Monday, May 07, 2007

Have you ever wonder why the term "mixtape" is still so blatantly used to describe mediocre compilations? Back in the day mixtapes were just that. Actual DJs mixing and blending dope hip-hop on a cheesy cassette tape. Even though in 2007 most so-called mixtapes aren't even mixed nor are they presented on a cassette tapes anymore, several artists continue to use the term. Why? I think it's because the mixtape is a major part of the hip-hop culture, so both the artists and record execs alike feel that term connects them to the streets. Plus, before the big DJ Drama/DJ Cannon raid in ATL awhile back, folks were making good money off of selling mixtapes to the fans. Claiming to have exclusives and tight freestyles from some of the hottest artists out. The reality is these almost mixtapes were just CD compilations of unreleased tracks that probably didn't make the cut in the first place? At one point you couldn't trust the mixtape tracklisting. Technology allowed wack deejays to deceptively combine rhymes from several hot artists on the same track to make up fake songs, which they would label as "exclusives" to get folks interested. Trickery like that is one of the main reasons why I have avoid plenty of mixtapes over the years, but every now and then there is a mixtape that is worthy of talking about. The newly released "Bar Exam" mixtape by my Detroit homeboy Royce 5'9 is definitely one of them.

Royce has been on the hip-hop scene for a minute, and he has delivered several hot tracks over the years as well. The saddening thing about Royce's career is the fact that he hasn't blown up just yet? He has all of the components to be one of the great ones, but the "talent vs. opportunity" factor hasn't really worked out for him. Here in Detroit Royce is a household name, but when most fans think of the top rappers on the game, Royce's name is normally not included? That's no reflection on the man's talent, but some fickle fans may think his day may never come like so many other great rappers of our generation. Royce has never let negative opinions get him down, and you can tell he still has that confident swagger that he's known for on "The Bar Exam" mixtape. The best thing about this mixtape is Royce's rhymes. Even if you are not a Royce fan, it's hard to deny this kat can really spit that fire! There are so many quotable lines on this project that hitting the rewind button is a definite must. Premo is on the mixtape too, so you know it's official. Even though Gang Starr is no longer putting in work together, I am glad to see that Premier is still getting his grind on! There are not too many great DJs left in the game, so I applaud the ones that are still keeping it hip-hop 101!

So, if you love hip-hop or Royce, make sure you put your ears on this one for sure! For those that give a dayum, I have hidden a secret treasure somewhere in this post. For those of you that are internet gurus the prize will be easy to find, but for unfamiliars I will try to guide you to it. The answer to this hip-hop trivia question will give you the clue to find the hidden treasure.

What hip-hop duo's debut album was entitled "No More Mr. Nice Guy?" The hand will point you in the right direction....

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