Don’t Sleep: Necessary Notables
Mixtape: Cookies or Comas
Headliner: Jean Grae
Key Cameo: “R.I.P.” featuring Styles P and Talib Kweli
Real Spit: DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz mixtape series gets a bad rap. Not in a qualitative sense — actually the Atlanta-based DJ has many well-regarded mixtapes under his belt with the likes of Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane and T.I., all which conjure up imagery of Southern trap houses, where drug-dealing raps dominate. So when New York-based lyricist extraordinaire Jean Grae announced that she would be partnering up with Mr. Gangsta Grillz for her latest mixtape, Cookies or Comas, many hip-hop purists let out a collective groan.
“He’s definitely a hip-hop dude, and perception is always very interesting,” Grae told Mixtape Daily. “It was interesting to see the reaction to people, even just announcing the mixtape before even putting out. It was already like, ‘I don’t wanna hear it.’ I’m like, ‘Really? You’re kinda just making an uninformed decision. You can’t say no to something, you haven’t even heard it yet, you haven’t even tried.’ ”
Cookies or Comas is vintage Jean. In addition to her playful flows and humorous ad-libs, Grae brought her celebrated lyrics to the table as well. On “R.I.P.” featuring Styles P and Talib Kweli, JG trades bars with the two veteran rappers over a hard-hitting Run DMC-sampling beat. She then recruits Pharoahe Monch for the punch-line packed “Killing Em,” proving that she hasn’t switched up a thing.
“What was great about it was after getting it, they were like, ‘Oh well, that’s not what I expected at all, and I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry. I thoroughly enjoyed it,’ ” Grae said mockingly. “It was great to kind of watch people apologize for it. You don’t have to say that you love it, but at least give something a chance without going to a snap judgment. I think it was a great idea, and of course it opened me up to another audience that probably wouldn’t have any idea that that mixtape came out at all. It kind of brought a couple of worlds together.”
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