Mini-Mixtape Review-Mardi Gras 2 by Juvenile
I have been on the craziest Juvenile binge lately. I’m talking Solja Rags, Tha G Code, Juve The Great, Reality Check and that was before he dropped his newest mixtape Mardi Gras 2. What has already been said is that Juvenile reinvented where the catchy part of a rap song is, where most songs had the most earwig lines and melodies stuffed into the hook…everything Juve said felt like a hook. That’s why he could do songs like U Understand and HA when others couldn’t (most times constant repetition is boring but Juvenile makes it awesome!). What doesn’t get talked about enough is how great he is as a song constructer and rapper. His guest verses burn songs down and his songs, even his worst songs, are fully formed and ready for repeat listening.
I think most folks will be talking about Uptown D-Boy from Mardi Gras 2 because it teams Juve back up with Birdman but that prospect isn’t that big a deal for me. The collaborations with Mannie Fresh sound much more energized and fun; full of hilarious sex jokes and home depot-wood-erection phrase turns. Those guys should just camp out in the studio and crank out albums again. I Show Love is a fantastic remix and the always dynamic Mike Maven provides the boom on the beat. Mardi Gras 2 is 20 songs long and full of gems, the only clunkers are times when Juve doesn’t get enough time and we are left with second tier guys.
The funny part of my newfound love of Juvenile is that I had the chance to love him the first time. In the Army one of my best friends was a gold grilled Cash Money believer and broke down the skill set of everyone in the crew, I just never bought in(this was at the height of the bling bling era). If you listen to that stuff now…it sounds so damn ahead of its time you might as well have discovered Da Vinci’s plans for a color printer. So go ahead and appreciate him now, your just losing time.
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Tagged Birdman, cash money records, Juve, Juve The Great, Juvenile, Manny Fresh, Mardi Gras 2, Mike Maven, mixtape review, New Orleans hip hop, sex jokes, Solja Rags, Southern Hip Hop, Uptown D-Boy
Mixtape Review-Beast Mode by Future x Zaytoven
I’m incorrect but I always think of Future as an amazing raw talent. The way basketball writers must have looked at Wilt Chamberlain. He’s not raw at all. The music always feels that way because of how he attacks it. A new project roll out for Future never encompasses a new direction with a different look and feel. He attacks what he does whether it’s about selling dope or buying cars or achieving love; always with no fear of seeming cheesy or emotional and always with the autotune at its highest setting.
When his album Pluto smashed rap music I called him king of the hookers, able to nail the chorus so precisely that you needed the song in your rotation. Not just his hooks but guest hooks. Beast Mode proves that the boundless energy it takes to throttle every opportunity is not just something Future brings to the hook, he brings it everywhere.
The whole project is nine songs long and entirely produced by Zaytoven, who has a great understanding of the push and pull needed in a good trap-ish beat. Zaytoven has been trending weird and minimalist at the same time, finding a way to make every beat sound signature and different at the same time. Listen to the sparse, strange Peacoat and you’ll understand. For Futures part he rarely relies on his R&B sensibilities on Beast Mode instead making his growls and verses catchy on Oooooh and even when his voice pulls into appealing croon it’s for the classic get-wealthy-with-me anthem No Basic which carries a heap of adrenaline pumped muscle.
As amped as No Basic can get you Where I Came From is a thousand times more subdued and doesn’t feel too far away from any other song on the project. Zaytoven weaves piano into his baseline better than 90% of producers and that sound fits Future like a glove. In a hushed melodic mumble Future talks about the feds coming to get them, selling out of his grandmother’s house, and lots of stark shocking images you may not catch if you get wrapped up in the melody. Maybe that’s the joke of it all. East Coast cats hear the melody and dismiss him but people that know how to listen to Southern rap can tell you that not only can Future sing and rap he does both about real situations. Even Real Sisters which is supposed to be about having a three-way with ladies and not caring if they are real sisters has a lot of penitentiary and trap talk.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t beg you to listen to Beast Mode in order to catch another fantastic Juvenile feature. They remake the structure of his Ha hit into Aintchu and Juvi is damn solid. He’s like the southern Jadakiss; wherever his solo album content may be (fantastic or forgettable) he still kills every feature in front of him and is almost on your top rapper list.
Watching Future make everything work on Beast Mode is like watching Wilt pull 40 rebounds and score 50 points over sweaty slow white guys and shaking your head like “man, the game is changing…” remember when we all thought he was just the new T-Pain? Feels like a long time ago.
Stream or Download Beast Mode below:
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Tagged Atlanta hip hop, autotune, Beast Mode, future, Jadakiss, Juvenile, mixtape review, Pluto, R&B, T-Pain, Trap Music, Wilt Chamberlain, Zaytoven