Mixtape Review-Drive By from Cartie
Its not just concise, tough and gigantic sounding; Drive By is also the soundtrack to losing your cool and maybe your mind. Every mixtape Don Cannon is involved with ends up turned all the way up into an event and this project is no different. Cartie marches through ten tracks with no features. I’m not just talking about the absence of fellow rappers, no sultry R&B songstresses to sing the hook.
Severe provides track transforming bass on Chitty Bang while Cartie talks Chuck Taylor’s, Dodger caps and lost homies. West Coast artists never have to worry about their references getting too specific or music feeling too regional. Because of the Death Row days and the 90’s West Coast revolution the average rap listener has a pre-existing connection to this music. So in a way Cartie would have it harder if he was a gangsta rapper from Ohio. A song called Menace II Society by an artist from South Central already has our attention (another great spooky Severe beat).
Mike Will Made It provides one of his most interesting beats to date on LAPD as Cartie navigates both intimidating and blissfully catchy like a California version of Troy Ave. As impressive as Mike Will Made It flipping a great non-trap hardcore beat is M16 as well as Roc and Mayne do equally impressive work on the boards. M16 turns gunshots into a savage piano 2 step on Filet Mignon that pushes Cartie’s venom to its peak. Roc and Mayne create the Green Guys beat behind a hypnotic rattle that makes the background chanting seem so necessary. Even D-Block mixtape production legend Vinny Idol shows up to produce Yellow Lines.
Cartie’s sneer is more than simple intimidation. He has a sense of fearlessness that fills the listening experience. The song LAPD is not about how abusive they are but the fact that anyone on the wrong side of his path is going to need their help. He takes the time to salute his home on I Love LA where he dreams of having bread as thick as In and Out Burger’s and shouts out Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles (such a great place). Amidst the celebratory atmosphere imported from the Makaveli song To Live and Die in LA he lays down what could be the subtitle for the mixtape: “The way I’m living ain’t fair but I don’t really care cause I can smell the money in the air.”
Drive By has the benefit of must hear production and an airtight identity. This isn’t a mixtape about the insecurity of being post-modern; it’s a full throttle win or go home experience. By the last flickering synth second of Yellow Lines I couldn’t wait to listen again. The first and second listen of this should be easy and familiar for any knowledgeable fan of rap music. After that you start hearing the anger in his voice, the grin of his threats feels like its covering a grimace and you get a whole additional dimension.
Stream or download Drive By below: