Tyga – Well Done 3

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Young Money Cash Money Billionaire’s (YMCMB) artist Tyga adds another project to his “Well Done” series of mixtapes with his recently released, 16-track, Well Done 3. Well done overstates the quality of this mixtape. Reality shows that only a few tracks were actually well done. Tyga never consistently brought the heat to insure that, and left many tracks medium rare.

For instance, the track “Designer” borrows the beat of “Mercy,” one of hip-hop’s most popular and thorough tracks, and Tyga delivers a verse that says much of nothing about fashion or designer clothes. Apart from a brief and simple chorus, Tyga spirals on a tangent that ends with a topic completely different than the one intended.  That’s typical of Tyga though, and ironically enough he closed the song with this quote.

“One verse, one hearse.”

He definitely didn’t murder the song, so a hearse is far from necessary. If anything he needed an ambulance to doctor his flow.

Although many of the tracks were mediocre, Tyga’s rhymes often provoke those listening to bob their head in classic west coast fashion. It’s known that Tyga isn’t the most versatile rapper, but sometimes it’s less about what he says, and more about how he chooses to say it. Listen to the songs “King Company,” “Ratchet,” and “No Luck” produced by DJ Mustard for examples.

Fortunately, Well Done 3 had moments where it displayed the potential that initially got Tyga signed to hip-hop dynasty YMCMB. “Diced Pineapples” dials down Tyga’s erratic, aggressive flow as he narrates a situation between himself and a past love. More impressively, he remained on topic for the entire song.

“Switch Lanes,” featuring The Game, also continued displaying Tyga’s potential. Each Rapper takes turns delivering eight bars before passing the track back to the other. Apart from switching lanes rapping with The Game, Tyga showed how to switch flows. Stylistically, internal rhyme plays a heavy role in Tyga’s rap identity, but on “Switch Lanes” he starts his first verse a tad before the beat measure, which accentuates his style by placing rhymes before bass drops.

“Switch How I do it/my new b***h a nudist/ piece like a Budhist/ cooler than cool whip/ get brain don’t be stupid…”

Normally, featured guests don’t play much of a role in reviews, but half of the features on Well Done 3 were atrocious. Most were really bad, some were average; and apart from The Game, and Kirko Bangz, nobody else deserves honorable mention.

Houston native, Kirko Bangz, left his stamp. He appeared on two of the best tracks, “Girls and Guitars” as well as “Out this B***h.” Addtionally his recent single, “Drank in my Cup,” provided the framework for Tyga’s rendition “Ready to F**k.”

In his Well Done mixtape chain, Tyga takes the beat-snatching mixtape approach made popular by Lil Wayne.  To actually be “well done” Tyga’s work needs a little more cooking.  His style is ready, especially when rhyming internally, but his content and delivery could use some additional ingredients.

*Review also hosted at http://www.pefferreviews.com/ and http://rapruler.com/

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Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) – EST 4 Life

Machine Gun Kelly – EST 4 Life

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Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) struggles to gain momentum at the outset of his most recent mixtape, EST 4 Life, but delivers great quality on the back half. EST 4 Life begins with a slew of tracks that may qualify as slightly above average: “Police,” “Get Laced,” “Blaze Up” and “EST 4 Life” ring in as tracks marginally better than mediocre. Contrarily, the tape closes strongly with songs like “Halo,” “Highline Ballroom Soundcheck” and “Letter to My Fans.”

“Get Laced” and “Blaze Up,” two tracks with similar themes mainly possess content surrounding marijuana. Of course, as far as rap is concerned, this comes as no surprise. There’s no avoiding tracks that boastfully discuss exceptional weed quality or the amount of blunts  rappers burns through. Those tracks definitely cater to smokers. DUB-O’s track “Hy for Days” also fits this category.

MGK is often heard saying “lace up” or “lace the f**k up” throughout his tracks, especially the smoker’s songs. Lace Up has been confirmed as the expected title of MGK’s debut studio album.

“Hold On (Shut up)” is the song most likely to MGK’s next single. This is the only song on the mixtape that landed a major feature, Young Jeezy, and has all the makings of a radio single: an ambiguous, commercial, catchy hook, a bass pounding beat and displays the signature flow that MGK places on tracks. MGK sounds like an uzi spitting bullets or chopping helicopter rotors when he quickens his pace to his signature tempo.

The tail end of the mixtape shows much more cohesion than the beginning. MGK presents better topics and increased emotionally infused music. “Her Song” and “Letter to My Fans” are perfect examples.

“Highline Ballroom Soundcheck” distanced itself from the rest of the tracks on EST 4 Life. Clearly it’s the best record. Freestyled over Notorious B.I.G’s “Dead Wrong,” MGK manages to build an engaging flow that smoothly navigates between topic while maintain a consistent rhyme. Typically, an excerpt of quotable lines would be provided, but the entire freestyle is worth hearing.

MGK performing at Rucker Park

MGK also murders his “Rucker Park Freestyle.” It’s a live recording that takes place at the historic Rucker Park, but MGK admits that he wrote the lyrics while en route. He manages to excite and engage the crowd using the refrained word of “muhf**kah” at the end of every line as he delivers a couple witty punch lines while sitting on the basketball rim.

Also, Honorable shout out to DUB-O, EST19XX label mate of MGK. He contributes several catchy songs to the mixtape, most notably “Paid” and the previously mentioned “Hy for Days.”
His tracks rival the quality of some of MGK’s songs, and that may not favor well for MGK. It’s unclear whether that highlights MGK’s failure to progress, or speaks volumes to the potential that DUB-O has to produce a hit. Nevertheless it boded well for MGK that this fellow Ohio state representer worked with him instead of against him.

All in all, MGK put forth a solid tape. He possibly could have considered a different track order to help capture listener’s ear earlier on, but the closing of the tape makes strides to make amends for that. EST 4 Life had a couple of dull moments, but should provide enough buzz to propel MGK’s debut studio album, Lace Up, when it hits the shelf on October 9th.

 

*Review also hosted at http://www.pefferreviews.com/ and http://rapruler.com/