By William E. Ketchum III
While many people around the world were popping bottles to celebrate a new year, three of rap’s heavyweights brought in 2012 with new music for their fans. After a colossal opening week for his Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition with more than 200,000 copies sold, Young Jeezy followed up with a remix of Tyga’s latest single “Rack City.” The track hit the ‘Net less than an hour after the ball dropped at midnight EST, and fellow emcees T.I. and Raekwon went a step further by releasing entire mixtapes.
After releasing the Jeezy-featured title track on his @TIP Twitter account a few hours early as a preview, T.I. dropped the star-studded F--- Da City Up mixtape at midnight. The Atlanta rapper’s first project since leaving prison this fall sees him dropping hungry rhymes alongside the likes of Nelly, 2 Chainz, Future, Pusha T, and fellow Grand Hustle all-stars Young Dro and B.o.B, amongst others. The firepower continues with the production ensemble as well, with DJ Toomp, Mannie Fresh, Just Blaze, T-Minus and Dr. Dre highlighting the extensive line-up of beatmakers. This could be just what T.I. needs, as his F--- A Mixtape project didn’t enjoy long shelf life and his 2010 album No Mercy was critically panned. The mixtape can be downloaded at LiveMixtapes.
Raekwon wouldn’t be outdone with his mixtape Unexpected Victory. Though the disc was initially slated to hit the e-streets on Christmas Day, the Wu-Tang clansman delivered with his own collection of special guests. Victory features Mobb Deep, L.E.P. Bogus Boys, Styles P, and Busta Rhymes assisting with the rhymes, while The Olympicks, 9th Wonder and Statik Selektah lead the roster of producers. The project premiered on DatPiff. Rae also announced recently that he is working on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx III, which he expects to release in spring 2012.