking about how he has an army of seventeen year old killers around him and he can just point…and you’re gone.
The production template of Rain and DJ Pain 1 splitting duties is tested here. While they both contribute(2 songs each) other producers like Tariq Beats, Moore Musick, Niuq Stana, and The Heatmakerz are brought in(with great results) but the best work is still Pain 1 and Rain. The Throne (Hova and Yeezus) is elegantly soulful and knocking (produced by Rain) at the same time. Rain is way too creased pants and starched sleeves to come out of his face against successful rappers so he quotes the Jay line “We don’t pray to god we pray to Gotti” and uses the position of the throne as a goal while he tears into the track.
Some rappers allow their relationship w/ women to act as a big angry crutch, Rain is the opposite. The jazzy banger Trunk Boomin (another perfect Pain 1 beat) allows him smoked out conversation that mixes the love of many attractive women and the lack of commitment to them with the terrible death resulting from violence. The song ends with him hoping that he’ll open the door to see a friend who will never be there. Fear of death is just as important as the fear of not getting enough done on Live Fast, Die Young but not on the surface. A lot of hip hop heads that go around bragging about the depth of their favorite MC’s content never acknowledge how hackneyed the surface level confession is. Rain’s music is pregnant with so many themes and with every listening the conversation dilates a little more. Yeah alright that metaphor was weird.
Either way if your in it for trunk stomping badassery this tape has it (press play on Half A Mill or the Cory Gunz assisted Guerilla Warfare). If you’ve heard Rain before and want more perpetual motion hip hop soul beats to get stomped out this tape is full of them and if you just want something cohesive; a full front to back listen you don’t have to skip tracks while listening too Live Fast, Die Young is the ticket. If this is your first Rain listen you need to finish it and go back(search this site) because you’ve been missing one of the finest unsigned talents in rap.
Stream or download Live Fast, Die Young below: