Rap, like anything else, is a dog-eat-dog world. As soon as one person gets big, the next guy is nipping at their heels with something different. We’ve seen the rise of a new generation of heavy-hitters in Drake, Kendrick, Big Sean, Wale, J. Cole move from their mixtape phase, through the first/second album phase and now are on to the pivotal third album which often can be the difference between legendary status and also-ran.
But, we would be remiss if we didnt start looking into the younger ranks to see who is up next. Needless to say there is a lot to be excited about. From Joey Bada$$ and Troy Ave out of New York to Chance the Rapper and Rockie Fresh out of Chicago, there are a number of (relative) neophytes making a name as they inch toward major acclaim.
Entering that group is Audio Push out of California, famous mostly for “Teach me How to Jerk”. Most thought of them as the typical rap one-and-done. Make a hit dance record and then fall into the abyss a la Dem Franchize Boys, Mike Jones, Soulja Boy, the list goes on. Yet somehow they have managed to produce a mixtape in Come as You Are that is equal parts surprising and rewarding, featuring an array of beats and lyrics that are definitely up to snuff. They’ve very clearly slammed the door on the one-hit-wonder talk with the help of Hit-Boy, who holds down the boards and provides them with the right palette of melodies to dispel all previous notions of their ability.
The Must-Listen Tracks:
Come As You Are: Great starter track that immediatley addresses anything you might think of them before pressing play. With a beat from Key Wane, both rappers go in with some of their best.
“The game don' changed, cause it's like so many people try to be Hov in fear of being Dame,
These New Boyz wings get Clipse by the new Young Gunz of the game.”
Shine: It would be easy to say that Price is better than Oktane, but they revered roles on this one.
“So valet the cars far away from the prius
Rap game didn't know it but it need us
If we told you what we did last summer, wouldn't believe us”
I Like It ft. K Roosevelt: Going in over the Debarge classic of the same name, Hit-Boy provides them with the perfect laid-back party track to fit their style.
Theme Song ft. T.I: I almost didn't include this one, simply because I didn't like it when i first listened to it. But once I put it on my loudspeakers, I understood. T.I. throws in some of his old school flows for good measure.
Tis The Season ft. Joey Bada$$ and Hit-Boy: One of the better things this mixtape has to offer, mostly because of Joey’s very tough verse. He’s one of those rhymesayers who has that extra gear that just makes you sit back and nod as hard as possible.
“I be that loco in my 47 cholos
Please don't take no photos if it ain't of nosotros
Open up those Ojos, stop choking up that pork
Get your hustle on the floor
Hit the door
I got that good s**t for the low I let them know
So line them up, line them up, we 'bout to blow”
Told You So ft. Overdoz: West-Coast flavored slow track about their honest travails with women. The song takes an R&B turn in the middle that adds to the sappiness but is solidified by a verse from Hit-Boy (who also produced the beat).
Anything Goes ft. Wale: This is a very Wale-esque track, so it makes sense that he’s featured on it. Similar to “Told You So”, but a nice beat nonetheless.
Do It All ft. James Fauntleroy and Vic Mensa: It’s the features that make this one. Fauntleroy singing over a Musiq Soulchild “Just Friends” sample, with a final verse from Vic himself? What else could you need.
“Magic in the musical moments, songs in the key of life
Feelin like Stevie Wonder, what he see think I need a light
Pardon me kindly, copycat kiddos can’t sneak or bite
Bet I make 'em eat they words
Wavy, light skinned Jesus Christ”