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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:



Street Lottery 3 by Young Scooter

Street Lottery 3 by Young Scooter

by Dan-O

I used to think of Young Scooter as mini-Gucci Mane, one of the many understudies the Holy Spirit of Trap (in holy trinity terms the father would be TI and the son is Jeezy) burns through on his long career. It turns out he’s a Frankenstein of Gucci and Future dedicating every rap lyric to drug dealing from a position of power yet hooking like he lost his mind. Anyone who eats off of great hooks and great hooks alone I refer to as a hooker and Scooter is that. He’s not just a hooker he’s a god damn hypnotist. Doin’ Numbers, Rarri’s & Bentleys have the same trap beats your used to and unimpressive word play like “yeah I F_ with Ross my whole hood bout Gunplay (Rarri’s & Bentleys).” You will be singing these damn hooks, he’s so dedicated to the hook he performs every line like its part of the hook.

Scooter is in the street anthem business. If Made It Out Da Hood doesn’t get your blood flowing you might not have much; Kodak Black fits perfectly on the song talking about dirty laundry and indiscretions in Maryland. This is the kind of song that put trap music on the map. For My Hustlas is a classicly zany Zaytoven sounding beat; weird enough for Scooter to fit perfectly. Grind Don’t Stop is an epic continuation of Made It Out Da Hood but on steroids, Will A Fool creates a synth whistle that burns into your ears, Future expands the songs sonic area. These two have always worked beautifully together.

All the Street Lottery mixtapes, even the Juggathon mixtape w/ Zaytoven has just been leading to this bubbling over point where Scooter takes the next leap. Are great hooks enough?  Well he also has the production names you need: Metro Boomin’, Zaytoven, C-Sick, Will-A-Fool so this is top level trap but crossing over may not be his destiny or desire. While the project features big names like Future, Boosie, and Young Thug this mixtape has the American flag sitting in cocaine on the cover so it’s not destined for Wal-Mart.  The moment that makes you ponder how far he could travel into the spotlight is Ice Game produced by Chophouze and featuring an invigorated & rapping Akon (best feature of the project). Since rap music is so full of street dudes & ex-dealers, hip hop will always be a sucker for anthemic trap music. His hooks raise the stakes and create more of an experience than a hot line could.

Is Young Scooter a great rapper? I have no idea. Hooks are a big part of rapping, if your hooks suck your albums won’t live up to what they are capable of (see: first Jadakiss solo album). If you can make everything sound like a hook isn’t that the genius we loved in Juvenile? That’s dope and while Scooter is not Juvy he’s got time to grow into more challenging writing and he’s certainly working hard enough. He released three mixtapes last year and no one knows what he’s capable of this year.

stream or download Street Lottery 3 below:




Mixtape Review-Young Jefe by Shy Glizzy

Mixtape Review-Young Jefe by Shy Glizzy

by Dan-O

A weird voice cuts two ways; one mans innovation in intonation is another’s fingernails down the chalkboard. I have to warn you about this because Glizzy has a whine flow all his own that might shut you down before you even get the chance to think about what he’s saying or what these songs sound like. Glizzy is a dude who has been praised right from the get go for youthful exuberance and an emotional depth to his coke talk that a lot don’t possess. I wasn’t sold. He was much more chalkboard than innovation in my mind but that was before Young Jefe.

I spent most of early 2014 tired of the trap sound. I felt like I’d heard every Zaytoven and Metro Boomin beat and pillars of the genre like Gucci Mane were flooding the market at all costs sacrificing quality. This all makes it strange that to fall so hard for Young Jefe which is squarely Trap music carrying at least three Zaytoven production credits (although more subdued and interesting than I remember his norm being) along with features from Trap mainstays like Peewee Longway, Young Thug, and Young Scooter. More than any mixtape in recent history Young Jefe portrays a Scarface attitude to match its cover. It’s got genuinely funny moments like the interlude Call From Cannon where you get to hear our narrator laugh and have fun but these moments are rare. Even on a brag song like I’m On Fire Glizzy is talking about the death of his father, the choice to sell dope and the people who constantly reminded him he had no future.

The sing song cadence of the chorus’s (I Can’t Trust Myself, I’m A Star, Mula, Coca Loca, pretty much any song) are hypnotizing and while Glizzy does weave tales of death and depression they slide underneath a resounding confidence/arrogance that would garner the respect of Tony Montana himself. I’m A Star is so brazen and catchy that you have to listen to it again. Over the course of the 18 track opus Glizzy’s young and ready to fight the world attitude becomes contagious. You might start to puff your chest out when Glizzy calls himself macho on Medellin or snarl along with him when he asks “where’s your pistol?” on Or Nah. That feeling connects to the reason we all come back to Scarface after all these years.

