Three new mixtapes from the Jet Life crew.
Curren$y and the Jet Life crew are so ridiculously prolific that I get the impression that they're idea of a social life is to hang out in the studio, get high and cut mixtapes. In the last month, Curren$y released New Jet City, and DeeLow released Molly Gras in time for Mardi Gras. Last week, Fiend dropped Lil Ghetto Boy, and yesterday Young Roddy put out Good Sense 2 and Street Wiz and Young Cam released Stars & Stripes.
I return to Fiend's mixtapes, partly because his deep voice and unhurried flow combine with the generally lush tracks he has worked with in recent years under the name International Jones. At their best, they sound like black independent cinema soundtracks for the hip-hop era; at the most average, they're merely distinctive. That cinematic persona shows up most prominently on "The Coolest," and presents the hip-hop love of the high life (in both senses) in a context other than simple braggadocio.
Young Roddy, Street Wiz and Young Cam aren't as distinctive. Their street life stories move in conventional directions - money, swag, women and weed - with common earnestness. Still, A-Nice's production keeps Stars & Stripes in the game. Young Roddy's hustler stories are entertaining enough, but Good Sense 2 comes to live with "504 Radio." Relying on a KC & the Sunshine Band hook walks the line between inspired and corny, and 3D Na'Tee's guest spot has the sort of creativity that the mixtape could use more of.