Well, let me start this installment of Mixed Drinks and Mixed Tapes out by issuing a hearty “Welcome back!” to T.I. We missed you, your really fast rapping, and your almost comical inability to stay out of jail. Literally right after I typed those two sentences, I looked T.I. up on Wikipedia and found out he’s already back in the can (editor’s note: now he’s back out!). Sorry, dude. Maybe next time? At least we’ll always have King.
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Recently, I saw Juicy J perform at the Fool’s Gold day off in New York City, and if there has ever been a more pure expression of true artistry, I have never seen it. Dude is like the Basquiat of getting fucked up and then screaming along to his own songs. Onstage, Juicy J smoked a blunt, drank a cup of lean that was given to him by an audience member, and drank nearly an entire bottle of Bombay gin, all the while talking nine hundred million miles per hour, bringing out Freddie Gibbs, ASAP Rocky and SPVCEGHSTPVRPP or however the fuck you spell his name, and ending the show while riding through a mosh pit on the shoulders of one of the audience members. To put it another way, Juicy J is like if Tyrone Biggums from Chappelle’s Show were (A) a real person, and (B) an awesome rapper.
I know that his tape Rubba Band Business Vol. 2 is pretty old, but I wanted to revisit it just because if you don’t know about it, you need to drop everything you’re doing right now and go to fucking DatPiff and download it IMMEDIATELY. It’s a cavalcade of perfection, with Juicy J sounding like the world’s most exuberant alcoholic, offering gems like, “Fuck my lungs! Fuck my liver!” and, “You say no to drugs. Juicy J can’t.” There is an entire song on here devoted to Juicy J going on vacation, which culminates in a verse where Juicy J starts out going deep sea fishing and then tries to play volleyball with a group of strangers. It’s amazing and perfect and I wish Juicy J were my dad. Listen to “So Damn Fucked Up”, where Juicy J brags about being Charlie Sheen and ingesting heroic amounts of substances. Sometimes I wonder if Juicy J should go to rehab, but then I try not to think about it because maybe the reason Juicy J is undergoing this crazy-person renaissance is that he’s on some sort of self-destructive path that will inevitably lead to something terrible happen to him.
I actually called Juicy J’s manager yesterday to try and land an interview with the Juice Man himself, which led to the following conversation with a man whose voice soundedsuspiciously like Juicy J’s:
Man Whose Voice Sounded Suspiciously Like Juicy J’s: “Hi, Hypnotized Minds Productions, what can I do for you?”
Mixed Drinks and Mixed Tapes: “Hi, I was wondering about the possibility of interviewing Juicy J?”
MWVSSLJJ: “Uh, I’m sorry, Juicy J’s busy right now. Like, uh, really busy.”
MDMT: “That’s fine, when should I call back?”
MWVSSLJJ: “Try back in three months.”
So, um, check back in three months for a Juicy J interview. Until then, start sucking down your bottle of Bombay Gin and do the “Bombay Gin dance,” which judging by Juicy’s live performance seems mainly to involve doing sort of a jig while chugging Bombay.
Download: Juicy J – Rubba Band Business 2 [Dat Piff]
Stream the hottest joint, “So Damn Fucked Up”, below.
I am totally embarrassed to admit this, but I have actually become obsessed with a Soulja Boy song. Try listening to “Young King” just once. You can’t. It’s actually majestic. The beat’s got one of those How To Dress Well/Clams Casino types of vibes to it, managing to evoke a certain longing, be it for another person, or jewels, or simply a spot at the top. The interplay between the beat’s hushed opulence and Soulja’s stream-of-consciousness rapping is perfect. Who knows? Soulja Boy might actually be turning into a good rapper.
Either way, he’s left his days of inventing stupid dances behind, and Soulja Boy now seems to be really into (A), Waka Flocka, (B) Lil B, and (C) Curren$y. Those aren’t hard influences to emulate (Hell, Young Based God even shows up on one of these tracks), and the songs break down into 40 percent Lex Luger-lite, 30 percent spacey Based God-isms, and 30 percent idle Curren$y-worship. And then “Young King”, which came completely out of nowhere. Also, this tape’s cover looks like some shit that would have hung in Galileo’s study. Anyway, I’m not sure that Soulja Boy is actually 21 yet, so drink some wine coolers with this one.
Download: Soulja Boy – The Last Crown [Dat Piff]
Stream the hottest joint, “Young King”, below.
