Because Tha Carter IV dropped like very expected, highly anticipated bird shit recently, I feel an obligation to improve this post’s “search engine optimization” by saying a few words on the album in the introduction, and then making a bunch of unnecessary Weezy references throughout the rest of the column. Let’s begin:
On the whole, Tha Carter IV is a colossal disappointment. Its sheer not-gooditude is flabbergasting. Sure, it’s got its moments (“President Carter”, “John”, basically all of the iTunes bonus tracks), but for the most part it’s proof that Weezy has lost whatever spark was compelling him to keep of “Best Rapper Alive”, devolving into an intermittently cleverer version of Fred Da Godson with a maddening inability to write anything even remotely resembling a coherent song.
And what was up with that weird “Intro”/”Interlude”/”Outro” thing? If that had been a single song with Weezy, Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, and Busta Rhymes all sharing wax, it would have been 2k11’s “Triumph”. As is, it served as proof that Lil Wayne knew five rappers who were way better than him. And also Shyne. Ba-zing!
Anyways, on to the tapes on tapes on drinks:
There is a moment, on French Montana’s new mixtape, that you will be fooled into thinking that Frenchie has evolved into a good rapper, that he has improved upon his laughably poor guest verses on Waka Flocka records, that his days of sullying many a perfectly fine Max B mixtape are over, and that Akon dropped him from Konvict just because he wanted to buy more blood diamonds. In short, five tracks into this twenty-song behemoth, you’re going to be suckered into thinking that French Montana doesn’t suck. But then, on “Tadow”, he goes jacking for beats, ends up with Dr. Dre’s “Fuck Wit’ Dre Day”, and literally cannot rap over it. It is at this point that you remember that French Montana is just a fucking awful rapper and always will be.
French Montana (who is neither French nor from Montana) is a rare conflation of technical ineptitude, an annoying, joyless voice, and an absolute dearth of anything resembling a discernable personality. So why, then, is Coke Boyz Vol. 2 one of my favorite mixtapes of the year, way better than, for example Lil Wayne’s Sorry 4 Tha Wait?
Well, disembodied voice in my head intent on making forced Lil Wayne references, Coke Boyz Vol. 2 is so amazing because it’s perhaps the first mixtape to combine goon rap (always a welcome rap subgenre over here at Mixed Drinks and Mixed Tapes) with (mostly) utterly visionary beats that are seriously like half Lex Luger, half straight-up 1994, call-Big-L-over-to-the-studio-right-now-and-have-this-on-Hot-97-by-afternoon-drivetime D.I.T.C. shit, and the results are nothing short of astonishing. Coke Boyz Vol. 2 also features some dude named Chinx Drugz on nearly never song, but I’m going to pretend he doesn’t exist (via overtly racist rap names).
See, French Montana is from the Bronx, but these days all of his boys are from the South, and Frenchie’s got ties to the Georgia-based 1017 Brick Squad, which of course produced both Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka. Because of these associations both geographic and crew-based, you have guys like Uncle Murda and Waka Flocka going in over beats that sound more tailored to Murda Mase and Diamond D, and it’s awesome and I love it. Come for the beats, stay despite the presence of French Montana (and Chinx Drugz, who again we are pretending does not exist).
Coke Boyz 2 is basically the Narragansett beer in mixtape form. Narragansett is basically the PBR of New England: very cheap, very tasty, and very hip. Slowly but surely, this Northern classic is making its way down South, just as Frenchie is introducing all of his Southern compatriots to his cheap, tasty and hip Northern beats. Also, the Narragansett motto (“Made On Honor; Sold On Merit”) sort of sounds like something a crack dealer would say about his product.
Download: French Montana – Coke Boys 2 [Dat Piff]
In a lot of ways, Curren$y is this generation’s Ernest Hemingway: both pretty good writers who saw combat action (Hemingway at the Italian Front in World War I, Spitta as both a No Limit Soldier and Lil Wayne’s gun holder), eventually living out their days in a chemical haze by the beach. Okay, that’s all I got as far as the comparison is concerned.
