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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

[Music Review] November 2014 - May 2015 || Austin Rap/HipHop Album Review


Bakari The Oracle - The Magic 8 Ball


I've never heard of Bakari The Oracle before, but this tape features smooth boom bap type stylings as Bakari comes out with his first solo mixtape. He's got a lyrical style and I don't know who did all the beats, but I dig the chill old school vibe. The first five tracks are all pretty dope. Up and coming Austinite rapper Jae Jax is featured on "Fully Loaded" and fellow 512 Oracle Double L is featured on a couple of tracks as well. "The Good Ol Days" with Mic D has a West Coast type feel with the track right after it, "So Good" with You F. O sounding like an old school riding joint. Dela Duze of 512 Oracles and Phraynkh P close it out, showing that this crew is on the rise.
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Capn Kirk X Click Clack - FMBO


This album starts out on a high note with the "Prefix" with Kirk and Clack sounding like an Austin version of Bronson and Fraud with more screwed vocals to remind you where they're from. The pitched down vocals feature prominently in "Dead Brain" with Kirk taking a more aggressive flow over another dope beat from Click Clack. "Zip Lox" and "Wolves" feature the first appearances for LOEGz members $. and Dowrong. "BBO" features Duck LaRusso and is basically Kirk's motto in life. "Hustle Wars" features the League again and is followed by "Mermaids," which is probably the most honest track on the album. Of course, Kirk and Clack gotta keep it street with fellow SipKulture representer HBZ on "FTH" and "Enterprise" with Dowrong, which sees Kirk and Clack bringin back an energetic old school sound. "Mulattos" closes out the project and sees Click jumping on the track too as they talk about their feelings on being a "mixed-breed" and growing up as a lighter skinned person of African-American descent. They want to be clear though, just because they're mixed breed doesn't make this a mixtape. Word is they're working on a new tape, so we'll see if they can continue to grow.
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 Chamothy The Great - The Late Bloomer

Chamothy has been a dope artist that's been underrecognized by the mainstream media which I don't understand because if you actually listen to him, you'll realize he's a beast. His tape "The Late Bloomer" starts off mellow with the title track with some jazzy guitar and trumpet samples. The track "Time" is also dope and lets you know his mindstate as a Southerner tryin to stack his ends and live life to the fullest. One thing about Chamothy is he's got a real dope delivery with a good understanding of melody. The tape takes an R&B tint with tracks featuring Jake Lloyd and Jonathas before going heavy and street with the FBFG-featuring "Bobby Mack" which is a dope track. Cham lets some of his inner emotions on Sinner's Glory before going real dark on "Holy Water." Denver's Cory Kendrix contributes a crazy verse on the track, usually he's on some party stuff but when he wants to be he can say some wild shit. The project ends on a jazzy note with "On The Way" with fellow Die Slo member 2Tone.
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Clova - UniverSoul Language

If you know Austin hiphop up and comer Clova, you'll know he's all about his green and about putting on for the city of Austin. His new project with Jon Keys and Mike Reed starts off banging with "South Side G'z" where Clova introduces you to the part of town he came up from. The chill production complements Clova's laid-back flow and the vibe continues on "Lost In The Game" and "Live-n-Learn." "What Would I Do" features Austin R&B singer Staci Russell and marks a more emotional side to the tape. "Money Right" follows in that vein and Down features more R&B stylings, this time from Tone1y. The album then turns more street, with fellow Die Slo members Chachi and Sertified contributing verses but Clova makes it clear that he can stand by himself an emcee with the last few tracks which he grabs the mic for some solo tracks. Overall I dig this project, Clova is coming into his own as a rapper and I really like when the tape is on that laidback West Coast barbecue type vibe cause I feel like you can really ride to that sort of style with him.
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Dank Sinatra - Kush Lord Loud God


Dank Sinatra's new EP starts out with a heavy dose of distorted drugged out trap on "Aura," then follows up with the chilled out "LNK" with an assist from Austin's Sertified. "Bu$hido," "Trouble" and "Nu-congregation" give you an insight into Dank's life, trying to dodge trouble while trying to chill and smoke weed. This is definitely wavy stuff. "Hawaii 2 Japan" sees Dank pulling off a decent Future type vibe, although the adlibs sound more like a late 90s NYHC band. The menacing "Goo$eBump$" with Ransom Watson closes off the official tape tape, but there are some bonus tracks including "Backpack Fulla Drugs" with Kydd Jones. That track definitely goes, Kydd snaps on that joint with like three different styles and the beat is on some riding down the highway on the sunset type ish.
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Dat Boy Supa - Supacabra


Dallas transplant Dat Boy Supa lives in Austin now, where he's been gaining buzz for his live performances and hi quality indie hip hop. The tape starts out with a dope interlude before going into the Curtis Mayfield sampling "My Ish." Texas rapper G-Jet, who opened for J.Cole at SXSW this year, joins Supa on the banger "Higher" which is followed by "Boss Nigga" which samples the movie by the same name. Tone Jonez contributes a hook to "Love Unconditional," which sees Supa playing a smooth lover on the track. The soulful vibes continue on "Dreams" before Supa starts letting out some heavier thoughts on "When Dreams Die" and "Let Me In." The album ends on a real smooth tip with "Blue Sky" where Migg Porter sings a hook and "That's Life" which has a mad chill beat. Frat House members Casino and Chef Greezy team with Supa to close out the tape on "Let's Get Away." Overall this is a chill tape and a good intro to Supa's style.
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Dingus X Dowrong - Dowrong EP


The youngest member of the LOEGz teams up with OVO producer Eric Dingus for their first EP. The tape starts off with the Memphis underground influenced "9mm" and introduces you to Dowrong's quick aggressive multisyllabic flow. The beginning of this EP hits you hard from the jump, with "9mm" followed by the menacing "Worry Bout Me" and epic sounding "Shooters," two big singles off the EP. Dingus's trapped out drums and ear for ambient melody allows Dowrong to spit rapid fire rhymes and Dowrong lets you know this is a family affair by bringing out Austin's $.dot on "Rosa Parks" and San Antonio's Worldwide on "G Shit." Both emcees have toured with Dowrong and if that wasn't enough, the intro has presumably Doodie's father and the outro to the tape features Esperanza, who I'm pretty sure is his mom. Dowrong and Dingus let you know with this tape that they plan to be a problem for the Texas hiphop scene.
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DOS - Royal EP


D.O.S. delivers a throwback hardcore rap album produced by LA's Ike aka 2020 (who recently dropped an album with Haris of the LNS Crew). The intro "Master Chef" takes you back to the 90s as D.O.S. hits you with some straight rugged lyricism; his style reminds me of like Guilty Simpson crossed with Boot Camp Clik. "All I Want" takes it more on some Southern type drum patterns but DOS doesn't let up. "Where Do I Go" features Sonia Moore singing at the end, and Austin's GoDJ JB provides a hype intro to the club joint "Hard" as DOS takes a page out of the Dipset book as he swags but still with that East Coast type flow. Tiko Brown also provides vocals for a couple tracks on the album as it ends on a more mellow hip-hop note, with "I Hustle" sounding like some 9th Wonder type production as DOS slows down to remember why he works so hard. The album ends with the "Rudeboy" manifesto, which reminds me of some Wu Tang ish. With D.O.S, you know what you're gonna get: raw rhymes and he doesn't disappoint on this album.
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Dr. Bobby Banner, MPC - Musicology


This tape starts off with a banger! "Precision Poetry" featuring The Mic Fiends is an old school boom bap affair, and this tape is unapologetic for it's sound and immediately goes into a jazzy flip with "The Chase" and "Hold Me Down" with Black DaVinci, Muggzy Flowz and Stormshadow, the three of which are all over the tape. This dude doesn't call himself Doctor of the MPC for no reason, he's a beast with the sound. "David Ruffin" features Austin relative newcomers Scuare and No1Important and is followed by "Swerve," which is a dope track featuring Muggzy Flowz. Rudi Devino of the SubKulture Patriots joins in for the posse cut "Runner$" which is followed by "Infinite Bliss" with Emcee Eats. All the beats for this tape are super dope on that throwback golden era hiphop sound. "Rx for Stress" doesn't have a rapper credited but there's one on there, I wonder if it's him haha. "Scenery" with Tree G & Black Davinci close out this project, which is definitely a slept-on heater and represents a side of music from Austin that definitely needs more shine. Big ups to Bobby Banner MPC for killing the beats on here.
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Grind Life Films 