Terius Nash is the government name of one The-Dream, responsible for writing/producing approximately 10 percent of the pop hits in the past five years, along with releasing a steady stream of transcendent jams as a solo artist. Recently, The-Dream decided he’d had enough with label bullshit and decided to release the album 1977 for free, as a prelude to his upcoming album The Love IV. 1977 is a decidedly noncommercial effort from Terius (well, as noncommercial as the guy who once wrote “Umbrella” is ever going to get), and it’s easy to see why Def Jam might have balked at this set: it’s eleven mostly mid-tempo jams mostly concerned with spewing ire at his ex-wife, Christina Milian, who caught The-Dream two-timing her with other ladies and kicked him out.
For some reason, Terius seems sort of confused that she got mad at him for cheating on her, which is fine, but, like, sort of weird. One song serves to introduce Casha, who I guess is The-Dream’s version of a Prince-and-Jill-ones-type thing where the insane R&B auteur writes a bunch of songs that a girl is supposed to sing. But The-Dream is not Prince, and Casha’s name sounds too much like Ke$ha, so she’s not going to be going anywhere. It doesn’t help that her song, “Silly”, is a shitty ballad that, oddly enough, reminds me of Ryan Adams’ “Hotel Chelsea Nights”, which is a song I haven’t even thought about since 2008. There’s also a rap song that he does with Pharrell, and it sounds like what happens whenever Chris Brown decides to rap.
With 1977, I’d recommend a Salt-And-Pepper. If you don’t know, it’s a combination of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and bitters. With 1977, place the emphasis on the bitters.
Download: Terius Nash – 1977 [Artist Site]
Stream the hottest joint, “This Shit Real N—a”, below.
Chris Brown: Boy In Detention
Speaking of Chris Brown deciding to rap, I guess Breezy’s a rapper now? He dropped this little tape last month, and it’s mostly tracks with him rapping (give or take a chorus here and an über-steamy sex jam there), mainly about how Chris Brown is really rich and famous and doesn’t mind stealing your girl, and also how it’s crazy that Chris Brown is rapping. It’s almost not fair that a super-famous R&B singer decided to make a mixtape, because Chris Brown is really rich and famous and got beats and guest verses from all of his famous friends. I’m not kidding when I say that Boy In Detention contains a three-song stretch with beats from 9th Wonder (as in the 9th Wonder of Little Brother fame) then Hudson Mohawke (as in the Hudson Mohawke who’s signed to the experimental electronic label Warp records) then David Banner (as in the David Banner who produced“Play”), and they all sound kinda-sorta like they belong together.
If someone other than Chris Brown had pulled that off, it would have been cause for knighthood. Instead, it’s really annoying because Chris Brown is incapable of not sounding like he’s trying to emulate some other, more talented rapper, generally either Kanye West or Wiz Khalifa. Additionally, it’s hard not to forget that Breezy is a terrible person who probably deserves to be blacklisted from the music industry for being a woman-hating, petulant prick. However, if you’re on your Barthes shit, this mixtape is pretty enjoyable, as it features some pretty great beats (especially on the part of 9th Wonder, whose three beats are some of the best work of his I’ve heard in a while).
Probably the most surprising thing about Boy In Detention is Justin Fucking Bieber, who shows up on “Ladies Love Me” and proceeds to sort of kill it? He starts his verse out by calling himself “Shorty Mane”, then raps about how he’s Booker T. Washington (not okay from a racial standpoint, but whatever, you’re listening to a goddamn Chris Brown mixtape so you’ve already had to check your moral compass at the door), says “Wo-dere” like he’s Big Sean, and then fast-raps his way through a few weed references until the track’s over. Wait, maybe Big Sean wrote his verse for him, which would sort of justify why The Biebs was saying that he’s a prominent Black historical figure. Whatever.
This mixtape is completely a Honey Jack and Ginger, a mixed drink that tastes a LOT like pancakes, in that it is something that you would never expect to be good, except it sort of is, until you’re finished with it and you’re sort of sick and remember that Honey Jack punched his girlfriend in his face and has a haircut that makes him look like a highlighter.
Download: Chris Brown – Boy In Detention [Dat Piff]
Stream the hottest joint, “Ladies Love Me”, below.
Okay, that’s it for us over here at Mixed Drinks and Mixed Tapes. Have a good week, and if looks like Chris Brown is in a police car trying to pull you over, just keep on moving, kids.