Leave it to the BasedGod to spontaneously drop a 34-song mixtape. (Yes, 34.) "100% Percent Gutta" follows in typical Lil B fashion. There are ad-libbed "Whoo's" and "BasedGod's," as well as laughably obscene song titles and lyrical content. Also, kudos to Lil B for having a song named, "Twerk Like Miley." Forever a step ahead of the pack, BasedGod.
Vince Staples, "Stolen Youth" LP (Download)
Coolly cynical, Vince Staples' narratives have rarely, if ever, been hopeful. And "Stolen Youth" is no exception. It's an uncomfortably numb LP: a dispirited Staples reminiscing his past, while ambivalently looking toward his future. The album features many standout lines but this one, taken from "Guns & Roses," might be the most telling: "Hit a man, woman, child or dog / Because it's mine before yours / It's two weapons and words." Production, handled by Mac Miller as Larry Fisherman, is warm and moody, fitting Staples' bleak outlook well. Black Hippy cohorts Ab-Soul and ScHoolboy Q make appearances, but for the most part Staples is on his own. "Stolen Youth" is an enjoyably dark listen, with Staples' nightmare-inducing wordplay skillful and engaging.
Migos, "Y.R.N." Mixtape (Download)
One word: Versace. It's so good that even Drake jumped on it, dropping a freestyle this past Saturday. (After taking a shot from his Grammy Award, of course.) Migos, an up-and-coming rap group from Atlanta, GA, have become internet stars because of their infectious hit song, "Versace." But there's more to these boys than their anthem. They're something of a Future-Young Thug hybrid, utilizing the sing-song, hook-ready melodies of the former, and the laughably eccentric personality of the latter. "Versace" is a near-flawless example of this, but there's also "Bakers Man" and "Hannah Montana." Riff Raff, Gucci Mane, Trinidad James and others make appearances, but they do not stay long. Migos work better when it's just the three of them, and after giving their tape a listen you'll want more. (Or at least want to visit a Versace store or watch some "Hannah Montana.")
Janine and the Mixtape, "Dark Mind" EP (Download)
Part Weeknd moodiness, part Aaliyah melancholy, Janine and the Mixtape leaves an impression on listeners with her EP, "Dark Mind." As the EP's title implies, "Dark Mind" is gloomy. Spacious percussion accompanies minor chords, as Janine revisits moments of failed love. It's not all sad, though. By the end of the five-song EP, Janine is sounding more confident than before, prepared to move on from the pains of her past.