We all live in fear of things: losing jobs, family, friends, or our health. Tony Montana was a character who felt like he was born at the very bottom of life’s possible outcomes so he wasn’t really scared at what happened by the end of the movie. He came from nothing and now he had everything, the only thing that made sense to him was to push it as far as he could and what was the worst that could happen? He would lose what he was never supposed to have had in the first place. On moments like Coca Loca where Glizzy brags gleefully about having cocaine he seems to carry that same joyful anger. The fearlessness of youth mixed with the spirit of vengeance from the bottom. It’s an acidic mixture that still connects with me the same way Never Mind The Bullocks by The Sex Pistols did the first time I listened to it.

stream or download Young Jefe below:


The only thing that is tiresome about Gucci Mane is the narrative that Rap critics have created for him.  If there isn’t a reference to his ill-advised facial tattoo, his multiple stints in the clink, his one time stint in the mental hospital, or his altercation with a woman that resulted in her being ejected from his moving car, it seems to never really feel like a Gucci Mane review. None of this has anything to do Gucci Mane’s music really; he raps about 4 or 5 things over and over again: “Bitches”, Drugs, Cars, Clothes and killing other dudes (depending on his mood) and this doesn’t separate him from other rappers.  Rick Ross, for instance has had no real run-ins with the law outside of a few weed arrests and he makes an effort to also rap about those 5 things pretty well. Even if the argument is that Gucci’s mental state provided context for his music, his legal infractions can’t really prove to be byproducts of that so why are we even talking about it?  Most likely, it is because it provides a pivot point for what people really want to convey: La Flare fell off.

Gucci’s most fertile period is typically considered to be between 2008 and 2009 with classic mixtapes like the Burrprint 3D, Gucci Sosa, and his Cold war series. After this period, Gucci, if narrative is to be believed, became a middling rapper who continued to squander his moderate amount of heat by constantly getting in trouble with the law and putting out Swizz Beat helmed singles. He released mixtapes and albums between jail stints, but it’s believed that his time had passed. Crunkier characters like his friend and fellow Bricksquad member Waka Flocka Flame had eclipsed his sound, and Gucci Mane was old news. But wait! The redemption! This year Gucci put out 4 mixtapes: Trap Back, I’m Up, Gucci Mane 3D and Trap God, and even if Gucci Mane 3D is mostly a compilation tape of features and loosies designed to get you excited for a “DVD” you can download, his new material felt a like fresh air clearing out the stultifying baking soda and rock stink of a trap house. Here we saw Gucci Mane returning to form, creating something that reminded his fans of his greatest run!

The problem with this narrative is that Gucci Gu-op never fell off. Comparing Rap in 2012 to Rap a decade prior is like comparing Broadband to Telephone modems; it’s blindingly fast. Projects that were released at the beginning of the year feel like they were released a millennium ago. Over the last 6 years, Gucci Mane has released almost 40 projects if you include his collaborations with rappers like Shawty Lo, and most of them are at the very least pretty okay. In 2010, Supporters were waiting for another Gucci Sosa, but he still dropped Jewelry Selection, one of the best mixtapes of the year. In 2011, Supporters of Gucci were decrying him, saddened by his tag team with V- Nasty and his disappointing collab with Waka Flocka as The Ferarri Boyz, but they forgot that he released the underrated and incredibly soild Return of Mr. Zone 6 at the start of the year, and even if Writings On The Wall 2 was good to so-so, his collaborations with Future where some of the best records of the year. Gucci never fell off! He was just putting out so much that everyone has taken him for granted.

