Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009

Free Mixtape Round-Up: Donnis, Fashawn, Trey Songz, etc

By Evan Rytlewski
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­­For those who prefer their rap untainted by Peter, Bjorn and John, here are four recent mixtapes more than worth the free download:

Donnis – Diary of An ATL Brave (via Astheworldspins)
The last time a mixtape by a guy nobody had ever heard of got this much attention, the no-namer in question was Kid Cudi. That's understandable, since Donnis’ debut mixtape, Diary of an ATL Brave, is financed by the same company that issued Cudi’s A Kid Named Cudi, as well as Wale’s breakthrough The Mixtape About Nothing. While not as groundbreaking, this one is actually more purely enjoyable than those two, pairing Donnis’ easygoing country flow with soulful Atlanta production from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and some of the flashiest, most jovial hooks this side of a T.I. album. It's a remarkable debut.

Fashawn – The Antidote (via 1vibe)
How's this for a mission statement: “No skinny jeans with Niks, more like steel pipes and gats, razor under the tongue rap,” Fresno rapper Fashawn asserts early on The Antidote, a mixtape teasing his upcoming debut album, Boy Meets World. That album will be produced entirely by Exile, but Fashawn secured a much bigger producer for this mix: The Alchemist, who is at his most blunted and grimy on these 10 tracks.

Willie The Kid – The Fly (via Urban Music Direct)
DJ Drama protégé Willie the Kid was born in Grand Rapids and lives in Atlanta, but listening to his latest Gangsta Grillz mixtape, you’d be forgiven for mistaking him as a New Yorker. Over spry, brooding beats, Willie the Kid spins breathless, Illmatic-styled yarns. At his most charismatic, he mirrors the viscous flow of Lupe Fiasco, though he has trouble anchoring an entire mix. Despite DJ Drama's powerful support, Willie the Kid has had trouble breaking; this won't be the mix that puts him on the map.

Trey Songz- Anticipation (via Rap Basement)
Just when you think that you’ve distilled to a formula Trey Songz’s many R. Kelly-ish songs about kissin’ and scratchin’, the R&B singer goes and performs a jaw-dropper like “Yo Side of the Bed,” a “Purple Rain”-sized power ballad, complete with guitar solo. The song is a highlight of Songz’s summer mix, Anticipation, and presumably of the singer’s chart-climbing latest album, Ready. Here’s hoping "Yo Side of the Bed" gets the single treatment, because it’s a song that demands to be experienced collectively—on the radio, during high-school slow dances, as closing montages of television dramas, at the dentist's office, etc.  The song is embedded below, with cover art of Trey Songz's inhuman abs.
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