A Zip & A Double-Click: Top Mixtapes Of November 2013

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Top 3 Mixtapes

Shades of Moo

1. MoRuf – Shades.Of.Moo
When I’ve never heard of a rapper before, one of the first ways I evaluate him is by taking a look at his production credits. When I saw that a handful of tracks on Shades.Of.Moo were done by Madlib, I knew I should give the project a listen. This was a good decision. MoRuf’s flow reminds me of Blu, and many of the beats on this tape are similar to the sample-loop-filled beats that Blu favors on projects like Give Me Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them. I’m not saying he’s jacking his style or anything though, MoRuf has a skill-set that is all his own. This is perfect walk-around-the-city-with-headphones-on music. The tape reflects on childhood, relationships, family and music over beautifully composed beats (I’m pretty much always going to love a James Blake sample like the one on “Fallen.”). (Download)

Grey Skies 3

2. Genesis the Greykid – Grey Skies 3
At the end of “Eternal Sunshine”, Jay Electronica once used the same “Are you watching closely?” dialogue clip from the movie The Prestige that Grey Skies 3 begins with. This might be Genesis the Greykid cleverly nodding to one of his influences, and you can definitely hear Jay Elec’s influence on Grey Skies 3. Genesis’ rapping contain hardly any clichés, and he’s doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to have the hottest bars at the expense of heartfelt lyrics. (Download)

I Am King

3. Trae Tha Truth – I Am King
First off, I didn’t even know B.o.B. could make beats, but the “Intro” beat he supplied for this album is kinda hot. Overall, similar to Meek Mill’s latest project, this tape is really long, oversaturated with guests, and inconsistent. But Trae uses his growl of a flow to tear apart beats all over I Am King while effortlessly switching in and out of double-time. Trae’s commanding presence helps to pull his lengthy tape together and the best tracks on I Am King contain guest verses from rappers who match his intensity. For example, on “Stay Trill”, Krayzie Bone goes in, and he even finishes his verse up with some throwback Bone Thugz-style sing-rapping. (Download)

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