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Papoose:21 Gun Salute

Since back when Papoose came on the scene I have to say, I wasn’t much of a fan. Lyrically son is a beast off its chain and his bars were hard enough to build a prison off of, but his flow was erratic sometimes and delivery would always lose me and then get me back, and lose me again. It’s like an off and on again relationship. Sooner or later you’re gonna just give up. But regardless to whom or what, I always listen to his mixtapes to see what’s really hood in the mind of Papoose (never liked the name either. Sounds like an armadillo’s cousin).

Regardless of his inconsistent flow, dude can create some murderous bars that’s kept him relevant in a time where mother goose music is king. Lines like on “Hat Under My Hood” where son said, “How could a man say he’s feeling another man’s swagger/only females’ supposed to discuss that matter/if you feel a man’s swag then somebody should clap ya/that’s some homo shit you fuckin’ gay rappers,” was just hard and every word rings well, but his style of delivery just doesn’t have any personality to it. He’s like a rapping Forvo or something, na’mean?

But Papoose didn’t get this far by having a destructive flow. His jewel and gem dropping is what’s made him who he is and this mixtape is chock-full of them. That’s what got him signed to Jive at the tune of 1.5 mil (And the Yankees thought they lost money on Carl Pavano).

He took Keyshia Cole’s “Heaven Sent” beat and created “Take These Bars” where he channeled the spirit of Cochran so ill that it’ll will have a man feeling like he could be be his own attorney in a court of law. And he kicked a real sweet freestyle over CNN’s “T.O.N.Y.” beat on “Dirty York Shit.” “Live And Learn” was just as gangsta.

And I’m definitely giving him props for featuring my man ghost but not forgotten, AZ (Doe or Die was a classic!) on “Knowledge is Freedom.” Mr. Cruz is still top 20 of all time lyrically & rhyming.

But son, “Baby Love”?? I know Papoose characterizes a Native American seed, but that was just ridiculous. I get the concept, but the sample (“Baby Love” by The Supremes) just wasn’t a good look. That joint had no place anywhere in or around this mixtape. “I Can Help You Get Off” is another failed attempt at a mainstream banger.

All in all, Papoose is sounding like a more seasoned MC who’s worked on his flow enough to keep heads like me attention for the duration of this mixtape. His lyrics and rhymes are just as potent as they’ve ever been if they’re not filled with more THC and with a more consistent flow, he’s taken his game to the next level. While I’m not too thrilled with some of the beat selections (Rhyming over Ne Yo’s “Go On Girl” beat???), he was still able to crank out a pretty dope mixtape for the block. Still not thrilled with the name though. I’m just start calling him “Take The Money & Run.”

Hottest Joint: “Dirty York Shit”

Weakest Joint: “Baby Love’

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