By Rob Markman
Mixtape Daily Main Pick
Headliner: Cyhi the Prynce
Mixtape: Ivy League Club
"It was something that really explained my train of thought and how I think," Cyhi told Mixtape Daily of his latest release.
Cyhi didn't attend an Ivy League college, but he equates it all to the education he received in the school of hard knocks. "I felt like I was one of the most intelligent guys running the streets when I was running the streets. I felt like it was a good way to explain my upbringing," he said.
The G.O.O.D. Music MC sets the tape's tone on the Mike Will-produced "Ivy League" and continues the street-education theme on the marijuana-laced "Honor Roll." The latter is backed by a somber piano track, which finds Cyhi spitting about his need for weed: "I'm out here tryna stay alive, rollin' 'till the day I die/ Smokin' on a juicy J, pulled up bumpin' Playa Fly."
On "Drank Smoke," Cyhi partners with Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf for a soulful Southern ode, and on "100 Bottles," he uses his pull to recruit Chris Brown and Big Sean on a catchy club anthem.
Throughout the course of the 21-track tape, Cyhi gets his point across with well-timed and witty raps. No matter how much smarts he applied to drug dealing, it is clear he is best served using his talents in the studio. He sums it all up rather nicely on "Changed" when he spits: "I'm a prince, I can't see myself dying over dope/ Shawty, I'm tired of goin' to jail lyin' under oath/ I used to keep the work in the lining of my coat/ I had the dubs and the dimes for the low," he rhymes before folding his drug-dealing past right back into hip-hop. "The hustle's still in my DNA/ If it wasn't for hip-hop, I don't know where I would be today/ A couple of years ago I got signed to G.O.O.D. Music, but trust me that wasn't my last time seein' 'Ye."
Joints to Check For
» "Slick": "It was just something me and my partners grew up saying and I felt like everybody was saying it at the time and I was just like, 'Yo, I need to dial in to this idea of doing an anthem for 'Slick.' "
» "Lives": "It's just a record where I'm speaking on how I feel like the rest of our lives is gonna play out. ... It's a very personal record to me. It's soulful and it's one of my favorite samples growing up when my partner Will Smith shot it."