Mixtape Daily Main Pick
Headliners: Fred the Godson and the Heatmakerz
Representing: Bronx, New York
Real Spit: Fred the Godson has been steadily building a calculated career with lyric-stuffed mixtapes and underground head-nodders, but on his latest mixtape, Contraband, there was no well-thought-out plan. The Bronx, New York, MC just found a vibe and went with it.
It all began after a session with lead Heatmarkerz producer Rsonist. "We did, like, one or two joints, and then we were just talking, and he was like, 'Yo, we should do a whole mixtape,' " Fred told Mixtape Daily. "So we were just doing it and nobody knew. So this project wasn't even hard; it was just me doing what I do."
Back in the early 2000s, the Heatmakerz made quite a name for themselves, speeding up old samples and dishing out street hits to the Diplomats ("Dipset Anthem"), Ghostface Killah ("Ice") and Lil Wayne ("Receipt"). On Contraband, the sound is updated and potent. "The City" finds Fred rocking over a reworked version of Stephanie Mills' 1980's hit "Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)," while on "Alpha," the BX lyricist lays down his struggles in the form of clever rap lines over a soulful selection. "Fighting conviction, father fighting addiction/ Gotta grow like a tree, we gotta leave these conditions/ What do you do when you're looking through an hourglass/ Whole team sentenced, y'all start to look like a paragraph," he spits with noticeable pain in his voice.
With "Poetic Justice," Fred and Rsonist give a different take on Kendrick Lamar's hit, using Janet Jackson's "Any Time, Any Place" in a drastically different way, while "Ribbon in the Sky" reworks Stevie Wonder's classic of the same name.
Fred said putting Contraband together wasn't hard, but constructing layered beats and complex lines can't be that easy either.
Joints to Check For
» "Alpha" - " 'Alpha' is the beginning; it's just like a great intro. Just to welcome y'all in. It's the hook on the fishing rod."
» "Call Me the God" - "It's a lot of people's favorite joint on there. ... When I first did it, I just knew that people were gonna gravitate towards it. You know the bars are crazy, slick talking. That's what it basically is for the streets. That's what they know me for, that's what they love me for. I just try to give y'all what y'all want."