And so all of this leads to his “renaissance” in 2012. On a very basic level, trying to compare Trap Back, I’m Up and to a lesser extent Trap God is difficult as they all easily bleed into each other. Each tape personifies what makes Gucci a good rapper**: A great ear for  stark, crawling beats created by rouge’s gallery of ATL Beatmakers, sticky and clever word play sometimes obscured by his mumbling monotone flow, and bizarre but concrete imagery that betrays his ignorant thug persona. His first tape of the year, and best by margins, brings insane production helmed predominantly by ATL producer of the year and video game junkie Mike Will Made It and Gucci main-stay Zeytoven, ear grabbing choruses, and a litany of quotable lines that showcase Gucci’s brilliantly warped sense of humor.   Lines like “Every word mean two things/ so the white girl is my boo thing.” “I’m a stash house with shoes on” and “Junkies dead at the car wash they was snitchin’/ dough jumpin’ out da gym/ man it helped me buy my ‘tims/ dope fiend Willie used to finger fuck my rims” showcase a love of words under his sneering and unbalanced exterior. Gucci can paint a picture so well that he can extend his repetitious subject matter’s shelf life. Concept records like “Walking Lick” in which Gucci names the many ways in which he resembles a walking trap house would become tedious affairs in lesser hand, but Gucci, and his cohort Waka Flocka, make it one of the strongest tracks on the tape. “Plain Jane”, a braggart’s affair, follows suit as Gucci raps about how rich he is and begins with “I know my body took a lot of ink/ Lungs smoke a lot of stink/Bladder pissed a lot of pink/ Cause that lean I like to drink/ My face got a lot tats/My girl got a lot gold/ My mouth talk a lot of S-t/ my dick fuck a lot of hos.” Every track drips with a sort of sinister underpinning that holds down Gucci’s wordplay no matter how hilarious it is. It’s impossible to listen to the minor chord pan flute crawl and paranoid android Future feature of “Brick Fair” and ignore the deadly serious material even as Gucci drops a Kayfabe joke about Ric Flair.

Similarly, I’m Up his second of the tape of the year, often matches, and in some cases exceeds Trap Back. Here Gucci seems clearer than he was on Trap Back. His voice loses some of its mush mouth mumble and it’s a bit easier to hear his punch lines and their sneaky complexity.  The beats are a bit more uniform, mostly painting darker, muddy textures and plodding rhythms created by various members of Lex Lugar’s 808 mafia.  This swampy murk lends itself to night driving and makes for a cohesive listen, but could easily wear on some and detract from the rapping. Here standouts shine because they let in some sunshine. “Cyeah” produced by the reclusive Polow Da Don is all Koto plucks and NES arpeggios. Gucci’s monotone flow sounds brighter and more playful as he tries to seduce club going ladies while Lil Wayne sloppily creeps on married women with his comically large penis while eating the tops of their wedding cakes post coitus. Even the maligned Chris Brown drops a decent verse here*** It’s these kinds of moments that offset the clever, dangerous and no less spectacular songs like “Kansas” where Gucci weaves drug trafficking tales with a maniacal Jim Jones. And “Get Lost” where Gucci is at his most sneering over a grinding bass heavy beat. Without the goof ball moments of I’m Up the tape would be an oppressive affair, a problem that rears its ugly head on the solid but lesser Trap God.

Trap God suffers from most from its lack of tempo breaking tracks, and a feature list dominated by up and coming Bricksquad third fiddle Young Scooter who lends nothing but apathy to the songs he’s on. “Rolly Up” a so-so track already, suffers under the weight of Young Scooter’s Gucci- like flow and boring uninspired lines. Tracks like the “Don’t Trust” are fine but forgettable affairs. Still, Trap God has some pretty solid material even if it doesn’t have definite hits. “Act Up” with its rolling square waves, rising bass lines and phantom robot T-pain feature; “That’s That “with its sparkling “Backstabbers” sample; and  the Mike Will Produced, Future featuring “Fuck the world” with its earworm chorus are all stand out tracks even if they won’t catch fire on Rap Radio. Not to say that that is even Gucci’s game. Trap God seems to be more focused on angering faceless enemies and constant nemesis Young Jeezy.  Even after the best diss track of the year, “Truth” dropped, we are still left with “Head Shots” and “Get Money Nigga” both strong tracks, containing pretty clear references to his ongoing beef with the Thug Motivator. This vindictive anger often lacks the full humor Gucci is best at, and sometimes Trap God can be a slog because of it.

Regardless, Trap God is a solid tape that does not detract from the other two tapes’ material**** and solidifies Gucci’s status of most valuable player in hip hop mixtapes for 2012. No one else has put out 59 tracks worth of solid solo material this year that come close to Gucci. Gucci has said that he wants to put out 10 albums next year and has already slated a collaboration tape with Young Scooter. I’m not sure how successful Gucci’s E-40 approach will be, but if these tapes are any indication of Gucci’s future output, it will certainly be worth tuning in for.

*There were some anomalies of course Hypnotized Minds and No Limit for instance.

** This is the context of the review. If you don’t think Gucci is a good rapper that is fine. Go embarrass yourself in a cipher somewhere.

***Most likely ghostwritten. He sounds suspiciously like Yelawolf.

**** I am not going to review Gucci 3D because it’s more of a compilation of tracks from other artists tapes and beat jackings. Check it though. Specifically, “Mouf” with Rocko and Plies.

Written by D.L

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