Twin Cities rap mixtape roundup, Vol. 2
Stream the album below or download here, and read on for some additional background on the artists featured in the roundup.
Gimme Noise Mixtape July by MC Harv
The Lioness is a newcomer out of North Minneapolis who eats beats like her namesake devours gazelle. Whether with clever punchlines or spitfire rhythms, the impressive rapper comes strong out of the gate and shows some real potential to capture the collective ears of the Twin Cities. "Queen of the Game" finds her rightfully bragging about her ability, but the rest of her tape "The Most Anticipated" features a range of subject matter that maintains this tracks ferocity.
Download "The Lioness - The Most Anticipated"
What began as a shorter-length attempt at pushing his personal creative output, Ceewhy's latest work "Black Art" grew into a 19 song project that offers a wide spectrum of material that attempts to make a real connection with fans. The album is full of amazing beats (mostly produced by artists outside the U.S.) that bring out the best of the young rapper's potential.
Download "Ceewhy - Black Art"
Saint Paul Kings
As a St. Paul native myself, there is something appealing about hearing the under-appreciated Capitol City repped hard in a street-rap anthem. "Recognize Royalty" is full of them, as brothers King Malo and King Solo lay down hardcore rhymes over Ikis Beats' trunk-rattling productions. The album is consistent and strong throughout and easily worth the free download.
Download "Saint Paul Kings - Recognize Royalty"
Unsatisfied with how the initial release was handled, Ernest Rhodes is taking matters into his own hands by re-releasing his 2010 album "Transistor" as a free download and pre-cursor to another full-length due this fall. "Til the Universe Kills Me" is a one of the bonus tracks available on the re-issue, and represents Rhodes' introspective and reflective writing style excellently over Wesley Opus' smooth beat. Prepare to hear a lot from this MC, who seems determined to prove himself as a force to be reckoned with.
Download "Ernest Rhodes - Transistor"
Guante's work as a rapper and spoken word artist is heavily influenced by his work as an activist, and his songs combine progressive politics with hip-hop's personal lyricism and potential as a driving cultural force. Originally released in 2008, the re-release of the free mixtape "Conscious is Not Enough" backs up Guante's political leanings with real-world applications, ending the album with very specific things listeners can do to try to improve things rather than simply writing songs about problems. "Greed" highlights three character's stories in order to get at larger issues and showcases Guante's impressive use of words as motivating tools.
Download "Guante - Conscious is Not Enough 2011"
TR0N D1AZ 8510
Sent from the future to do all of our drugs and sleep with all our women, TR0N D1AZ brings the swag of 8510 to the year 2011. Franz Diego's alter-ego wears a glowing helmet while rapping over hyphy and jerker-style beats that are great to shut your brain off and dumb out to. Alternate-universe Mictlan joins here as Z3R0KOOL3D, showcasing what might have been had he used stayed out West doing songs with Keak Da Sneak instead of Dessa.
Download "TR0N D1AZ 8510 - FUTUR3 PAST TR0NICLES"
925ve's latest album "The Big Payback" is an impressive and varied cross-section of the four minds of Prizm, Big Iggz, Tigre Cole and Brando, bringing together deep samples and unique flows for a powerful take on the Minneapolis underground sound. The group began as a 9-piece and maintains the collective energy that comes with the interaction of multiple approaches by pushing each musical idea to a new and impressive level.
Download "925ve - The Big Payback"
Rapper and producer Big Jess of veteran rap group Unknown Prophets recently released two free albums online, "Self Therapy" and "Good Clean Fun 3," representing both his honest and personal side and his desire to make fun music. "Get It In" is taken from the latter album, and features a signature head-nodding beat from Jess himself as well as verses from MaLLy and Muja Messiah. Big Jess' years in the game are evident on this pair of excellent albums.
Download Big Jess "Self Therapy" and "Good Clean Fun 3"
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