First off let me start by giving props to Mick Boogie. This man is the epitome of a mixtape DJ. He creates and drops mixtapes for different kinds of crowds on the regular. It may not always be what I’m looking for (I just dissed one of his joints last week), but it’s always true to the audience it’s intended for. Sidenote: Don’t dude in the purple jacket look like Tommy Davidson in his In Livin’ Color days? I don’t know if it’s Thurz or Yo, but he seems like a colorful character nonetheless.

My West Coast homies done told me about these U-N-I kids not too long ago, but he didn’t do a good job selling them to me. So I ignored it. Then this mixtape landed on my lap and I can’t front, their music is pretty good.

I was feeling these dudes simply because it was somewhat reminiscent of some old school Pharcyde sh*t with a twist of Tribe Called Quest (Not saying that to be blasphemous) and a dash of Group Home. U-N-I are able to get creative with their styles like when they went into Rasta mode and killed it Jamaican style with “Night Nurse.” But on the piano key driven “Cast ‘Em Out” they went in lyrically with dude saying: “You get it straight to the head like double Patron shots/alcoholic MC, leave rappers on the rocks/crack in the flesh, the rap enigma/they wish to inhale this dope ass nigga.” Metaphors and punchlines went together lovely. On “Half Off” they jacked Lil' Kim’s “Came Back For You” instrumental and kicked a sweet freestyle.

Overall Before There Was Love is a pretty good mixtape. It’s well rounded as far as U-N-I showcasing their lyrical skills and song crafting abilities, something today’s upcoming rappers just don’t focus on. They’d rather attack tracks and bomb on verses. And the production from DiBla$e, 6th Sense & Ski Team was on point. I’m definitely looking forward to more product from U-N-I. Hopefully they can maintain that same hunger for a minute to crank out some more bangers. Mick Boogie does it again.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Vitamin B”

Weakest Joint: “Monster”