Grind Life mastermind ET aka Ernie Redeye aka ET Tattoo put together this mixtape with Tha Real Chino highlighting tracks he did videos for over the years. This really shows the talent of the underground Austin scene. Pacboi Tank's "Cheers" opens the tape, with a somber Tank talking about why he's always stressed out these days. Ndeo The Blindsider's "What's To Come" keeps the underground hiphop vibe going, he always brings the Cypress Hill hype flow. Karma Jonze's "Get Money Flow" brings back the heyday of when females were really coming with that aggressive lyrical steez, this sounds like some golden era shit for sure. San Antonio's Worldwide follows with the Murk Russell-produced "Ending Cycle," he sounds like a more UGK influenced Curren$y over the boom bap beat. Ernie continues to show you that he's well-connected outside the River City, as Chino follows with the New Orleans track he did a video for, "Rubenstein Bros" with the Geto Boys sample but featuring Louisiana emcees Nesby Phips, HollyGrove Mike and Curren$y. But it quickly goes back to Austin with the LOEGz single "Parental Discretion," "The Shining" by Nextgang's Youngin and Marcus J's "Ms Cleo." The whole LNS Crew makes an appearance with the posse cut "Leaders Life Forever" cause you know ET been down with the Lz! Krypol Haze and Mista Mane follow with street lyricism on "Hell Nah" and San Antonio's KP Tha Profit contribute some more streetwise lyrics over the Lonnie Liston Smith-sampling "Play Yo Position." Team Next's "NWO" represents for Austin, as do Eric Dingus and Slick Talk of Southbound/LOEGz on the Southside anthem "That Lower." Math Klass's Nez Tha Villian brings some dark Austin rap on "Mental Lapse 2" and King Danja does the same for San Antonio with "Live Life Sin." The tape is closed by Kydd Jones's classic "The Masons" featuring Dallas duo A.Dd+. If you need a primer to some of the biggest underground acts in the South, this is a good place to start.
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Hyder - Dreamcatcher EP


Fraternity Gang affiliate Hyder comes thru with his new EP to reintroduce himself to Austin with production on the tape handled by Nathan Rhoads and Let That Boy Cook. "Sacrifice" starts the tape with Hyder talking about what he has to go thru being an up and coming lyricist. "Let's Ride" shows Hyder in a Rittz-esque mode, spitting rapid fire streetwise lyricism looking critically at others. "Roll Up" is more of a party track and is followed by "Give Me Dat" which has him more in his feelings. "Thirty Two" and "Fuck Em" are more aggressive as are "Fuck With This" which features fellow Fraternity members contributing dope verses. Hyder shows potential on this... if he refines his sound, look for this El Paso transplant to put on for Texas in the future.
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Keith Corona - Live from 78745


Young Mexican Keith Corona from South Austin has been making noise for a while in Austin and his new album shows why Austin is to be taken seriously in all cultures and genres as a music city. Da Bosnian contributes most of the production, as do BlockRunna, Cutta and AC. "Slowly But Surely" shows you the mindstate of a young Latino in Texas, and "I Do It" does the same as Lil J of the LOEGz and Lil Tone of Poverty Island join in. "Loosing Grip" has an emotional Keith reminiscing about difficult times in his past. "The Recipe" with Krypol Haze is a banger on some street shit, and "Story of A Have Not" has a similar sound but has Keith show off his fast flow talking about his rise in the A-town. Female emcee Daniela Rodriguez contributes a Spanish-influenced verse on the dope track "$ Won't Buy It All" which is another personal favorite of mine off the project. I really dig the Spanish rap as that really shows off Keith's fast flow and he's obviously proud to represent his culture so I think it's something he should do more of. Keith closes it up with "In The City," which features Austin hiphop veterans Blaxsmith, Phranchyze and Shorti C and "Rolling Stone" shows an introspective Corona looking at his position in life. This album is a good insight into the life of an Austinite of foreign descent trying to come up in the city and if Keith keeps working on his craft people outside the city will definitely start taking notice. 
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Kilmatik - Zero Weirdos EP


