Mixtape Review-Route the Ruler by Young Roddy
Rappers always want to join prestigious crews but imagine the reality of it. You run with the Jet Life crew underneath the guidance of Curren$y who has been making music so long he was signed to Moses (and dope back then). Meanwhile Smoke Dza is snarling and snowballing confident slam dunk smash mouth tracks over the best production in NY. Did I mention that Fiend is dropping at least one mixtape a year where he switches between Barry White singing and No Limit era Fiend bar destruction…what’s so special about you? That’s the problem Young Roddy faces down on his new mixtape Route the Ruler. His proximity to these larger figures has made him seem smaller, his reviews always address him in diminishing terms as Spitta’s mini-me or sidekick.
Route the Ruler is ice cold, confident, riding music with no off putting features or beats that don’t fit. It is perfectly within itself and centered on the polished production of Blair Norf (who produces six out of the twelve tracks) and the religious determination of our narrator to succeed. “..and I hope this high don’t never come down. When I had sh#* them hoes ain’t never come around. A true D-boy don’t ya’ll ever cut me down. A prince turned king when you see me you should bow (Charge It To The Game).” Young Roddy builds his thesis song after song that the desire for him to have money is not horrifyingly materialistic or gaudy it’s the American dream. A dream of professional success, proud family, and prosperity that carries for generations. How is his desire for success any different or less honorable than any other aspiring businessman? This is laid back success music for those that have succeeded or feel they haven’t yet but must today.
While moving forward and getting money he reflects with a chuckle that he understands why he’s not on the radio and with seriousness when he talks about how birthdays were the worst while in poverty (Chain Smoke). This isn’t one of those mixtapes where the rapper espouses a lifestyle that doesn’t seem realistic or how an adult would live. The content is forcefully mature. A product of an overwhelming desire that starts with the Intro.
Over the sensible thirteen track project it’s hard to find anything that stands far above anything else (maybe Baby which is pretty darn triumphant) but it all fits and suits its purpose. Absolutely nothing goes wrong. The only features are Smoke Dza, Fiend, and Curren$y all doing exactly what you’d want them to do. The sampled soulful moan on Money behind Roddy’s insistent chorus, earnest two minute relationship tribute on Loyalty and infinitely listenable lesson in flow on Ridin all become glue tracks. A team of scrappy underestimated veterans that know exactly what the mission is; if this mixtape was an NBA championship team it would be the 2004 Detroit Pistons; deeply slept on with Rip Hamilton moving off the ball slipping three pointers in as his defender swears under his breath, media people scratching their head looking for the superstar…the narrative. The only people not in shock as the trophy gets raised are the team on the platform. Young Roddy would tell you that’s exactly how it feels to Route the Ruler.
Stream or Download Route The Ruler below: