Mixtapes that don’t suck balls

About once a week some bum rapper emails me wanting me to listen to his mixtape. I almost never do – not because I don’t have the time, but because why the fuck would I want to listen to a mixtape? Lately though, I’ve come across a few mixtapes that I genuinely enjoy, as much if not even more so than some of the better albums being released officially these days. Which I realize is not saying a whole lot, but still. Without further ado, here’s my thoughts on a few mixtapes I’ve enjoyed recently.

Wale – 100 Miles and Running

I’d call Wale the thinking man’s Lil’ Wayne, but that would be giving him a bit more credit than he deserves. Like Lil’ Wayne, he can rap seemingly endlessly about… well, nothing in particular. A few differences would be that a) as far as I know, Wale doesn’t kiss guys; b) he doesn’t seem to have nearly as bad of a drug problem; and, perhaps most importantly, c) Wale raps over the kind of shit a hater such as myself might actually want to listen to. And I’m assuming the latter, which is this mixtape’s real feat as far as I’m concerned, is primarily the work of hipster svengali Nick Catchdubs, who put this Native Tongues-esque mix together. It’s a trick not unlike what Clinton Sparks pulled on those Clipse mixtapes: find some capable (but interesting mostly only to white people) rapper, have him rap over a buncha songs that were already good to begin with, and then present it to the world as if he’s the next Biggie Smalls.

Rhymefest – Man in the Mirror

Whenever a rapper puts out a mixtape and it sounds like he put more time into it than most rappers put into their albums, I can’t help but wonder: Why not spend that time working on something you can actually sell and hence make money from? To hear the rumors tell it, it might be a matter of Rhymefest figuring he might as well give his shit away for free, since any money he could make from it would just have to be paid in tribute to some street gang. Also, there’s the matter of him probably not being able to release this officially anyway, since it would be a bitch to try to get all of these samples cleared, let alone to try to have this approved by the King of Pop. Man in the Mirror samples a few Michael Jackson songs, as well as a few rap songs that sample Micheal Jackson songs (note the difference). It also features these hilarious skits where Rhymefest pretends he’s having conversations with the singer. And while it’s obvious Rhymefest’s intention wasn’t to mock Michael Jackson or anything, who knows whether or not MJ would grant his approval. He’s obviously gotta be very protective of his image, since he lives to fuck children.

Atmosphere – Strictly Leakage

Meanwhile, you don’t get the idea that Atmosphere spent that much time working on Strictly Leakage, which is not to say that it’s any less worthy of a mixtape. If anything, it’s probably better just for how reckless it all seems. Slug spends a lot of time rapping about how other rappers are fake, and how badass his live show is, and about getting wasted, and about scoring with random-ass broads (and how this is often a matter quantity over quality) – which is the kind of shit you want to hear Slug rapping about. And which, you’d have to think, is probably the kind of shit that’s on his mind more often than not anyway. At a few different points, he seems to be making some pretty direct references to 50 Cent. Ha! According to the item about Strictly Leakage at the Rhymesayers website, the mix was conceived as an Atmosphere party album. I suppose these beats are about as party hardy as it gets for Ant productions, which is to say… kinda. It’s probably better suited for sitting around with a frosty cold one, thinking about things that you hate. But that’s pretty much what I like to do while listening to rap music anyway.

  • Young Sizzle

    world rap champion illmaculate’s rain check mixtape is bonkers….check that shit out

  • Neven

    just downloaded the new sad clown bad winter off of I tunes much luv. The duo is long over due sick flow everytime.

    1

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Shit is a few years old but I swear that Kirb & Chris mixtape ‘Niggaz & White Girlz’ was the best shit evar.

    Fools talking and spitting wild shit over 1980′s pop and new wave samples.

  • og bobby j

    most boring shit i read in a minute….

  • dubbith

    Wale is the truth. DMV stand up!!

  • b-ease

    I keep hearing about that Wale joint, but I still havent been able to listen to it yet.

    It’s funny you compared him to Wayne, the remix to Wale’s “Nike Boots” features him, but I’m sure you knew that already.

  • LOL

    WALE AND ATMOSPHERE?

    LMAO..BOL TRYINA GET A JOB AT URB MAGAZINE NOW.

  • J King

    Its true, Rhymefest puts more work in his mixtapes than his albums. Wales mixtape isn’t bad and haven’t heard this Atmosphere mixtape. Finally, I don’t find myself disagreeing with you Bol.

  • http://www.pimpinpens.blogspot.com triplesixninja

    tru

  • King B

    Damn you even suck at picking good mixtapes, but rhymefest is straight tho

  • jonathan

    xxl get ready for prison! get ready to report on your boys from prison! and your groupies! goodluck!

  • http://www.myspace.com/sogentllc these posters are idiots

    Word, I’m going to have to check for these, b/c there damn sure isn’t much to look forward to albumwise this 1st quarter.

    Cool drop btw.

  • sssj

    ya boy optimus rime is the besttt!.. fuck wat ya hearddd go cop itttttt!

  • http://ww.myspace.com/friscorepresenter ant

    What about mood muzik 3?

    • http://xxlmag.com Bol

      I’ve never heard anything he’s ever done other than that jumpoff song. Whatever it was called.

      • Sun

        you’re missing out big time budden is really deep

        • LOL

          mood music was a classic, but bol doesnt like black music till white people co-sign it.

          hes your proverbial house nigger

  • ST

    U SUCK

  • st

    bol u suck, you are truly an ass when it comes to journalism

  • yaboy

    Bol, stop losing.

    MM3 is lava.

  • teh thomas

    SOMEBODY (BOL) read Tom Breihan the other day…

  • mja

    atmosphere is the shit and puts on a kick ass show nice to see u up on em

  • BIZZLE

    WALE IS A JOKE. I’M FROM DC AND THIS CAT IS WACK. HE’S RIDING ON GO-GO NIGGAS NUTS. YOU FORGOT THAT BUSTA AND J-DILLA JOINT TOO.

    • BIG O

      wale is just annoying.he isnt as bad as tabi bonney though.im tired of people hyping wale.if he gets put on then everyone will think that that is what dc rap sounds like.he is a main reason why people look at the dmv and laugh.like bol said he raps endlessly about nothing

  • Fernando

    Atmosphere? Wale? Rhymefest?

    Ahhhhhhhhh, all is becoming very clear with regards to your taste in music. You dont like anything with energy or topics including hot chicks, drugs, cars, pimping, or any other fly sh!t because you listen to loser white person rap that is meant to be the soundtrack for the lives of underachieving (both academically and socially) college kids who drink cheap beer and dream of scoring with any chick hotter than their hand.

    Now, with full disclosure, I have enjoyed an Atmosphere song from time to time, but I get the feeling from reading you music reviews over the past year that you are one of those ghey a$$ rap elitists who only want to listen to music by sarcastic atheists that mock more successful people in the mainstream (right up Bol’s alley!! no-homo).

    If any of you have questions about what I am trying to say, just go to one of these artists concerts and see what I mean. Just a bunch of smelly losers that spent their college tuition on Hamms and dub bags. You suck Bol.

    • LOL

      I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU MY MAN (NO HOMO)

      IT SEEMS U MISSED BOL’S EL-P ASS KISSING FROM LAST YEAR.

      ANYWAYS…SEE YOU AT THE PITCHFORK FESTVIAL BOL.

    • Doobie

      “Music by sarcastic atheists”? That sounds like some good shit! That sounds right up my alley (nullus), especially if they’re mocking those so called God-fearing “successful” (not really) rappers that like to sniff coke, piss on people and take it up the ass while they’re praising their lord and savior. And if those college kids are underachieving, then those middle school drop outs who listen to all of that fly sh!t (BKA “tunes for ‘tards”) must be the gotdamn gold standard for success and achievement!

  • Fernando

    Young Sizzle

    Are you from the NW? (Portland, Seattle, San Fran)

    Im just curious because I know illmaculate and a bunch of the people he raps with. Im just wondering how widespread his/their music is travelling. I know that world freestyle champion stuff got him some recognition.

  • http://incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    Why didn’t you listen to Mood Muzik 3??? Thats the best mixtape series ever made.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rmns mark senchuk

    i just got this mixtape called roll call vol.2, shits nice, dudes name is Big Reminis, search him on google if ur interested.

  • jay

    so i guess it is with pride that you ignore joe budden.strange, it would seem more like you to listen to it and feign hatred so as to get a rise out of people. we know your game sir. and yes your taste is decidedly piss poor.

  • Dame

    Mood Muzik and A Breath Away are incredible

    joe budden and spot drop better mixtapes than most albums

  • bkblaze

    that new Ya boy mixtape optimus rime is fire!!! “now Xxl how yall forget a mothafucker”

  • http://www.myspace.com/crockerishiphop Crocker

    A few points.

