Tag Archives: Zaytoven

Song Review-Special by Gucci Mane featuring Anuel AA produced by Murda Beatz and Cubeatz

Song Review-Special by Gucci Mane featuring Anuel AA produced by  Murda Beatz and Cubeatz

By Dan-O

The reasons you should think of Gucci Mane as a genius lyricist are pretty straight forward: 1. Individuality-built his style on his own not a product of anyone or any other movement (in this way I think of him as the E-40 of Atlanta). 2. Bold experimentation-he’s always folding different talents into his universe and letting them inform it (Lil Uzi Vert, Rocko, Young Scooter, etc). 3-Depth-whether it is how he strings the rhyming together, the uniqueness of the words used or the observations… if you really listen Gucci is KILLING his bars.

Gucci Mane dropped a new album called Delusions of Grandeur which at 18 tracks long gives you all the different forms of Gucci on a polished ready-for-primetime level. Production wise he incorporates Kenny Beats, Tay Keith and J.White Did It into the fold with Southside, Zaytoven, and a bunch of recognizable names. Tay Keith did Sicko Mode, J. White Bodak Yellow, and Kenny Beats took Key! And Rico Nasty to the next level on separate projects. Gucci has always been an amazing talent scout and that continues here. Even Justin Bieber is perfectly placed singing the hook on Love Thru The Computer.

In regard to depth, a line on the song Special really blew my mind. He says “Like Cinderella they think I was born with chedda.” I flinched, and was struck by it…wait Cinderella was scrubbing the floor…we know that as the audience…what is he talking about it? As I thought about it the fog lifted. We know Cinderella’s story as the reader but picture the happily ever after of her life. Any person she meets post-“It’s your slipper!”is not going to know what we know. So she will smile keep her chin up, act stately, and live up to what they think she is. The truth is not even something she has the time to explain, nor does she have the faith they would understand. This mirrors his journey. When Delusions of Grandeur broke people were tweeting things like “GUCCI IS THE GOAT!!” “GUCCI NEVER MADE A BAD ALBUM!” I will tell you that when those mixtapes broke people were calling him disgraceful and dumb BEFORE he got an ice cream come tattooed on his face. I was dismissive of him partly because the wrong white hip hop fans wanted him for their new Flavor Flav. Serious people taught me to get serious about him but I was already suspicious based on killer guest features.

That’s what Delusions of Grandeur is about. Being the best at what you do, the last one standing from a generation with no one left that really remembers how hard it was to get there. No one to stop and say “How cool is it that in 2019 Gucci threw Anuel AA on this track to do a Spanish verse.” It’s a song about being special, not just how cool it is but how bizarre it feels.



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:


Mixtape Review-1017 Vs. The World by Gucci Mane & Lil Uzi Vert

Mixtape Review-1017 Vs. The World by Gucci Mane & Lil Uzi Vert

by Dan-O

Gucci Mane is the Hunter S Thompson of hip hop. While I love Hunter I have never done drugs so I have very few people I can actually share that love with. People get swept up in the drugs and the Ice Cream Cone and forget about Gucci’s craft.  Ever since Gucci was released the end of May, he has been laser sharp and out to prove a point. It’s a credit to Lil Uzi Vert that he is able to reach the bar Gucci sets on 1017 Vs. The World.

You know that no one is sleepwalking from the first song.  Changed My Phone is audacious and loud and brash. Lil Uzi handles the chorus with intent for you to sing along while Gucci threatens to bury Nas at the bottom of the ocean with the manatees. C Note is the man behind the first two songs and they fit the classically melodic follow the bouncing ball flow but at least they are snarling and bass driven enough to be fun. Too much trap ends up a depressed drug stupor.

The reason I had a hard time getting into Lil Uzi Vert’s career ascension was that his melodic flow is so natural I missed the fact that he was still spitting with impressive technique. While Gucci drops the most rewindable verse of the mixtape on Blonde Brigitte featuring “My ex keep going down memory lane like Minnie Rip-er-ton ho!” Uzi throws down two minutes and twenty seconds in. His confidence level and sensational ability to make everything singable give him a rightful place wherever he wants. I am by no means framing this as a passing-the-torch thing Uzi is not the next Gucci but he very well could be the next Young Scooter.

