Ever eat a meal at Popeye’s? They’re known for their chicken, but the simple biscuit is what floors you. Their food is tasty and satisfying while you eat it, but when you’re done you kind of wonder why you chose this of all establishments to nourish yourself. Your belly is full but you’re puzzled as to why the best part was… the biscuit. This is what it’s like to hear Trinidad Jame$’s new mixtape, 10 Pc. Mild, named after the order he likes to place at his favorite chicken institution in Atlanta. Straightforward refrains, ranging from repeats of “hoes, clothes and that money” to screams of ”I’M TOO FUCKED UP!”, will more than do the trick if that’s what you came for. But beyond blaring beats and hooks meant to be shouted while standing on tables at the club, 10 Pc. Mild isn’t as powerful or diverse of a play as his debut.
“Fuck a single,” Jame$ said in a recent interview, and that much is obvious on the new project. Whereas his ubiquitous hit from Don’t Be S.A.F.E. was the last song he recorded for the project in a last ditch attempt to strike gold, there’s nothing as shamelessly shticky here, and thus the new tape suffers, since the success of “All Gold Everything” is probably the reason why a lot of people are checking for his new stuff. His first project was actually somewhat slept on outside of the obvious single, although close listeners found it to be a well-rounded experiment filled with anthemic hooks, stadium synths and dashes of dubstep. Hints of left-of-center ethos appear on 10 Pc. Mild, like his singing at the end of the hook to “Ro$enberg$” and the XXYYXX beat on “Bino$ Vs. Bree$,” but the latter feels like a worthless attention-grab via the inclusion of a buzzing young electronic producer. The problem with Jame$ as an MC is apparent on the last track, “Ea$tside” featuring Gucci Mane, Young Scooter, Alley Boy, and Childish Gambino. As atypical as Jame$’ delivery is, every other rapper manages to entice the listener more than he does on the first verse, and so he works best as a pugnacious knot of turn-up in between his guests.
There are highlights, but they mostly draw from either the energetic choruses of the last tape or the influence of other rappers. The weirdness of Lil B has been apparent in Jame$’ music since the “All Gold Everything” video, and “Hip$ter $trip Club” has an all-too-familiar Clams Casino feel to it. The title sounds like a place akin to hell, but K.E. On The Track (who produced the narcotic Future single “Magic” and the 2009 breakout single “Swag Surfin’” from Fast Life Yungstaz) converts the song’s essence to a more heavenly state with an Imogen Heap sample. “Quez” features a star-studded line-up, including appearances from a more than serviceable Fabo of D4L, a yipped up Danny Brown, and a resurrected pimp-talking Playa Fly. It’s definitely the centerpiece of the project, providing both an exciting climax and an unfortunate reference point to what the rest of the project could be. Labelmate Rich Homie Quan is a welcome guest on the monster Young Chop beat for “Jump Off Texa$”, but appearances from G.O.O.D. Music artists Travi$ Scott and CyHi The Prince sound like unnecessary placeholders.
What can you expect from a rapper who didn’t even spit on the remix to his biggest song? At his best Jame$ serves a specific purpose: He delivers songs with bludgeoning beats and repetitive hooks. The tracks that follow this formula are fun to listen to but leave little to walk away with. Like a biscuit, it’s enjoyable but hardly something you can make a meal out of. - Max Weinstein