The lead single for this EP features Kool Keith who goes by Robbie Analog. Kilmatik raps about trying to be different around a bunch of other people who also try to be different, which I think is basically complaining about hipsters. Robbie Analog definitely talks about some weird shit which is pretty much par for the course. I think he did a track with A.Dd+ this year, too. Ruler Why did the beat for the single as well as "Super Something" and also contributes a verse for "City Stompers" along with upstate New York transplant Norman Ba$e. Tone of the Cosmos, DA the INM and Emcee Eats are featured on the EP as well. Producer Markie Tee has some dope beats on this project as well, I was impressed by his beats on here. Ruler always keeps it consistent with his production, there's a reason why he's so highly regarded in Central Texas hip-hop. Rapid Ric contributes a remix as well.
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King ART - Infinite Reign


King Art and Ruler Why team up on this album, and it starts out with a deep sample from Alan Watts over an instrumental sample from Isao Tomita, followed by "Dreams" which shows Art staying true to his underground hiphop roots. This tape is an unapologetic heady hip-hop release, as "Language Is" and "Faces" definitely shows lyrical content you won't see from many other rappers in Austin. "Immortal" features San Antonio hip-hop legend Mad-One who's been killing mics for decades. "Fuego," "Daedalus" and "Refined" with OT23's Lord Higg's are energetic tracks, while "Coolin Out" with D.O.S. is anything but lackadaisical. "Dear Son" closes out the track on an emotional note, with Art penning a poem to his son to find in the future. You definitely see the love that Art has for hiphop, and although this release runs a bit long at 15 tracks, if he focuses his song-writing and diversifies his flow he will definitely find his groove.
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KB The Boo Bonic - Farrah Flossitt


Austin hip-hop veteran KB The Boo Bonic starts off with her newest release by spitting straight bars on the intro, followed by a few more R&B influenced cuts with "Daddy Baby" (which actually is a dope track) and "Drive, Bye." The title track shows the evolution of KB as an artist, you can really see the influence of recent female artists on her delivery and it definitely helps in my opinion. She tells the story of where she got her style at on "Came Down," where she takes on a more Houston style. KB has definitely grown as an artist, and with dope production like The Moon Guys, Max Lo and more she can definitely put out a classic Southern album if she continues melding her rap influence with catchy songwriting.
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Lil Milez - St Valentine's Day Affair


Lil Milez is an upcoming Austin emcee who's been buzzing in the underground for a while. This EP starts off with the autotuned "Trust Issues" before going into "Lover & Friend" which continues the autotune and also features rising female Austinite emcee Anya. "Sex Me" follows and features a little less autotune but still has some filtered vocals. "Wait For It" features Bluu Suede of The Cleaners on hook duty while Milez employs a less sing-song flow as he talks to the females in his life. Overall this is a departure from Milli's earlier stuff, but for a Valentine's Day tape it works although the songs could be a bit more varied. It'll be interesting to see if he can blend the more melodic singing on this project with the rapid fire battle rhymes we've come to expect from Milez.
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Lil T - Lil to the T


Lil T came out in 2015 with this tape hosted by Rapid Ric to try and stamp his name on the Austin hiphop scene to represent for the Latinos in the Texas capitol. "What's Up" starts out the tape on a street note and is followed by "Plugs" which is produced by Austin veteran and 3-6 Mafia affiliate Da Bosnian. The project then takes a more mellow vibe with "Rather Be Fly" and "On My Own," a dope track with Sonya B. "On The Microphone" sees Lil T on a H-town type of sound and closes the tape out nicely. At a short seven tracks, the mixtape shows the potential for Lil T. If he focuses his talent and has consistently good tracks, he definitely has the ability to make something happen for himself musically.
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LNS Crew (Cory Kendrix, Kydd Jones & Tank Washington) - LNS Crew Vol. 2 


The new mixtape from the LNS Crew starts off with Tank and Cory talking about the stress they've gone through the last few years, before Kydd Jones breaks in with his single off the A3C mixtape, "Who Are You" which also features Cory. Word on the street is Kydd's got a big remix planned for this song so stay tuned. Tank follows with "Murder Season" with S.Dot of COD and The League of Extraordinary Gz, which is definitely the most outright menacing song on the tape (although the song right after, Kydd's "Round Here" gives it a run for good measure). Cory Kendrix's "Theme Song" provides the mixtape's strip club anthem courtesy of a banging beat from Stewart Villain, while Kydd Jones contributes with his new single "Blink Away" featuring Boot Camp Click representer Sean Price of Brooklyn. Cory and Anna Love show you with "Pull Up" that although he lives in Denver now, Cory's still a Texas boy at heart and still wants nothing more than to pull up to the spot in a drop. Tank Washington keeps the Texas vibes going with Killa Kyleon and Worldwide on "Drunk," which is followed by Kydd Jones channeling Kanye West's manic energy on "You Niggas." Cory's drugged out single "Wax On" and Kydd's Houston meets Atlanta vibe on "Been That Nigga" provide a little bit of ignorant party rapping before Tank takes us back to the old school with San Antonio's J. Money and Kyle Lee on "It's Nothin." Kydd's "Nothin On Me" and Cory's "Gettin Thoed Again" bring a blunted interlude before Kydd and Max provide dual serenades on "Let Me Down Easy" (produced by Scott Pace and Kydd Jones, both of whose fingerprints are all over this album musically). Tank and Cory join up for "It's Complicated" over an organ and string beat courtesy of Magna Carda's Dougie Do, followed by Kydd and Tank reminiscing about the situations they've had to overcome on "Fame" which features Houston's Roosh Williams. Dallas representer Slim Gravy of A.Dd+ joins Cory on the Y2JJ-produced Black Roses which talks about loss they've had to deal with. Kydd, Cory and Tank join up for the last few songs, "Leaders Life Forever" off Deezie Brown's debut album and "We Can Smoke" off Cory's mixtape "Ignorance." For the last song, H+ aka Haris Qureshi laces the beat for the posse cut "Pot Luck" that includes Alabama's ST 2 Lettaz and New Orleans emcee Dee-1. Overall, this is a star-studded affair that shows that LNS Crew is here to stay in the Texas hip hop scene.
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Mr. Gray - The Life And Grind


Mr. Gray's new tape "Life And Grind" has a church-ish intro and "I'm Ready" leads into "Honest," where Mr. Gray shows you why music is his therapy. He and Curtbeats do a lot of production on this project. I'm pretty sure "Get Deleted" is a Curtbeats joint. After a brief interlude, "100" shows Gray flexing over the "Picture Me Rollin" instrumental from Pac. "I Remember" shows Gray rapping over a soul sample and is followed by "The Scene" with Curtis King. "Boyz2men" shows Gray's rapping about his past as he tries to grow as a person. Overall Gray has tracks where he can flow and has a good message to share with the public but the album did drag a little. If he continues to hone his musical ability and release a more consistent and concise album, people would really stand up and take notice.
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Phranchyze - The Anime Tape


Famed battle rapper Phranchyze comes through with this April 2015 release. "Vegeta's Song" opens up the tape and shows a just-as-hungry Phranchyze growing disenfranchised (haha, bad pun) with the state of hip-hop and seeing himself as the answer, and is followed by lighter-hearted local single "Hennesy and Horchata" featuring fellow Southside Austinite Keith Corona. "#LEAN" is another dope track, Phran has always been a punchline heavy rapper but on this tape he chooses to let his lyrical ability relax in favor of just general swagging which isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Snotnose" produced by Raisi K is a cocaine track which will always be applicable in Austin, while the NIP-produced "Players" is a Texas referencing rider joint. It's interesting that only Mexican Texas rappers feature on this one (although I'm sure it wasn't like a conscious decision) as Houstonian Chingo Bling comes thru to drop a verse on "Fuck With That." Phran keeps the Latino love going with Haris Qureshi contributing the beat for "Spanish Food;" the hook references the girl rainbow Phife and Jay rapped about in a few songs, but the rap is more introspective (although you know Phran gotta throw some sports references in there) and even features him playing guitar on the beat. "Middle Men" is a concept track that looks at people in life and the circumstances they are trapped in. "Larry Johnson" is a club joint but if you listen to Phranchyze's lyrics on it, he'll make you laugh but will also mention Obama's drone campaigns in the middle of rapping about sports. "Dashboard Dreams," the last track on the album, shows a melancholy Phranchyze over dreamy production from Evan James. I definitely feel this is Phranchyze's strongest effort yet and he shows why he's one of the most consistent lyricists in Texas, but you still get the sense he has the potential to do more; when he puts it all together with a musically banging album with strong songs that still show the clever punchlines and humor that he's made his calling card, that's when I feel he'll get the national attention he's been seeking for so long. 
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 Ransom Watson - Everybody Does It EP

