Tag Archives: Freeband Gang

Mixtape Review-Jugg King by Young Scooter

Mixtape Review-Jugg King by Young Scooter

by Dan-O

From afar I like Young Scooter. When I think about how much trap has changed and how much Scooter’s new mixtape Jugg King is right in the pocket of F.B.G. The Movie mixtape from 2013 my overactive mind wanders. Does Scooter see these new happier trappers and see them as a disservice? Does he look down on them appropriating dealer culture while clearly not having the experience in it (by their own admission)? Is Scooter going to see my review and respond to me on twitter? The answer to all these questions is no, a firm no.

Scooter came into rap with beautiful hooks and a hypnotizing flow dedicating every word to dealing and being independent and he is the same today. If you listen to the title track this isn’t one of those rappers who had a fire in his belly when he started and has become jaded. Jugg King’s hook declares it “I do what I want, you do what you can.” How could he be jaded? He never fell underneath Gucci or Future’s wing, never took a spot on a deep roster of MC’s clamoring for number one. He just forged good relationships and maintained them which is why you still see Metro Boomin and Zaytoven on the production list after all these years. This is why you haven’t heard from him in a while and he drops a mixtape featuring Young Thug, Meek Mill, Young Dolph, and Future.

You can listen to Jugg King front to back a few times without picking out favorite songs.  Nothing throws Scooter off his spot, every verse is dope money and deceivers eating his dust.  You can just press play and drive. Even surprising turns fade into comfort; Cassius Jay takes Gin and Juice and flips it into a trap beat for Young Scooter who makes OG Snoop an absolutely weird joy. On Cook Up Young Thug’s purposely distorted voice clicks into synergy with Scooter’s cocksure Juvenile sense of melody, that is the group album that should grow out of Jugg King.

Scooter is great with guests but does not need them. Streets on Fire is a straightforward hi hat first beat produced by Stack Boy Twaun and Scooter deals like it is life’s greatest joy “Jugghouse on a one way, I got four in a row I sold more pounds than Boston George, motherfuck Diego I just stuffed a thousand pounds in a Winnebago” I tip my hat to anyone who can bow out of Jugg King on moral implications. If you don’t want drug dealing to be glorified and Jugg King is too much of an advertisement for the wrong message I get it. Scooter is just too much of a snake charmer for me to let go. He knows how to sway with his tone in subtle softer ways like on Life which gets somber and mixes in anger, pride, shame, and parental joy.

His grand sense of DIY means I don’t even have to ponder his next move. He’s signed to his own label (Black Migo Gang). He’s the Xzibit of trap music. The same way X could jump on Snoop’s album, get Dre to produce for his album and never have to sign to any of them is how Scooter navigates between Freebandz (Future) and 1017 Brick Squad (Gucci) while never losing anyone’s respect. It’s impossible to even watch him sweat under the lights. He’s still smiling.

Stream or download below:



Top 5 Takeaways from 2 Future Albums in 2 Weeks

Top 5 Takeaways from 2 Future Albums in 2 Weeks

by Dan-O

Future just released back to back #1 albums (Future and HNDRXX). I wanted to provide five things to think about as you digest this mass of content. Are these in order of importance?

Don’t be a nerd. No one cares.

  1. Who is Dre Moon?

Dre Moon is 3 for 3 on HNDRXX (Solo, Incredible, and Hallucinating) with some of my absolute favorite songs. I clicked on his Wikipedia page and it says he wrote Drunk In Love and produced a bunch of beloved Drake songs (off Nothing Was The Same). He also produced I Be U, I’ll Be Yours, and Side Effects off Future’s Honest album(which I think is underrated). I am very glad Future has a relationship with Dre Moon and apparently more people should. He provides a rich sound, a large musical world that never seems crowded.

2. Nothing Future Does is haphazard

Future puts out a lot of music. Even Young Thug told him he should slow down. At times, Future has released bad albums and tastemakers have pronounced his run over only to be embarrassed by the success that followed. Future is like Gucci Mane in that he will release a ton of content and 70% of it is great but that thirty percent is still a lot of bad music and in this fickle age it always seems like he is close to falling off.

3.You can be like Future but you cannot be Future

Future just released 34 songs in two weeks and both albums went number one. Be careful about going big picture and turning to your friends with a simple “this is how things are now,” explanation. This is not how things are for Kendrick or Wale etc etc. Future works better loose and in a zone. If you think it’s easy and your just going to autotune your voice and shout “Content! Content! Content!” you won’t be Future. Desiigner is promising but he is not Future. Future is not mumble rap. Future is really vividly articulating his emotional state of mind like a blockbuster movie. On HNDRXX especially you can hear every word he says.

4. Previously Future’s beef with Ciara has been ugly but now that ugly is terrifying

The Future mixtape Project E.T. made me unhappy.  As good as anything on there was that Juice song Future did about killing Ciara was no Bueno. This isn’t a double racial standard. I didn’t like it when Marshall Mathers did the killing my ex songs. HNDRXX takes the anguish Future feels about the relationship and takes it to new emotional heights. Testify never comes right out and declares her as subject matter but it’s mad creepy. As he sings “Anything we go through is a test of times. Can you be the one who loves me all the time?” my hairs stood up on end and then the song ends with him hauntingly repeating “confess your love for me…testify” as his voice fades out.  The scariest Ciara moment is CLEARLY My Collection. A superbly disturbing analysis of the mind state a man has after a broken relationship. If you’re looking for  TMI moments they are plentiful from crooning “this codeine ain’t got nothin’ to do with my little child!”   “She told me she was an angel, she F*&#ed two rappers and three sangers.” The hook is paralyzingly gross without any swearing “…even if I hit you once you part of my collection.” The diseased mind that holds these women in some sort of mental art museum is something Future consciously wanted to observe. It’s clear that part of this is in him and part of this is an artist analyzing the emotions that could happen if he doesn’t let go. The complexity of his anger is so marvelously rendered you can’t be mad. It’s terrifying but the beautiful kind.