    1. Nice drop. Not too interested in Wale but love Fest and Slug.

    2. That whole elitist talk from Fernando is bullshit. You must be just an ignorant motherfucker struggling with literacy. Fly shit is cool, but who nowadays really kicks that good fly shit save for The Clipse?

    3. That new Budden shit is pretty good but in no way compares to Mood Muzik 2. Beats were pretty Diplomatic Immunity Vol. 1-ish to me. But hey, in my humble opinion an artist is only ever good for one true classic.

    4.Fernando, LOL, why don’t you recommend me some good hip-hop that’s not “elitist?”

  • LOL

    I WOULDNT EVEN GRACE ATMOSPHERE WITH THE TITLE OF ‘ELITIST’

    THAT SHIT IS HIPHOP FOR WHITE KIDS WHO NEVVER LIKED HIPHOP TO BEGIN WITH.

    WARPED TOUR AINT HIPHOP.

    FUCK A NERD RAP.

  • http://fortheloveofhiphop.com HipHopsince1976

    Hater

  • Ginsu

    Bol you suck ass man
    where the fuck is MM2
    or 3 for that matter

  • EReal

    Man, wtf.

    Caltroit is the best mixtape this year.

    Master P will follow that.

    Then Hood Politics V by Term forreal.

    That who the Fuck Is Joell Ortiz is nasty too.

    The Mood Music series of course is outta control.

    Just so damn many, friggin MixtapeTorrent dot com got my external bumpin son, lol.

    I mean I like Wale, but Rhymefest? Atmosphere? I’ll pass.

    • LOL

      BOL DOESNT CARE ABOUT BLACK MUSIC.

      ASK HIM ABOUT COACHELLA

  • http://xxlmag.com NOR CAL MUFUCKAS!!!

    Damn Bol perfect call on that Atmosphere mix tape.

    • LOL

      WHITEBOI…OR AZN LOL

  • jay_hova_13

    WALE is too nice. all of you should listened to his shit. he is on his way up. dc,maryland,virginia

  • Fernando

    Crocker,

    That elitist talk is not b.s. I roomed in college with people who swear that the only rap worth listening to has to be political or socially aware “conscious” rap. They have to talk about politics, dealing with low self esteem, backpacks, turntables, etc. etc. to be considered quality hip hop.

    I am in no way endorsing Dj Unk, D4L, or any other remedial inbred rap. But so many of these fools like Bol turn their back on good music just because they arent talking about skateboards, vitamins, cheap beer and any other hipster bullsh!t.

    “Who kicks good fly sh!t other than the Clipse” ?? The F^ck?? That statement proves my point exactly. Somehow the Clipse have managed to become embraced by this same culture of rap elitists who dangle on the nut$ of Atmosphere and those of their ilk.

    Man, get on some Scarface, Ghetto Boys, 8ball & MJG (not the latest album), Witchdoctor, Messy Marv & Mitchy Slick, Mac Dre, Redman, Devin the Dude, Kokane, Mac Mall.

    • Fire

      Fernando,
      Co-sign to the fullest. I hate people that only want to talk about political and socially conscious topics. There has to be a balance between the idiots who talk about bullshit, MCs with a message, and those in between for hip hop to work. I like it all, so as long as they bring good music and lyricism it doesn’t matter to me. I’ve never heard of any of these people that Bol mentioned except Atmosphere (a friend told me about him, but I don’t know a damn thing about his music), but Fernando is right about Scarface and 8Ball & MJG. Anyway, there needs to be more people that make good music today.

      • Fire

        Guess I spaced for a second, I know some Rhymefest. But what are some songs the other two acts have done? Seriously, I don’t know any.

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  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    American Godfather and Ms. G.O.A.T. are pretty good. I was actually pretty surprised at Kim’s. Very not bad.

    Not checking for any Aphilliates shit until Dedication 3. They kind of wore out their welcome making shit for everybody at the low-low rate of $15k. Then acting like they weren’t getting way the fuck over on everybody.

    Rhymefest > Lupe

  • http://www.myspace.com/the_trap_boy El Negro

    man u bforgot the black wallstreet journal vol.1 that is a classic and yea rhymefest did put it down on that mixtape……chi-town stand up!!!!!

  • Pyrknight

    fuck this mixtape vs album shit. i say a song is a song. ya know?
    n everything atmosphere does is gold.

    oh and for those of you callin slug a white boy… do your homework dumb dumbs. thats fool’s black white and native american.

  • StreetKing23

    byron iz a fuckn loser muthafucka duznt noe hiphop at all