It feels like it’s been a while since Young Chris’ days as a Grammy nominated up and coming artist under Roc-A-Fella. And it certainly has been. By way of the evaporation of State Property, the Philadelphia emcee has looked to revive his early 2000’s buzz and solidify his solo career through the mixtape circuit. After finding success with DJ Don Cannon in their The Network series, the former Young Gun drops a mixtape catered to the females with L.I.F.E. (Ladies In Free Everywhere).

Chris still possesses the same energetic, bouncy flow that once hailed him as the next big thing to come out of the R-O-C. His infectious delivery shines on “Me and My Bitch,” rapping “Only expensive champagne when we sippin’, lane switchin’, chain drippin’, I ain’t trippin'/My arm’s strong, Ken Griffey, Blake Griffin.” There’s also a nostalgic element to L.I.F.E., as Chris lays down verses on classic 90’s R&B hits such as Keith Sweat’s “Twisted,” and LL Cool J’s “Hey Lover.”

Unfortunately, the novelty wears off relatively quickly as the tape has little original production and the “features” are merely the original verses from these now-remixed records. The result of this is Young Chris ending up as the guest on other artists’ hits; what's more, there isn't a track where he really stands out on his own. While Chris remains an artist with the potential for major commercial success, the other pieces simply aren’t in place on this project for it to pave his way back into the limelight. By linking up with the right producers for his debut album under Rico Love’s Division1 label, though, the Philly lyricist should be able to find this success soon enough. —NMB