J. Cardim’s my favorite rapper’s favorite producer? I thought every rapper’s favorite producer was Dr. Dre? Guess I’ve been out of the industry scene for too long and things done changed. A dude like me stays on the block (just ask any industry cat or magazine editor, and they’ll tell ya) but for the life of me I’ve never heard of J. Cardim. Yet after listening to this mixtape, I wish I’ve been put on to homie sooner. His production style is raw and street but at the same time real up to date. It’s kind of hard to describe.

At times his production sounded like a mix of Just Blaze with Mannie Fresh. Weird, but true. The quick taps and drums on joints like “Dope Boy For Real,” “Follow The Leader,” and “Star Struck” prove my analogy of homie’s style. But at the same time, the tone of the beats were dark and street. Dude chose a good crop of true MCs to rip his creations. Like my man Sha Stimuli getting his politic on with “My Life” talking about, “I think about the way we delayed to help New’awlins/I ponder about the towers that fell, and who really caused it/I always imagined it was two Evils running and/we picked the lesser so I never even stressed it/especially when in Florida they rigged the whole election/I feel like a free man but I’m still in the colored section…” That true hood politics right there.

But that wasn’t the only MC to rip down one of Cardim’s gems. Term reflects on the good and bad of his existence on “That’s Life, “ as did Saigon on the ghetto classic, “Breathe Thru The Years,” where he stated, “I neglected Elijah Muhamm/said ‘I’d rather die on my feet than live like a survivor from ‘nam.” Damn! I mean, damn like when you see Tahiry’s booty, “damn,” damn! Saigon burnt that track down like manteca, b. (For those non-hood’s who ain’t grow up in a brown/black barrio, “Manteca” is Spanish slang for heroin).

All together, Cardim has a pretty impressive catalog here. Some of his sounds are repetitive at times, but the same can be said about Neptunes and Swizz Beatz, and look at how successful they turned out to be. But at the end of the day, Cardim’s production has more of a street essence to its sound and that could be both a gift and curse. It’s on him and the artists and rappers he fucks with to dictate how far he gets in the game. I can only hope that he keeps creating different sounds and avoids getting pigeonholed into one category. If not, then him and Scott “Balled a wee bit too hard outta control on these hoes” Storch are gonna be splitting the bill at a local Subways. Actually, Scott might end up slippin’ him the whole bill. Anyway, have a good and safe weekend y’all. I’ma keep working on getting my “Fab” on. Uno.

Hottest Joint: “What You Call That”

Weakest Joint: “Play With My Dough”