By Rob Markman
Mixtape Daily Main Pick
Artist: Trey Songz
Mixtape: #LemmeHolDatBeat 2
Real Spit: It has become pretty common place to see R&B and pop stars try their hand at rap these days. Chris Brown and Justin Bieber both got down on the mic this past year, but Trey Songz has actually been moving with a rapper’s swag ever since his 2005 debut I Gotta Make It. Last year R&B’s loverboy dropped his first hip-hop mixtape #LemmeHolDatBeat and this past November he followed it up with the sequel, #LemmeHolDatBeat2
The DJ Drama-helmed tape begins with Songz paying homage to hip-hop’s fallen over “Jackin’ for Beats.” Over the course of three minutes and 41 seconds, Trey raps over a medley of beats popularized by the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac and Big Pun. The “Jackin’ “concept was made famous by Ice Cube in 1990 on his Kill at Will EP. To prove his rap worth, Trigga glides over Biggie’s “Sky’s the Limit,” Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the Hood,” Big L’s “Put It On,” Pun’s “Still Not a Player” and ’Pac’s “I Get Around.”
On “She Will,” Trey borrows Lil Wayne’s instrumental of the same name and then invites Weezy to guest on “Don’t Love Me.” Of course Tunechi is the draw on the track’s final verse, but Songz holds his own spitting clever lines like “Shorty runnin’ game, so I never had to coach her.”
Trey’s strong suit is obviously his R&B vocals, but make no mistake: He can rap pretty damn well — better than some rappers. On “BeatNutz” he tackles the Beatnuts 2001 underground favorite “No Escapin’ This,” delivering playful bars like, “It’s the incredible, rappers are edible/ No matter what I ever do, hate is what I never do.”
Next up is Trey’s 2012 album Chapter 5, and while he has collaborated with rappers like Twista, Nicki Minaj and Drake in the past, maybe this time he’ll save a sixteen for himself.
Joints to Check For
» “Jackin’ for Beats” – “The tracks I used are all from the fallen soldiers of hip-hop, from Big to Eazy-E to ’Pac to Pun to Big L, but it’s like a tribute to hip-hop.”
» “Changes” – “[This is] one of the records that I’m most proud of as far as song structure, as far as lyricism, as far as hip-hop goes — it’s very much a narrative. It’s a story and it’s so visual and descriptive, kind of like a ghetto tale where boy meets girl.”
» “Don’t Love Me,” featuring Lil Wayne – “It’s just basically speaking on the aspects of the fast lifestyle.”
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