Crew: HBK Gang
From: Richmond, California (S.F. Bay Area)
Released: May 7, 2012
Forward by Ron Worthy
As mentioned in the recently published review of this mixtape by Victoria Shantrell Asbury, we have decided to publish two different reviews and let the clicks from soulheads worldwide decide who to agree with. Personally, I am leaning towards this review based on the strength of Function and Slow Down, which we feel are standout tracks worthy of a serious listen. We clearly didn’t feel the same way as Victoria on this one, who even admitted “a little sexy ratchet aint never hurt nobody.” We really love the different opinions and would also love to hear from you if you listen and feel differently.
Track by Track Review by Alvin Addo
The Bay Area is making waves again in the mainstream hip-hop culture. Dont call it a comeback though, word to LL. The ashes of the hyphy movement have been thrown into the ocean, and with records like Drakes immensely popular single, The Motto and Tygas Rack City; hip-hops eyes are on the Bay once more. For Richmond, CA native, iamsu!, this sets the stage for him to catapult to stardom, already garnering a fan base with his solid verse on fellow H.B.K Gang rapper LoveRances hit single Up!. Taking the ball into his own court, Su drops his new solo mixtape Kilt to show us all what he can offer on his own.
The intro begins, with an old soul sample with vocals saying, You ever want something, that you know you shouldnt have? Seemingly setting a great tone for the project
The beat is carried by airy spacey synths provided by Chief of Sus production group, The Invasion that are reminiscent of Kanye Wests Chain Heavy. Rhymes here are solid, but the hook seems somewhat average, but its decent record to ride to.
This self produced track and flow by Su gives me vibes of Tygas Faded but thats not a bad thing at all. This record knocks, and is sure to get the clubs going.
Another self produced Su record that provides a very chill Cali G-Funk summer feel. The smooth hook here is something I couldve heard the late Nate Dogg on (or a hologram whatever works). Verses here are great too as he raps about his dedication to the game.
Wake Up + 2 Milli
Wake Up is a solid track, but nothing really stands out here to me. No big flaws, but seems just average. 2 Milli, however has a great feel to it. The beat here is dope, and Sus flow compliments the beat quite well which contributes to this H-Town down south slow mood. 2 Milli shouldve been separate from Wake Up, because now Id have to listen to Wake Up just to get to 2 Milli, which might be too much for me to do.
Grade: B (Wake Up: C, 2 Milli: A-)
Clothes Shows & Afros
The Trackademicks and Su connect to channel Wiz Khalifa pretty well here. The beat sounds like something I couldve heard on Kush & OJ. That being said, Sus voice is much less abrasive than Wiz and that works out in his favor here. This track has a dope bounce, the sample is pretty mesmerizing, and Su doesnt disappoint either.
This record didnt do much to stand out to me. Seemed like a cookie cutter dope boy/in the trap song. Its not a particularly BAD record at all, but I just feel like Ive heard an uncountable amount of different variations of this record before.
This track is pretty nice here, as the topic of choice is how unique these rappers are and how they arent anything like these other rappers out here. The rest of Sus HBK Gang makes an appearance for the 1st time on the mixtape here, and they dont disappoint for the most part. There were a couple spots in the 2nd verse that had a few delivery missteps, but this record is solid.
Get It In
Similar flow to his verse on the huge hit Function. This record is sure to be a hit on the radio. Its got a big and catchy hook, and the Bay will absolutely love it. Great mainstream rap production as well. Props to The Starting Six for the beat
This is a pretty chill and smooth interlude. Its starts out with highly distorted singing from Su and then progresses into Su tapping in to his more R&B side. Its evident that hes not a crooner like Trey Songz or Tank, but this record is very dope.
Get Your Money
This sounds like the skrippa-anthem of the project, and it serves its purpose pretty well. Nothing lyric-wise stands out here, and though Jay Ant had the weaker verse to me, he did his thing on the production side of the record, so it balances out quite nicely. The sample here is pretty ethereal and is definitely entrancing, and is complimented by some full, buzzing synths with reverb.
Su takes a flow comparable to A$AP Rocky at the beginning of his verse, then later comes into his own style, in which he shouts out San Francisco for the Bay Area listeners. The last minute of the record features a filtered beat and autotune that takes a route reminiscent of Drakes work.
As Far As It Goes.
Beat knocks, good verse by Su, Hollywood Keefy had a decent-to-solid verse, and the hook is average, but emotionally resonant to the listener.
Click Finna Blow
From the intro, I already liked it. Catchy, but somehow inspirational hook, that anyone who quotes They lovin the crew will immediately latch on too. The airy synth pads are perfect for the feel here. The verses chronicle a bit of backstory and future hopes for the artists, and are pretty substantial here Probably one of my favorites so far.
Self-produced beat continues the airy feel from the last track, and the lyrics + hook here serve as a continuation of the last track. No complaints here. The minimalistic beat allows you to pay attention to Sus story, which is a plus for this record.
The beat here combines a southern flavor with the repeating vocal sample reminiscent of Kanyes work on Drakes Show Me A Good Time from Thank Me Later. Hook here is pretty average here, but it gets the job done. The verses here showcase Sus skills with flow pretty well, but I cant see myself coming back to this record later.
Clyde Carson Slow Down (Remix) (Feat . Problem & Iamsu!)
Most likely, youve already heard this song if you live in the Bay. This record is a hit and definitely gets people hype. Though car references are pretty overdone in rap, it somehow is fresh and new here. All the verses deliver as well, which makes this record a keeper.
E-40 (Feat. YG, Iamsu!, and Problem) – Function
This is probably the biggest record of Sus career up to this point, and serves as a great closer to the project. This is one of the records that are putting all eyes back on the Bay, and Su delivers the standout verse here, upstaging veteran E-40. The hook is catchy and like most catchy rap songs do, have added a new word into the hip-hop culture. Function is now permeated into African American vernacular, replacing party. Im not mad at it at all.
Best Tracks: Mainey, Over, 2 Milli, Get It In, Fly High, Click Finna Blow, Made It, Slow Down (Remix), Function
Overall Grade: B Download It.
At the end of the day, this is a pretty good offering from Iamsu. His own beats, along with the beats from other producers are more or less on point, and his lyrics are always present. He touches on a wide range of topics proving that hes versatile and not going to be stuck doing one type of record. From a sound engineering standpoint, Sus vocals could be mixed a little better and could be louder so the tape would be a little easier to listen to. All the tracks were pretty short, most coming up short of or barely over 3 minutes, which may end up causing the listener to want more of some of the standout tracks. Theres room for improvement, but there always is with making music. This mixtape is definitely worth checking out.
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