War & Peace

Before anyone starts getting the bright idea that Cali and Detroit are about to engage in some kind of war because of the words of a few, consider this.

Yeah, the back and forth between Mistah F.A.B. vs. Royce the 5’9 has been entertaining. Both of them have proven that they can rap, but what makes their battle dope is that from listening to their disses, you get the feeling that they are simply trying to out rap each other and keep it on wax (I hope). After all, their exchanges did originate from an actual MC battle. As opposed to one of them supposedly setting the other one up for a robbery, banging the other’s baby mama, placing threats on another man’s son, someone getting robbed or some of the other crazy shit we’ve seen “rap beefs” get started over for the last decade or so.

But unfortunately, as with most battles, it swallows everybody’s attention to the point that nothing else gets paid attention. Case and point, the new mixtape from Bishop Lamont and Black Milk, Caltroit. While the F.A.B. and Royce battle has been cool so far, Bishop and Negro Leche’s collaboration is hands down the more interesting Cali to Detroit connect.

Sure, albums 9th Wonder has done with Murs and Buckshot and the GZA & DJ Muggs have made for interesting producer/rapper efforts, but Caltroit offers another dynamic in that here the producer (who dropped a very dope album earlier this year) raps too. Not in that Timbaland/Swizz Beatz “just don’t fuck up the beat” kind of way, but in an actual “listen, I can spit too” kind of way. Kinda like Hi-Tek, but a just a little bit better.

Plus, I dug how the Caltroit theme could be felt though out the album with guest appearances from Cali cats like Ras Kass, Ya Boy, Planet Asia, Glasses Malone & Tash plus cameos from Motown folks like T3 and Elzhi of Slum Village and D-Town neighbor Kardinal Offiishal. Get this, the album even features both F.A.B. and Royce.

It also proves that cats from what seems to be two different places and lifestyles can hook up and make some dope shit together. The aforementioned projects from 9th and DJ Muggs, as dope as they were, paired them with rappers that were damn near on the same wavelength and geared almost exclusively to a certain audience. Depending on who you ask, that could be consider realistic marketing, or simply just preaching to the choir.

Caltroit stands out in that collectively, the album is wide open. Even though the album features mainly one producer (Black Milk executive, not exclusive, produced the album), its the input and presence of others that makes it tight. You have verses from everyone from Busta to Lady of Rage (yes, that Rage) to Guilty Simpson to Ms. Jade. It don’t hurt that Focus dropped a couple beats on their either.

I’m hoping that those of you that haven’t peeped this gem do so this weekend. Battles are an integral part of Hip Hop no doubt. But after you’re finished arguing over “who got bodied”–give peace a chance.

  • okay

    I LOVE THE WHOLE CALTROIT CUZ BISHOP AND BLACK ARE SICK SOLO AND TOGETHER. ROYCE WON THE WAX BATTLE BUT THE supposed battle live wasnt a battle but the fans there seem to think it was so i guess MR FAB won that. ROYCE IS THE NICEST! BLACK MILK AND BISHOP LAMONT ARE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

  • http://www.incilin@blogspot.com Incilin

    Yeah I was interested in the Black Milk/Bishop Lamont thing too since “Popular Demand” was one of the best albums this year and because I wanted to hear some Bishop Lamont material to see if he’s any good. I’m glad you posted this cuz now at least I got a cosign on it and know its worth checkin out.

  • http://haterplayer.blogspot.com faker than fake

    Yeah, Caltroit is real nice. Truthfully, I’ve been sleeping on Bishop Lamont but after hearing his verse on “Go Hard,” I peeped it. Real solid release. Bishop should’ve been on XXL’s 10 next to blow cover.

  • Wallet Man

    Why does this mixtape sound like a 5th generation maxell bootleg? Does anyone have a good quality version?

  • http://myspace.com/thomasforbes Monk

    Imma have to check it out. I’m always wanting to hear something fresh coming from the ‘D’. Oh yeah…Royce kills it!!

  • http://myspace.com/thomasforbes Monk

    Imma have to check it out. I’m always wanting to hear something fresh coming from the ‘D’. Oh yeah…Royce kills it!!

  • T-town

    Yo black ice you forgot the best cali-detroit cd with two producers rapping instead of a more pedestrian one, check Jaylib “Champion Sound” that is some serious hardbody collabo, peace to J-Dilla

  • gerard

    the caltroit mixtape bangs, i believe that a dj less version is coming out next month with a part 2

  • http://myspace.com/marko4aoc Marko-V

    Yo, I’m from the Lou and our mixtape scene here is basically nonexistent. So can somebody tell me where I can cop or at least listen to new mixtape?

    • http://www.xxlmag.com EReal

      DubbCnn.Com has it, but you’re better off going to Mixfiend or Mixtapetorrent or try thepiratebay.org

      1 hunned.

  • http://xxlmag.com kane corleone

    who’s better than Hi-tek

    • Re-yo

      J Dilla

  • lukee lefty

    i dont know anybody who has talked about this beef where im fron…….but i live in NYC so dont any of these dudes really matter………whatsa bishop lamount, or a black milk ????

    • http://internetexplorer nutball

      like fake york is so hot yall think yall run rap ,like if it didn’t come from there it ain’t happening.if it wasn’t for hov yall would NOT be on the map.the hype is so fake york that it got hop heads brainwashed SIKE.Don’t get it twisted all that wack s**t coming from there,since yall got everybody fooled rec companies will try to sign any wack mc from there.try coming through rock city talking that s**t.and get yochin checked.

  • http://www.myspace.com/uzithaone young uzi

    yo what up..im a new rapper..i would like if ya’ll could check my myspace.com/uzithaone give a holla for me

  • http://www.xxlmag.com TonyBee

    My boy Esham supercede any of those rappers from the bay or the D.He’s the first rapper to make 2 CD, he’s the fisrt rapper to rap about smoking weed.He rap about death before 2pac,biggie and scarface.And on top of all that,he’s beats is as tight as DR. DRE.