by Dan-O

Usually someone dominates the mixtape scene; this goes all the way back to 50 Cent clearing the landscape and being the name on everyone’s lips. 2014 wasn’t the year for that. Most artists figured out that a tipping point exists where beyond a certain amount of content you sacrifice the quality of what you put out. If you strike once and strike well its better than dropping three mixtapes of original content where one is great and the others are ok. A bad project makes the blogosphere forget the good one.

I would never have guessed it but Shy Glizzy managed to do both. He released two top ten quality mixtapes within the calendar year loaded with content and it’s all great. The most innovative part of 2014 Glizzy is how staunchly he refused to reinvent the wheel. You’ll find the production list full of names you know: Cardo, Young Chop, and Zaytoven. The trap/drill sensibilities are absolutely the basis of the sound. While trap and drill ,for the most part, sound tired Glizzy sounds through the roof excited; that excitement translates to the effort it takes to get it right.

Young Jefe dropped early in the year and I lived on it. When everything was slow I could count on the pristinely sung chorus on Ungrateful, the bizarre sense of fulfillment in Coca Loca. The reviews on Glizzy say his music is fun because of the horrifying gangsta content contrasted against his strange high squeak cartoon character voice. I have a very different hypothesis: no one cares about their hooks as much and no one commits to bragging as hard.

Young Jefe is marked by hits like Awwsome, I’m on Fire, I’m A Star, and Living It Up where he flaunts invincibility. All the best moments are Glizzy stewing in his own importance without an ounce of doubt(this is why he has a deep history of rapper beefs he just doesn’t care). He emerges from the bounce of Young Jefe like Drago at the end of his fight with Apollo Creed (Rocky 4 is the best one. Don’t mess with me on this).

The MVP moment happened when the DJ Drama assisted Law 3 dropped and it didn’t just live up to Young Jefe but surpass it. Law 3 is so good it doesn’t get weighed down by the guest verses thrown on by the Glizzy goon army (3 Glizzy, 30 Glizzy, Goo Glizzy) and the beats while still within the traposphere are weird. Money featuring Young Dolph (being Young Dolph) is seductive rippling bass and a barely there violin. Zaytoven is behind it and 2 other tracks (Celebration and Everything Golden); he’s been experimenting this year and tweaking his sound in places. This only happens with artists Zaytoven is confident can handle something odd like OG Maco or Glizzy.

Glizzy can make straightforward stuntin’ tracks stunning; What To Do isn’t daring, just the baddest man in town mantra taken to its most catchy. Everything Golden is another decidedly out of sync but in its own sync Zaytoven track, piano driven this time, where Glizzy seems oddly calm as he explains how easy women are to maneuver and sounds as detached and distant as anyone can while telling you they own golden shoes.

The track on Law 3 that fully articulates how clever Glizzy is comes fourth in the tracklist. Funeral is completely and specifically surreal. He unveils what his funeral will look like but gives one detail at a time utilizing clearly contrasting imagery to create a surreal picture Luis Bunuel would be proud of. The first rapped line is “I want all shooters at my funeral, only real N’s at my funeral!” Directly after that he tells you ten thousand women will be at his funeral and celebrities (wait you said all shooters, are these celebrity shooters?). He warns you that you could get robbed there and all the while that beat is a looped soul sample church clap/hum over a heavy piano. Do you think this is somehow unintentionally odd? Some sort of happy accident that sees Glizzy follow the image of leaving his wheel chair bound uncle behind after death with a lament that he didn’t bang more chicks. This is a specifically jarring, in your face, deconstruction of the “When I’m Gone” rap song taken to its wildest outer reaches.

On Thank You Glizzy says Birdman has been in contact with him about joining his Rich Gang collective. That would be fantastic. Anything that puts Glizzy near Young Thug or Rich Homie Quan would be great. All of those artists have shared a wildly successful year where they refused to bunt when they had their turn up to bat. They turned every fastball they got into a homerun that sailed over the wall. All everyone else could do was shake their head. Hell, when Glizzy talks about haters and how he has lots he isn’t lying. When 2013 ended I hated his sound; didn’t understand why he got such attention, now I’m scouring datpiff for old Glizzy to catch up on. That’s the difference an MVP year has. Next year he’ll have a lot of options.

Stream or download Young Jefe below:

Stream or download Law 3 below:


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