Mix Tape Reviews - Lloyd Banks, YMCMB, Iggy Azalea

So every week there is a new set of mix tapes for us to check out and it's hard to pick through the crowd even sticking to names and known quantities.Llod Banks dropped V6 " The Gift", Iggy Azalea dropped an EP called "Glory", and the Young Money crew came out with "YMCMB" just two days ago.

I have had this Lloyd Banks sitting in the queue for about a week now and just got around to checking it out and promptly started to go to sleep while driving. See I was a Banks fan when he first dropped because he was a punchline heavy street rapper like Fabolous who was able to convey more emotion. However, for the past three or four years while his career has been on standstill, Banks has lost most of that along with his once trademark voice, which is the first thing I pick up since it's obviously been strained and the vocals are not mixed very well. "We Run The Town" with Vado isn't bad just because Banks has switched up his flow and it is much clearer than most of the songs. Same for "Can She Live" which has a simple track that allows his voice to be heard. The biggest problem however, is the lyrics which are boring and unimaginative. With as much time as he takes between projects, you would expect Lloyd to have some better bars overall.

Rating: 1.5/5

Now one thing I don't look forward to is more Young Money music because I expect it to be more of the same thing every single time. Just check the single "My Homies Still" with Lil Wayne and Big Sean. I will say that Wayne's verses aren't that bad but then again rapping next to Big Sean makes anyone sound better. The beat bangs for real though. One of the bigger surprises on this mix tape are the two Corey Gunz solos, "Foreign" and "Put a Drink in her Hand" which showcase Gunz slowing down and simplifying his rhyme patterns and style to be more radio friendly. The beats also work well with the change and it shows something good is coming from his Young Money signing. Mystikal drops a 'verse' on "Bullshit" and he goes in about his legal troubles and what he considers those problems. Ace Hood out raps Bow wow on "I Got that sack" and mercifully there are few instances of Birdman rapping.

Also they limit Tyga to one track which is a blessing but Drake only shows up once as does Busta Rhymes who you might think they would have showcased slightly more since he can rap for hours. There are also a lot of guys you haven't really heard of before with what I have to assume is a chance to see if they can generate a buzz as well as stand-bys Jae Millz and Gudda Gudda. Lil Chuckee's "wop" is missing surprisingly and Lil Twist actually appears again. At the end this is more of a mix tape than most because it is a mash of songs and some of them are really just trite. Most of the unknown guys I skipped after only a couple of bars because they had obvious lines and the regular concepts wayne already uses so there was no point to listen further.

Rating: 2.5/5

Now everyone is waiting to see what T.I. does with Iggy Azalea. She has the exotic white girl looks, a different sounding voice, and had a buzz because of her sexuality. I listened to last years mix tape, "Ignorant Art" and she had some solid songs on there, her newest single "Murda Business" has been out for a few months and it's ok, but it mimics the sound and style of TI too much. It's important for her to develop her own sound if she is to be more than a gimmick. She features Pusha T on "Runaway" which is about getting away from the people who question or detract from you and what your doing. "Me, Myself, My Money" is another song that could be coming out of Tip's mouth. Mike Posner is found for "flash" Iggy's sexual track. "Millionaire Misfits" with B.O.B. isn't a bad track and could see bump in some whips. "Glory" is Iggy's attempt to drop some knowledge and spit some bars about who she is for anyone who doesn't really have a clue about her. It's ok, a nice little sample designed to not really screw up any ideas you might have about her while being a calculated attempt to gain some fans and prep for something more official.

Rating: 3/5


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