The name DJ Mustard might not ring a bell to the casual consumer of hip-hop, but they’ve almost certainly heard his trademark drop “Mustard On The Beat Hoe.” Despite only having taken up beats less than four years ago, the DJ turned producer is responsible for several top 40 smashes in recent years, most notably Tyga’s “Rack City” and 2 Chainz’s “I’m Different”. Recently, he produced and co-wrote Young Jeezy’s R.I.P., and shortly after that song departed from the Billboard Hot 100, he returned with B.O.B., on the currently charting “HeadBand”.
DJ Mustard is the pioneer of the ever so popular “ratchet music” du jour. A unique blend of hypnotic synths and basslines alongside hard-hitting and at times frenetic hi-hats and claps make up most of Mustard’s relatively simple yet extremely appealing production. On ‘Ketchup’, his first full body of work, Mustard rallies up his pals, who also happen to be some of California’s finest. Appearances from E-40, Ty Dolla $ign, YG, Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy and Kid Ink, among others, make Ketchup a compelling case for the future of Mustard’s “Ratchet” sound, which follows California’s G-Funk and Hyphy movements that came before it.
Since the 21-tracks on Ketchup certainly share a singular sound, with similar elements in them, it wouldn’t be totally off base to regard Mustard as a bit of a one trick pony. But he’s still a damn good one. Standouts like “Burn Rubber” will likely start riots at parties and clubs all summer. Ty Dolla $ign’s capitivating appearances on a few sparse, yet special records like “Put This Thing On Ya” and the Joe Moses-featuring “Paranoid” are more than memorable. Couple those with some of the darker, mobbing anthems like “Been From The Gang” and “4Gs” and Ketchup’s really the Cali summer soundtrack that Tyga couldn’t deliver a few months back. It’s also a benchmark in modern-day West Coast hip-hop, something both diehard fans and casual listeners will be able to enjoy.—@wavydavewilliam