 

This EP starts off heavy with the beat and flow for "LVL UP" hitting you straight in the face. That intro flows into the heavy and grooving "Lost In My Mind In Cali" where Ransom Watson keeps up with his aggressive flow. The trap vibes continue on "Purple Cloud Pt. 2" where Ransom raps about his weed expertise. The whole EP is pretty ignorant on some fun trap shit and my favorite track is probably "Smoke Shop Shawty," it has a dope beat and I dig Ransom's delivery on this one, it's comedic and turnt-up while still maintaining his aggressive style. The EP ends on a cooled out note with the Bonus track, where if it's still Ransom on it, he switches up his delivery on a 3-6 type flow over a wavy trap beat. 
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Ruler Why - Lo Clasico Vol. 1


Hiphop producer Ruler Why is a San Antonio native who has lived in Austin and has quite a few credits under his belt. This album marks an instrumental tape for him, rare as he usually is working with multiple emcees and is constantly dropping projects. With Ruler, you're going to get well-engineered, sample-heavy boombap beats and he doesn't disappoint on this release. My favorite joints on this mixtape are "True Understanding," "Build It Up" and "Crowd Movers" (which totally sounds like it samples some 80s synth shit). If you claim to know underground Central Texas hip-hop but don't know Ruler, better do your homework because he is definitely putting out material on a consistent basis.
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 Team Next - NEXT Life

This mixtape starts out real hood with All Day, straight up sounding like some 2000s type crunk Myspace type ish. The heavy vibe continues with "Whats Yo Lifestyle" and "The Shining," this is real roughly mixed turn up rap. Things kick into overdrive with the T.A. and Youngin banger "No Deal" before heading back to the same style. "Nigga Like Dis" is another standout track where the beat is banging, which is followed by the Whiteside-assisted "I Promise" and the posse cut (which is a heater) "Michael Phelps" followed by a few more trapped out tracks. If Team Next can focus their considerable energy into a cohesive quality project and continue to grow their fanbase and movement, they could be a force.
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Tone Brigante - Tone


Tone Brigante of PIE seeks to put on for the Southeast of Austin from Montopolis with this 2015 release. "1Hunnit" with Cloud Neena starts off the tape, but "Bank" with King Rendon and young KiiKii Star blows up the spot for sure. If you haven't heard of KiiKii, she's one of the best singers in Central Texas so keep your eyes open for her. This is definitely a street tape and Tone lets you know he can't forget where he came from with "What Yall Know About Me" with Mak Man and "I Remember." Tone takes a break from the heaviness to talk about his favorite things in life in "Love Of Money," "Pound Game" and "Hu$tla Love" before going back to the unpleasant things in life with "Only Heaven Knows." "Right Or Wrong" features Unonumes and big Dirty Brigante and is followed by "Fo Life" and "Streets Don't Love" which is a dope track. All in all, Tone definitely lets you know he represents for the streets of ATX in an authentic way. Tone has a dope style so if he works on his craft and develops himself, his next album could really do some damage.
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Tex Garcia - Est 1982


Tex Garcia's 2014 album starts out with "I'm From The Bottom" which has a soul sample with Tex delivering a street sermon about the reality of his situation in Austin. "Blessed" with Gunplay is another dope track that has been slept on followed by street banger "Come From Nothing" with Atlanta's Kap G. "King" features a hook from Masspike Miles and is followed by banger "Get Ya Own" with Freddie Gibbs and Stix 1. You can see that Tex has a great ear for beats and definitely has a vision for this project. "Red Presidents" shows Tex in his native element, while "Ima Be Rich Soon" features Jo Young who delivers a pretty good feature verse. "Momma Ain't Worried" shows Tex flossing now that he's moved up in the world, while "If I Ever Came Back" features Jo Young again. "Whoa" with Big Dirty is another dope heater that's been slept on. "Up" with June Summers is followed by soul-sampling "My Future" where Tex talks about some super real shit. "Live It" is a dope song and "Pie" closes it out where Tex kinda reminds me of Jeezy. Overall, this album is really well put together and shows other street rappers how to put together a Southern hood classic. If Tex and PIE can put together an album as dope and grand as this one and get the right promo behind it, they would really go places because I feel like he's got the best ear for beats out of all of them. As of now, I definitely think this is the best rap album I've ever heard from Montopolis.
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Trae Cane - Trappers In The Attic


I first heard of Trae Cane from his song "27" with Kydd Jones, so I figured I'd check out his new joint "Trappers In The Attic." His drug-influenced style is trapped out on "Listen Up" and "Jugg Life"  which features Steelo Foreign of SoulFresca. "Final Battle" features buzzing California rapper Bones and is definitely on some wavy cloud rap shit. The EP is closed out by "The Flyest" which is some Migos-influenced bouncy fun ignorant rap (my favorite part is when he admits "I can't pronounce what I wear"). Trae Cane has potential, good taste in beats and sees the bigger picture; he just needs to put it together in a consistent musical project and he'll start to see more attention.
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Traffic Lee - The Booker T Project


Traffic Lee's new mixtape starts out with the "Intro" talking about where he's from, the infamous Booker T Washington projects on the East Side. DJ Mist does the honors on this joint as "How Bout That" goes on for a verse or so until another spoken interlude leads into "All I Know" with Mezzy Don on the hook. Lee definitely represents for those raised in the drug game of the Eastside with his street lyrics. "Send Me" is full of shout outs to the folks who make up his hood... crooks, crips, bloods, and shooters. "Against The City" has an Atlanta style hook that kinda reminds me of Migos and is followed by the soulful "Chance" as Lee asks what logical way to get money is there other than to sell drugs when you're in a neighborhood with no other options. The outro of the track features a more trapped out beat and then Traffic shouts out all the homies from Booker T before going into the "Collin.Kermit story" which is a dope drug deal setup storytelling type track. Mist and Traffic give an outro before the mixtape is closed by "How It Feels" where Traffic, 512 Dre and Chris Houston wonder how those born on the Westside or those who live on the "new" Eastside must live. This is definitely a very hood mixtape, but if Traffic Lee works on his music and sticks to his strengths, he could really be putting his hood on the map for the rap world. 
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Tuk Da Gat & S-Dot - Green Room


The yell of "League Shit!" lets you know what's up from the jump. Tuk and $. get to dropping bombs right after Bryson Brown does the formal introduction for them on the Y2JJ-produced "Green Room." You know what you're gonna get with the whiteboys from the COD: aggressive rap bars. After Bryson tells you to move out the way, they immediately drop what needs to be a video, the ScottyATL-assisted "Overtime." This is definitely my favorite joint on the tape, DJ Burn One killed the beat... They could definitely do a HTown remix to this one. "Skydivin" with Max Frost is another banger, he kills the hook. "W" with Gangsta Boo and Burn One is a dope joint as well, this is more of a party track. "Shoulders" features fellow COD member Greezo and shows the Gz reflecting on the sad situations they've been through in the past and the worries being a musician can bring to you. "Raw Pt 2" is an Eric Dingus banger and Lil J comes through as the three C.O.D. members let you know that 04 is still running things in the city of Austin, followed by "Good Smoke" with San Antonio songstress KiiKii Star which is a chilled out joint that you can jam on the highway. "Intoxicated" and "Wait" close out the new LOEGz project. This is a concise and focused album from Tuk and S, although honestly I felt like it could have ended after "Good Smoke" but I guess it would have been shorter (though the screwed up "Space" is interesting). They show their professionalism and experience as rappers on this album, as it's consistent from start to finish.
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Whiteside and Checkmate - White Checks


This new mixtape from Eastside residents Checkmate and Whiteside starts off with the club joint "Like Jordan" where Whiteside introduces you to the city of Austin where people hate on you because you have a little more success than them. This isn't exactly backpacker indie rap and if you haven't realized that by the third song, "Djigalonme" (which definitely needs a ridiculous dance to accompany it) you might be a bit slow. Fellow Above All member Uptown Joe joins in for braggadocio track "I'm The Man," while Shogunz from New York jumps in for a guest appearance on  "Don't Do It." "Ain't Kno" is a dope club track as well, while Whiteside turns to honest portrayal of his life on "God In My Body." Gee Bully features on "4 Spittas" which is more of an old school hip hop posse cut. Overall, this mixtape shows you that Whiteside is a rapper to take seriously, however at 21 tracks it feels a bit long. If Check can get some beats that don't sound like they're from ten years ago and have Whiteside and spitters on his level represent for Austin, look out for what Above All can do.

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