My listening hours have pretty much been consumed with Girl Talk’s All Day and Mr. West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but recently there have been a couple free mixtapes worthy of a listen. J. Cole and CyHi Da Prynce got a lot of feedback based on their tracks from Nark to the Future. They also happen to be proteges of Jay-Z and Kanye West.
CyHi Tha Prynce – The Royal Flush
Stone Mountain, GA native CyHi Da Prynce made noise recently as Kanye West’s latest signee to G.O.O.D. Music and backed up the hype with features on “So Appalled” and few other G.O.O.D. Friday tracks. After he held his own the likes of Mr. West, Pusha T and Jay-Z, I was eager to her his own effort, Royal Flush mixtape. Aside from metaphor and double entrendre’-filled verses, CyHi’s unique gravel-toned voice makes for a unique listen. Royal Flush is filled with tracks that detail CyHi’s street exploits, heartbreak (“Can’t Find Love”) and triumph (“Living Wonderful”, “Fast Lane”). “Sidewayz” is prime street single material that I’m sure we’ll see on the official debut. “Bunch of Rounds” is a particularly chilling narrative of revenge. I hate to compare him to anyone else, but…..he reminds me of a metaphorically inclined, but less flashy Jeezy. Besides, a couple tracks feature Drumma Boy production (one line even states “you know I’ma bang like I Jeezy beat”), so the comparison was bound to be made. The only real skippable tracks are “Record Us” and “Switchin Positions”. Why rappers continue to think listeners give a damn about their sexual exploits continues to confuse me. Other than that, solid mixtape.
CyHi Da Prynce – Royal Flush Mixtape
CyHi Da Prynce – Sidewayz (free mp3)
CyHi Da Prynce – Top Of The World (free mp3)
J. Cole – Friday Night Lights
Jermaine Cole aka J. Cole drew a lot of criticism/excitement as the first signee to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation. Friday Night Lights is actually Cole’s 3rd mixtape and probably his best. While Cole doesn’t have the street cred that many rappers do, his graduate degree from St. John’s highlights his exquisite wordplay. He exudes confidence (and sometime self consciousness) on tracks like “Before I’m Gone”, “Blow Up” and “Villematic”, where he nearly dismantles Kanye’s “Devil In A New Dress”. Not only does Cole showcase his much improved lyrcism, but most of the mixtape has his growing production ability on the majority of tracks. His diverse musical palatte shows in sample choices ranging from Aaliyah to Erykah Badu and Billy Joel. If Jay-Z wouldn’t have scooped up Cole, I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before a bidding war would have ensued.
J. Cole – Friday Night Lights mixtape
J. Cole – Before I’m Gone (free mp3)