By Rob Markman
Headliner: Tito Lopez
Representing: Gulfport, Mississippi
Mixtape: The Hunger Game
Real Spit: Tito Lopez sure is confident; then again, if you could rap tightly packed bars like the Gulfport, Mississippi, MC, you would be too. On his latest mixtape, The Hunger Game, Tito puts all of his skill and confidence on full display.
"I named my mixtape The Hunger Game basically because if anybody knows me, they know I love movies," Tito told Mixtape Daily.
Lopez found a parallel in "The Hunger Games" film and the rap game where he hopes to one day be crowned a king. "If you never seen that movie these kids have to fight to the death, they're kids and it's really kind of messed up. They gotta fight 'till it's one winner and I feel like that's the competition aspect that's missing out of rap," he said.
On "Try Me," Tito invites all would-be detractors to the battlefield. "Feast on beats and pick my teeth, if you want some bitch come find me/ I'll make it hard for you to stand as a man, let alone stand by me, come try me," he spits to end his first verse.
Tito is currently a rap underdog, even though his talent has earned him a deal with Capitol Records. On "Mass Appeal 2.0" he proves his worth lyrically over a re-worked Gang Starr instrumental and then rhymes over another DJ Premier beat with his "Devil's Pie" freestyle. Both are winners.
With "Jessica," Tito shows that it isn't all slick metaphors and battle raps, as he weaves an intricate story rhyme about a high-school crush. His current single "Mama Proud" shows even more range; it's a heartfelt tune dedicated to his come-up in the game.
After listening to tracks like "Black Ice Freestyle," "They Told Me" and "Ventilation," it becomes increasingly difficult to deny Tito his place in the game. "I spit and I spit for real, so I wanted to bring that hunger aspect to it and that feeling like I gotta be #1," he said. "If I gotta knock cats out to be that, I will be that."
Joints to Check For
>> "They Told Me"— "It's like a triumphant type joint. I've made that just to basically let people know I've come along way."
>> "Jessica" — "This is one of my favorite joints period. I tell a story about a girl who she has low self-esteem, she made some bad choices, had a hard life and she don't have no self-respect or nothin' like that. Basically during the story, I'm trying to tell her to respect herself more, to make better choices."