Let’s face it, much of the big hip-hop releases of the year haven’t delivered on their lofty expectations so far. Pusha T’s solo seems to have been worth the wait and “Rap God” gives me hope for Eminem’s next opus, but even Kendrick’s effort to put the industry on blast fell flat a few weeks later. Aussie rapper Remi may not be hip-hop’s savior, but his new mixtape F.Y.G. Act: 1 is a worthy 2013 entry and likely breakthrough.
I was introduced to Remi Kolawole via NPR’s All Songs Considered, but the emcee should amass many more fans based on the strength of lead cut “Sangria” alone. The laid back looped production of Sensible J and Dutch pairs Remi’s see-saw flow with an inescapable flute that guides the cut.
Aside from the 4 excellent original tracks on F.Y.G. (fuck your genre), Remi raps with ease on reworkings of Kaytranada, Gangstarr and Stardust gems. Kolawole claims “Me and my pal’s don’t restrict our tastes to just one style of music. From Radiohead, to Common, D’angelo, to Jeff Buckley, J Dilla to early Bloc Party, what ever it is, if it’s dope, we like it. This Mixtape is to briefly show my comfort amongst a variety of Genres, enjoy.” I can support that. Stream Remi’s entire mixtape above, individual selections below and download at bandcamp.