I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but one look at this mixtape cover and I was expecting to hear skits from Napoleon Dynamite, McLovin, Lamar Latrell (Gay geek from Revenge of The Nerds) and dude who sang “Chocolate Rain.” But the old saying never rung so true: only judge a book by its cover if it has an old white man on it… named Trump.
But that’s neither here nor there. This is about Vimby & Uponthingz mixtape which they felt was crammed with music so good that it warranted to be titled New Classics. The mixtape itself is mostly produced by Cook Classics and I’ll be the first to say that they put together gourmet instrumentals that’ll have a starving MC in the hood jacking for these beats—and that’s kind of what they did on this mixtape. They got the new crop of hungry as Al Sharpton during his hunger strikes MCs to throw the seasoning on the dishes they’re providing. The best way to describe their production is a mix of Tribe Called Quest’s melodies with Kanye’s drums and samples. “On-Off Switch” has Pac Div, Dom Kennedy & Mykel rapping and harmonizing over smooth tones and piano keys about women who are hot one minute and cold the next (story of my life).
The rusty sounding drums and horns on Trek Life’s “Long Time Coming” gave a nucca the urge to break out the record player (yes I have one of those still) and throw some vinyl records on (got those too!) and just zone to some Patron while enjoying the sweet sounds of mono instead of stereo. As did Diz Gibran’s rhymes over the soul stirring sample and sounds of “Stereo.”
They took it to the block with “Street Life” where Sean Price, Cymarshall Law and Sha Stimuli go in talking about, “everybody’s calling my name, I feel like I’m famous/but a lot of haters waitin’ and prayin’ to see the day I flop/fuck it, I am steadily gainin’, shinin’ and rainin’ at the same time, come at me flagrant and I will aim and pop/can’t nobody say what I’m sayin’ the way I say it/I’m the greatest music maker with paper, I used to play the block/coming up with phrases for flamin’ the booth is blazin’/I got the ladies still chasin’ me cause I make ‘em hot!”
After listening to this mixtape all I can say is Cook Classics is feeding me what I need right about now. While I wouldn’t say this is an instant classic mixtape or that it had instant classic songs, it did have a J. Lo buttload of bangers. Aside from a few obvious mainstream sounding joints (“Don’t Tell Me To Go” was one, but it was too catchy and sonically hypnotic to write off), they’re sound is soulful, honest and groovy. Their work is what the game needs right now, if not a mainstream level then on a ground level. As long as what they serve continues to be raw or well done, I’m satisfied.-The Infamous O
Hottest Joint: “Obssessed”
Weakest Joint: “Dirty Girl” (GREAT club record, but I’m on the block, not buying out the bar)