Mixtape Review-CMG presents Chapter One by Young Gotti & CMG
One of the sticky notes slapped on the surface of Southern Hip Hop is the stars that shine brightest rocket upward only to fall into obscurity once the prevailing tide changes or the hit gets old. It’s impossible to make this argument work for Yo Gotti who refuses to be charted on any kind of line graph with dips or hilly progressions. Gotti is a rock solid commodity who does what he does and nothing else.
CMG: Chapter One is a showcase for what makes the crew unique. If you are looking to ride the wave of hits you can enjoy the Yayo remix with French Montana, Jadakiss, YG, and Fabolous which is just as big and awesome as it sounds. K Camp uses his command of the chorus to make Made Me feel even bigger and sillier and more satisfying than feels realistic (although it is produced by Big Fruit and he is Mariano in the 9th clutch).
The players here make a convincing case for deeper consideration. Zed Zilla seems to invent all sorts of sneaky turns of phrase while staying true to the ravenous flow that serves him so well. While Gotti will slow down and stamp down on a word or phrase so you feel the pain or pride in it Zilla just moves. I’m not convinced he’s worried about whether or not you catch his words.
Compilations like this always have pieces that don’t fit. While No Kissing certainly suits that description and runs a blatant repetitious juvenile counter to the thoughtful pain filled trap determination of the project; it’s the only real misstep. CMG: Chapter One is a showcase of engaging hip hop personalities. Wave Chapelle can bubble and pop on a low key track (Like Me) while making Sailor Moon references or sail into the stratosphere on the fake afro and big glasses pimpishly alluring Wavy Baby. Snootie Wild carves out his own great moments like the nutty Future meets Swedish Chef voice on Stackin & Flippin It.
The connective tissue, the spine, the beating heart of this compilation is the earnest mumble rapping of its star Yo Gotti. His stunting always seems to connect to the dead, imprisoned, sick or impoverished. On the opener Talk 2 Em he showcases the snarling paranoid underappreciated rap star, that’s part of who he is, but the other part is a lot like my grandmother. That’s the Yo Gotti on Been Thru It All: world weary, disgusted with poverty and its repercussions, grateful for the love of others, and sad to see so many go. If you want to call him a Trap Star he’s a thousand year old Godfather III Michael Corleone rapping things like “I been through it all Grandma died mama crying had to hold my hurt inside. Ma I had to be there for you! I been through it all. Got signed unsigned got signed waste of time what the F#$% they gon’ do (Been Thru It All)?” This is not just a group of people bound by a stable and engaging leader it’s a stable of MC’s with real chemistry together. They don’t feel like draft picks, more like a real crew with a lot to say and the skills to keep it interesting.
Stream or download CMG: Chapter One below: