Hip Hop Mix Tape – Part One of Two

So my friend Kat made a mix tape of Hip Hop songs. I’ve been listening to them for the last few days. So here’s a quick take on what I liked and what I didn’t. Here’s the first 13 of the 26 tracks (in random order)!

Disclaimer: Obviously this is just my opinion and everyone is free to have their own opinions. Music in particular is very subjective and people can like all sorts of different things. So if I bag a song out, take it with a grain of salt 🙂

1. On Our Way – Chiddy Bang

This was ok. It’s got that sorta relaxed vibe, which is obviously what they were aiming for. Not particularly memorable compared to some of the other tracks.

2. Pursuit Of Happiness – Kid Cudi

This was one of my favorite songs on the whole lists. Starts off ‘relaxed’ like ‘On Our Way’, but then morphs into a much more interesting song. Lots of different vocal stylings and a cool fuzzy guitar solo. It does seem less like a hip hop tune and more just a lush piece of pop/alternative music.

3. Move – CunninLynguists

This one has a funky little melody at the start and then brings in a funky horn or something. Seems very determined. It would play well over a martial arts/boxing training montage scene. I liked it.

4. I Never Knew You – Cage

The song is about some creepy guy who [spoiler alert] follows some girl home and kills her (I think). To suit the theme, the vocals are pathetic and desperate sounding. Unfortunately I found they grated a bit and they actual lyrics had a few dud rhymes (IMO). Reminds me of that Eminem song where he has the girl in the trunk of the car. I liked the glitchy beats and the build up to the chorus, but overall it wasn’t a favorite.

5. Pussycat – Wyclef Jean

Nup, didn’t like it. Reminded me too much of the bazillion other songs that take a famous song and milk it. Like how the Black Eyed Peas ruined Misirlou. The ‘woah’s and Tom Jones annoyed. This song does get a special mention for the ‘sprinkling fairy dust’ sample that turns up in so many Hip Hop songs. Why is that so popular?!?!

6. Never Better – P.O.S

Really liked this one. I felt the urgent rapping really contributed to the overall momentum of the song. I much prefer these dynamic songs to the ones with a simple loop and steady rapping over the top. It ends with some nice singing.

7. Quiet Dog Bite Hard – Mos Def

Ok, I suppose. The beat was an interesting shuffle, but I didn’t think it went anywhere.

8. Telegram – Saul Williams

Noisy and with purpose. This is good in the mix, but I’m not sure if I actually ‘enjoy’ it. The poetry/spoken word element is at the fore front. Bonus points for the random cockney accent. I must admit I’m not exactly sure what point Saul is trying to make here either.

9. Twilite Speedball – Mos Def

Another one I really enjoyed. What makes this stand out the ear-catching samples being used. The deep horns, bouncy tones and spooky xylophone are a potent mix. It does meander off a bit at the end. Overall a winner.

10. My Culture – Blueprint

Not sure about this one. The chorus ‘That’s my culture’ is sorta memorable and the track speeds up in an interesting way when it kicks in.

11. Casting Agents And Cowgirls – Busdriver

I liked this more the first time I heard it. It’s fun and bouncy with a cool sorta round and round feel to it. After a few listens it starts to sound like maybe Mr Busdriver is trying too hard. Still it gets me bobbing my head.

12. Bad Man – Murs

Back up at ‘Never Better’ I said I liked it cause the song felt dynamic compared to those with simple loops. This is an example of the “I’ve only got one sample” type of track. The whole thing is based around the repetitive, high pitched ‘Bad Man’ sample. Perhaps with time I’d get used to this sort of repetitive song, but at the moment it’s boring.

13. Protagonists – Felt

A bit like ‘My Culture’, I remember this track for the standout chorus lines (‘Listen to me’/’Give it to me’). It’s ok, but I struggle to find much else that I like about it.

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