5. Future is bigger than trap

Think of it the same way we do Mike Will Made It. When Trap was at its white hottest he was lacing Gucci Mane and giving the genre definition (Metro Boomin certainly took the baton and ran) and now you see his production credits in The Grammys Song of The Year category because he produced Beyoncé’s biggest hit off her new album Lemonade. Future still makes rough and tumble Trap, just listen to Scrape or Draco on the self-titled album, but he smashes pop songs as well.  Selfish is the duet with Rihanna which comes to mind first but Incredible is a friendly radio hit. Aside from pop songs  HNDRXX has one song with vocals from Mayer Hawthorne and production by Jake One (Lookin’ Exotic).  Anyone predict that collaboration? He works with DJ Mustard and Detail for that finger snapping ratchet movement and he knocks it all out of the park. This is what Mike Will taught us about the process. Just because Future started in Trap and elevated it, doesn’t mean that is his limitation. He’s incredibly durable and bubbling over creatively.

The Bad and The Ugly

The Bad and The Ugly

by Dan-O

King Louie- March Madness

In the nature of full disclosure I never enjoyed the drill scene. It always seemed like Trap music made less fun. When picking from the world of Chicago drill King Louie has always been my favorite. He seems to have the most fun, and that’s not saying much. Apparently, Louie decided to make a song every day in March collecting them all in one hard to get through collection of songs about weed, banging reprehensible women, and bandz. Its not just that Louie rhymes in annoying disconnected word chunks its also the hopeless dankness of his existence, when he tries to do an upbeat club song you hear him say “She knows I ain’t sh#t but she said that’s ok,” by the end of it you can’t help but ponder how hard it is to make a King Louie song? He’s known enough to just open his inbox and pick out a beat, throw some repeated B words through autotune, could be a chorus could not be…who cares? The song a day thing either makes you really impressed with an artist or makes you question their ultimate value, I was forced into the second option on March Madness.

Stream or download March Madness below:



Le$ is becoming a better rapper. He even jokes on Exquisite about the ungodly number of mixtapes he has put out in recent years. It’s improved his flow but now he’s dedicated his time to rapping over other peoples beats. You might say this isn’t that big an issue since it worked for Wayne and countless others. The problem is Le$ picks nothing but classic beats to rap over, whether it’s the Mobb Deep Scarface sample money counting beat or darn near all of Reasonable doubt it presents issues: I’ve heard these beats thousands of times so its not that exciting that he’s using them, and he’s never going to lay a better verse over a reasonable doubt beat than Jay did so why bother? A lot of these songs don’t even have chorus’s, which gives the distinct impression that Exquisite is practice for a more important project. *Allen Iverson voice* Practice! I don’t want to hear you practice.

Stream or download Exquisite below:



Future has been on such a roll recently people are now fearlessly riding the bandwagon for all its worth. So when the Free Band Gang’s resident Waka Flocka sound-a-like put out his debut mixtape people jumped on twitter to compliment it. Probably because of the Mike Will Made It style production of Metro Boomin(who seems to have found a way to turn up the volume on the Mike Will template) and the screaming. Casino screams pretty well and he pronounces words interestingly but the words aren’t that big a deal. Sure he talks about drug dealing and Future pops up on occasion to make things fun but Casino doesn’t have a firm grip on the seething paranoia of Gucci’s trap blueprint. He‘s also not Waka because Waka is a better rapper, if you actually listen he’s got the kind of bars that stick. Casino passes through your speakers like a bug in your house, he’s there and annoying and then he’s gone. I’m not saying this is how he will always be; it’s the first major chance for him so growth will happen but he’s got a ways to go before I’ll be excited to listen.

Stream or download Ex-Dealer below:


Song of the year-Future featuring Rocko-Chosen One

Song of the year-Future featuring Rocko-Chosen One

by Dan-O

It’s easy to hate the hottest artists. It’s like that commercial you love the first time and despise the 85th time. I totally get that. What shouldn’t get lost is the effort it takes to be everywhere, the talent it takes. This is certainly the case with Future. If you told me he’s only popular because of auto tune I would laugh in your face, you can put auto tune on your phone its no ones secret weapon.

When Future dropped his mixtape FBG: The Movie(his Freeband Gang compilation) most people figured it would be another grab bag of highs and lows. It turned out to be an exhausting 24 track trip through slamming beats and audacious hooks that stick to your brain. Beyond Futures catchy knack with hooks, Chosen One highlights what has given him rap games center stage. When he stops on a dime and says “…and when you make it from the bottom you the chosen one,” it doesn’t feel like another catchy hook. It feels like something real to him. Rap is America’s public discourse on success and whether you like it or not Future is a part of that. By blowing up the feelings that come with success and spreading them neatly across thousands of hooks his bass-guitar sample-hook combination is running the gamut through every mp3 player in your gym. He woke up in a new Bugatti and he’s driving it like a maniac through the rap universe.

On a side note Rocko is one of the best guest verses in the game right now. He’s incredibly wordy but his mixtapes lack any of the charismatic spark that seems to fall off of everything Future does, that being said, if you give him 16 bars he will not fail you.