Mixtape: Bad Karma – The Grey Tape


DOWNLOAD: Bad Karma – The Grey Tape
Bad Karma “Holy Smoke

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Bad Karma “No Tomorrow

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Bad Karma’s Grey Tape continues to expand on the Dilla-esque neo-soulish sound that producers like Kriis Money, Mike George, and others have been building on. Fitting with the mixtape’s title–a nod to DJ Screw’s infamous grey tapes–Karma includes a couple of beats that employ the slowed down “screw” effect. And it works surprisingly well, not just with Karma, but with the rest of the mixtape. It’s kind of amazing to think how well something from the world of Dilla would blend with something from the world of DJ Screw.

The Grey Tape is half originals, half jacking for beats. But the other instrumentals mesh really well with the general aesthetic, which is great for Karma who sounds most natural on top of this type of sound. Karma has an extremely laid-back, casual voice but he displays a surprising amount of maturity for his age. He mostly sticks to rapping about weed and women but he does so with humor, clarity, and self-reflection. You hear him growing up and it’s exciting.

This mixtape is to be a precursor to an album, Black Market, produced by Kriis Money. Looking forward to it.

Mixtape: Marty MacPhly – Cheers

DOWNLOAD: Marty MacPhly – Cheers
Marty MacPhly “Enter The Drag” [prod. Kriis Mon3y]

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Marty MacPhly “Cold Sweat” [prod. Kriis Mon3y]

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I’m a big fan of producer Kriis Mon3y, whose work appears throughout Marty MacPhly’s mixtape, Cheers. Kriis is developing a very warm sound by layering synths on top of each other, injecting just the right amount of flourishes to create these lush soundscapes. There seems to be a larger musical movement brewing nationwide to take things higher in a more positive direction. You can hear it in The Pack’s Lil B and his cloud rap freestyle explorations. You can hear it in Huntsville, Alabama’s Block Beattaz production duo and their sheets of sound. And you can hear it in Kriis’s production, which sounds like it reaches for outer space, not so much to chill with Martians but more to take in the sights and the grandeur of it all.

MacPhly, for his part, is a solid rapper and a good writer. He bears a striking resemblance to Jay-Z in the sound of his voice and his flow. But he’s got unique, oddball punchlines that stand out (e.g. “My shottie turn n*ggaz into Rogaine clients”). And he’s got good concepts including the above “Cold Sweat,” a cautionary tale about the psychological consequences of living life too hard and violently. It’s overall a very solid mixtape that you should check out.