Houston, TX underground talent Trae Tha Truth remains curiously underrated in the mainstream, but his new mixtape Undisputed ought to correct that.
The best stab at a radio single is Streetrunner’s remix of “Inkredible,” which turns the original into something even more bombastic, adding operatic vocals and pulsing, twisting synths. Killer guest verses from Rick Ross and Jadakiss are just the icing on the cake here. “Gettin’ Paid” is the standout, a surprisingly effective pairing with Wiz Khalifa over a sinister vibes loop; the two duplicate the success of “Phone Numbers,” from Wiz’s Cabin Fever. Later, “Shit I’ve Seen” comes in as a close second, as Trae and Yelawolf exercise stunning double-time flows over rolling percussion and mariachi horns. “Slammin Doors” is a clear throwback to the woozy Screwed Up Click sound with Young Buck, wah-wah guitar meeting synthesized horns for perfect riding music.
Trae’s gravelly murmur occasionally sounds lost on some Lex Luger-heavy instrumental selections here, but he excels when he gets a chance to slow down and emote. “Bumpa Kit” takes advantage of Trae’s bluesy croon over downbeat organs, while “I Deserve” is an earnest lament of everyday struggles over a butter Lauryn Hill sample. Trim off the extraneous freestyles and remixes on this 24-track Don Cannon hosted release, and you’ve got a potent preview for Trae’s new album, Street King, dropping June 28. —Aaron Matthews