The knock on 1017 Vs The World is the same on all top tier trap related mixtapes.  While a top tier rapper can take risks when he gets enough power (see Kanye West, Kendrick, etc) top tier trap rappers are beholden to the same stable of producers.  The same way I can’t eat nothing but pizza or I’ll die I can’t listen to toxic levels of Zaytoven(good thing this project is only 7 songs 2 by Zaytoven).Threesome is a paint by numbers Zaytoven beat. This is the kind of minimal off-key stuff he has gigabytes of hanging around. I yearn for something to change (this is probably why Mike Will Made It is doing more pop stuff to challenge himself). 

The best beat is In ’04 by DP Beatz which drops out and charges back in to accentuate Vert’s best performance.  Now that Gucci is out he has a rumored album with everyone but Kanye is the one I want for Gucci. I want this, semi-cleaned up, wild eyed wordsmith over the lavish sonic tapestry of Ye’s universe. Listen to 1017 Vs. The World and I think you’ll agree.

Stream or download 1017 Vs. The World 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-Beast Mode by Future x Zaytoven

Mixtape Review-Beast Mode by Future x Zaytoven

by Dan-O

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:




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:

Mixtape Review-Real Nigga Shit by Kolley

Mixtape Review-Real Nigga Shit by Kolley

While it’s easier to be a Southern rapper than it ever has been, it really depends on how Southern you are considered. UGK and Outkast are deeply embedded in the public mind as architects of the south. If you ask the same hip hop elitist who reps these groups if he has the same affection for Eightball & MJG or Goodie Mobb you’d be surprised at the rebuff. Some artists are TOO Southern and still make the industry uncomfortable.

The cover of Kolley’s new mixtape Real Nigga Shit is about as uncomfortably in your face as possible. He’s flexing gold teeth with his chain in his mouth; inside his gold shades gifs of dancing lady butt and money fans dominate. This mixtape is not for the faint of heart and it’s also not for the tragedy chasers who need their Southern rappers to be ignorant lean sipping Kamikaze cases. Kolley is not rapping about how pointlessly off track his life is; it’s quite the opposite. This MC with a beasts voice from Bassfield, Mississippi (2000 Census said it had a population of 315 people) tells us right off the bat how special he is on Follow Me “Even though I am a sinner god saved me; took me from the mind state of crazy into the mind set of pay me.”

A mixtape consisting of sixteen tracks should feel perfect but this is a long journey. No inserts or interludes shorten the ride and it’s full of high energy growling tracks that burst with energy and wear you out. Hanna could cause a club riot. Seen Shit could have your head nodding so hard you forget that the Bobby Johnson beat just destroyed your car speakers.

I’m not sure how much buzz exists about Kolley outside of the music industry (partially cause I’m a music reviewer who avoids a lot of other music reviewers) but it’s evident that the South knows how dope he is; since this is a debut mixtape with a Big Krit feature and production credit not to mention other beats from trap generals Zaytoven, Metro Boomin, and TM88 of 808 Mafia.

Kolley will infuse you with his ferocity on Hanna and have you riding reflectively in the Krit assisted Poetry In Motion (is anyone better at rapping about driving cars or cars in general as Krit?). This mixtape has a full spread of emotion tackling love, pills, violence, money, success and all of it in the assured manner of an artist who has been doing this for years and years. If you think I’m talking about another knucklehead Lil John rip off listen to the first verse of Real Love and tell me this dude isn’t the truth. I file Real Nigga Shit in the “Who is this kid?!?!” category.

I wanted this mixtape to be terrible so I wouldn’t have to use the N word so much. The first listen turned into the third listen so quickly that I had to make up my mind quickly. My preferences don’t matter. Kolley has artistic presence on tracks that needs a full spotlight and it’s his title. It reflects an artist dictating realness in a different light and it works on every discernible level. Even though the journey feels long its not, it’s just big.

Stream or Download Real Nigga Shit below: