MIXTAPES: Holiday Hip-Hop Roundup Featuring T.I., Raekwon, Fabolous, Clams Casino, The Weeknd + More
As yet another season of giving flew by, the rap world came through with its usual generosity. Yes, the last two weeks have seen a slew of original, album-quality mixtape releases from MCs and producers covering all corners of hip-hop. And while that's a treat unto itself, it was mighty hard to keep up with all the new jams in the midst of life's other responsibilities (mostly good food). Here's our recap.
On the top-of-the-globe level, we have T.I.'s attempted return-to-form on the street-focused Fuck Da City Up. Featuring guest spots from Dr. Dre, Young Jeezy, Nelly, Pusha T and Meek Mill, this one has all the marquee names fans could hope for in an album release mixed with the sales-don't-matter street savvy of a freebie.
Meanwhile, New York got its representation as Fabolous continued burying bodies with punchline after punchline on the third in his There Is No Competition series and Raekwon topped-off a resurgent two year period with Unexpected Victory. Harlem rapper Smoke DZA held-up the underground with a guest spot from A$AP Rocky and Brooklyn MC Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire got, well, about as crass as it gets for his Christmas gift.
On the beat front, Clams Casino dropped a mastered version of his excellent Instrumentals mixtape, while Jahlil Beats built on the success of his production for Rick Ross and Meek Mill's banger-of-the-year contender "Ima Boss" with the fifth in his series of Crack Music tapes.
And before too many things were said and 2012 arrived, there were also entries from Soulja Boy, Houston legend Slim Thug and legacy sing-rap practitioner Nelly, as well as the third installment in The Weeknd's 2011 mixtape series entitled Echoes Of Silence that opens with a killer Michael Jackson cover.