Anyways, Verde Terrace is Curren$y’s new mixtape. That’s Spanish for “Green Terrace.” Guy on the cover looks like a cross between Barack Obama and Hunter S. Thompson. Lotta songs about planes. Couple about boats. Some original beats. Some jacked. All good, though. Drink a Mojito to this one. Use Havana Club White Rum. It’s how Hemingway liked ‘em.
Download: Curren$y – Verde Terrace [Dat Piff]
Don Trip might have the most verbally unwieldy, gangly rap name this side of Theophilus London. Just say it out loud. You can’t. Human Torch III (which was released simultaneously with a “for the ladies” tape called iHEARTStrippers, which sounds too gross to even think about listening to) features name-brand production from the likes of DJ Toomp and Cool & Dre, which means that despite the fact that I hadn’t heard of dude until like last week, the Illuminati have decided to position Don Trip as “the next big thing.”
So. Don Trip. Dude has a high-pitched sqwack for a voice, like Lil Wayne’s might sound if he’d drank brandy instead of sizzurp. Don Trip has basically two things he like to rap: selling the shit out of some crack, and sex. Lots and lots of sex. This guy has never met a blowjob metaphor he didn’t like, and that tendency to pepper even the most staunch crack-slangin’ chronicles with BJ jokes makes this mixtape icky, gross, and frankly sort of hard to get through.
That’s why, in order to actually be able to stomach Human Torch III, you should drink a Philip Marschall with it. The Philip Marschall is an eponymous beverage created by my good friend of the same name, and the recipe goes a little something like this:
2 oz. Brandy
4 oz. Pabst Blue Ribbon
One splash of Club Soda
One splash of Bojangles Sweet Tea
Apparently, the tea has to be from Bojangles or else it doesn’t count. Sorry, Everyone From The North.
Anyways, the Philip Marschall that, depending on the ratios, can taste like either maple syrup or brown paint. Regardless, you have to sit there and suck it down, because the only person who will ever make you a Philip Marschall is the man himself, and if you don’t at least pretend to enjoy it he will feel offended. In its own way, this is very similar to how you now have to listen to Don Trip, because the Illuminati have already introduced him to DJ Toomp, and we have to like him because he will never leave us alone ever again. “Outro” is genuinely amazing, though, especially when you consider that Don Trip singlehandedly makes that Celine Dion “That’s The Way It Is” sample turn real as fuck.
Download: Don Trip – Human Torch III [Dat Piff]
DaVinci might be from the Bay Area, but he isn’t really hyphy. That’s cool I guess? I really like E-40, but whatever, follow your bliss, dude. Anyways, DaVinci is on his Ice Cube, “voice-of-a-generation” righteous thug shit. Yeah, he sells crack, but he’s pretty conflicted about it. Yeah, he cheats on his girl, but he displays surprising contrition when caught. When he finally gives into to the hyphy living inside of all of us, it’s on “Beers, Bitches, & Bullshit” (shouts out to DaVinci’s use of the Oxford Comma), he and Bay neo-stalwart Roach Gigz go in over what sounds like a clipped sample of Jay from Jay and Silent Bob fame saying the word “beers” over and over again. Thank you DaVinci, and thank you America. Lil Wayne!
Oh yeah, this free EP accomplishes basically what French Montana was trying to do with Coke Boyz Vol. 2, had Frenchie been a better rapper. As such, you should also drink Narragansett with this, but go to San Francisco and hang out with Mark Zuckerberg while doing so.
Download: DaVinci – Feast Or Famine [Bandcamp]
You can listen to the best joint from each tape below.
French Montana – “Cocaine Mafia” F. Trae Tha Truth
Curren$y – “J.O.B (Jets Over Bitches)”
Don Trip – “Outro”
DaVinci – “Beer, Bitches, and Bullshit” F. Roach Gigz & C Plus