Mixtape Review-Capolavoro by Fiend
If someone asked me why I love Fiends music so much I would be forced to flip the question. How could you not? If you hate Southern rap because you can’t forage through the heavy drawl of artists like Big KRIT you don’t need to worry about that. Do you detest the over-constructed love of violence in rap? Fiend makes sunny catchy hip hop infused with serious heart. Look at the song Hope off of his new mixtape Capolavoro which starts “My homegirl just lost her Momma I don’t know what to tell her, funeral to pay and still get the rent together…” very few rappers can mix their champagne and first class flight reality with grounded personal stories and hood images like fence jumping and malt liquor as well as Fiend.
In most cases rappers are looking to provide you a before and after picture. The old me was stuck in the hood, the new me is a BAAALLLLEEERRR. Fiend seems to dice the entire thing and mix chunks of memory in random order; switching from trips to the Virgin Islands and naked female statues on Say Whatcha Say that hearken back to the secret agent International Jones of 2011 to rampage D-boy determination on Going Get It. He sums it up best on Good Look when he says “I write my tomorrow and yesterdays” Fiend never lets a listener feel any distance from either. The Fiend who grew up desperate for the money to have nice shoes is the same individual who begins the title track cruising the Atlantic with a beautiful woman at arms length.
Finding flaws in Capolavoro is tough. The production makes great use of cooing samples and tender instrumentation feeding into charging drum patterns. Of the eight tracks the only production team to appear twice is Drum Gang (Palm Trees and Show Sum Love). When you see a mixtape where every song is produced by someone different but the sound is this cohesive you have to tip your hat to the artist and his team. Fiend knows the proper mixture of each projects sonic recipe, from 2011 till now every listener has been able to count on that.
Sure the production is great and Fiend can still bring a Barry White turn-down-the-lights chorus whenever he wants to sing one but the features are fabulous. MC Melodee is great, Shaw Monsta and Trey Woods fit perfectly and we get the triumphant No Limit reunion of Mo. B Dick and Fiend (on Palm Trees)! It’s a song with rich horns, and a valuable chorus assist from Cydnie, that you’d want playing as you lay in the sun by a freshly cleaned pool. In the past that’s been the point; you could recline to the Sweetest Hangover but Capolavoro has much more to say about the struggle of people around him. The tears and tragedy that earn you that sweet spot near the palm trees. It’s right there in the chorus “…when you feel there’s no other way I hope this takes you to a better place,” Fiend knows you don’t live a life with the same exotic richness he does and he makes this kind of music to infuse the struggle and gorgeous success he feels into you. Even if it’s just for three minutes and fifty seven seconds; why would you want to miss out on that?
Stream or Download Capolavoro below: