Before we proceed, let's make it clear that many of these songs feature explicit, uncensored lyrics, and you shouldn't blast these songs at work unless you have a very understanding mix of co-workers and or/bosses who also enjoy frequent expletives, and lyrical content that involves ridin' dirty, sippin' sizzurp, and all that. We've got a selection of artists here from all over the States, from serious rhymers to more whimsical beatmakers. We hope you enjoy what you hear.
1. E. Smith - “Early in the Morning” Featuring Lloyd
E. Smith (that's his pic up top) has enough backstory for many songs to come - moving between Greenville, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, the rapper met with success as part of the group Dirty 130 while also struggling to keep out of legal trouble. Last we heard, Smith was back in Carolina and his musical output is continuing unabated. "Early in the Morning" is a rise 'n' grind anthem featuring Lloyd on the hook - a slick jam to get your day started right.
2. MajaHustle - “Frontline” Featuring J. Rivers
Oklahoma-based rapper MajaHustle gives us the track "Frontline" here from his album Tha Resurektion. Featuring guest rapper JRiverz, this is a confrontational track with a bite to it.
3. TruFlyy - “Who Else”
Another North Carolina rapper, TruFlyy dedicates this one to "the big boys" and begins spitting fast rhymes about his slick ride and sticky weed. Points for the Black Snake Moan reference and the smooth piano loop.
4. Checkpoint 1337 - “Live From 105”
And we're back to Georgia with Checkpoint 1337 and this track off their Spare Change EP. Also known as the "Leet Boys" - or, as they call themselves - "[t]he hottest rap group at Georgia Tech," this group takes a fun-loving approach to rhyming. This ethnically diverse cadre of rappers gives this mix some levity, and reminds us that rap isn't all about one sound, and definitely not about one look or one idea.
5. The Chubby Chasers - “BBW BBQ”
Speaking of whimsy and defying expectations, here are The Chubby Chasers. A group dedicated to plus-sized ladies with influences that include The Beastie Boys and thick hips, we were curious enough about these boys to interview them in the summer of '09. This track from their Mass Appeal record imagines a backyard bbq complete with "halter tops, spandex and buffalo wings."
6. Edgar-O - “I'm Taking Ova”
"I'm Taking Ova" is the title track from Edgar-O's mixtape of the same name, a fast-paced track with a sweet chorus full of weird choral sounds and insistent synthesizers. The Chicago rapper more recently dropped the Young Boss mixtape, which features the humorous horror-rap track "O Vampire."
7. Dave D - “Night Spot”
And now we head to California for the perfect club track. Treated vocals, big synth lines, and low, funky bass. The rapping during the verses isn't super-fast or technical, but it delivers us to a satisfying and catchy hook that demands at least a few go-rounds.
8. Mr. Groove - “Gr92vez Anthem”
We'll stay in Cali for a bit with this hardcore track from Mr. Groove, which comes in the tradition of Tupac's brand of confrontational g-funk. Groove has a new album set to be released this year called Boss Muzik.
9. Phillie-G Tha Suave Gangsta - “Candyman Flow”
Midwest rapper Phillie-G Tha Suave Gangsta's The Bootheel Horror Show Mixtape is twenty-four tracks that include short flows, longer tracks, and chopped-and-screwed mixes. "Candyman Flow" a good representation of what that release encompass - smooth rhyming, shout-outs to God, and references to haters, hustling and syrup. On the humorously-titled "Rock Star Flow (Gangsta Piss)," Phillie-G samples Aerosmith and makes references to the Civil War and gunplay.
10. Cstudvill - “Guess Who'z Back”
Our mix wouldn't be complete without some local talent. C-Stud Vill has been with us since the beginning, and this San Antonio rapper is represented on this mix with the track "Guess Who'z Back." Being from S.A. myself, I'm pleased to hear some music from my town that isn't bad metal or tejano. Hopefully the underground rap scene there grows exponentially along with C-Stud Vill's career.
11. BloccBoyz - “Swagger”
The Kansas rap group BloccBoyz wrote an ode to looking good with "Swagger." It's not entirely clear if BloccBoyz includes three or four different rappers, but this track most definitely includes two voices talking about icy chains.
12. Southside Hustlas - “Diamonds Pressin' Wood Grain”
We'll end our mix with this track from the Florida crew Southside Hustlas. Coming from their mixtape Trap Muzic (apparently the eighth in the series), this group includes rappers Macyano and Big Bang, both of whom have been in the game for over a decade. “Diamonds Pressin' Wood Grain” is a nice ode to flossin', and another favorite on the Trap Muzic is track "A1 Steaksauce," an apparent reference to the condiment.