The new "Power = Power" mixtape presents The Soul Rebels having fun.

Last weekend, I talked with Lumar LeBlanc about The Soul Rebels' then-upcoming mixtape, Power = Power for the New Orleans Advocate. In the story, LeBlanc talks about the band's affinity for hip-hop, and how it led them to the hip-hop staple: the mixtape - in this case, one that features them performing cool covers of songs by Cameo, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Drake and more. The Soul Rebels aren't the first brass band to feature hip-hop - Rebirth beat them to it - but they're the band that has most consistently sounded as if they genuinely like hip-hop, and get it enough to integrate it into their music effectively.

Like the best mixtapes, Power = Power presents the band at its most casual. It's not sloppy, but the mixtape doesn't come with the strong sense of ambition that accompanies their albums. This presents them at their loosest - not musically, but in all other ways, and it serves them well.