You step through the front door of large house, and are greeted by a thumping beat billowing down the stairs. You steadily ascend the steps, and peak into open doors to find the sound’s origin. You knock on the only locked door. Someone knocks on the opposite side, and you copy the rhythm of the knock. The door swings open, revealing a musty room filled with people surrounding a DJ and a pair of turntables. A man with glasses grabs the mic . . .
The mixtape has long been regarded as the undisputed format by which listeners can get to know their favorite rappers transparently. Emcees are able to grasp the reins of their favorite beats, and verses often play out like stream-of-consciousness ciphers, but it’s difficult to locate that combination of instrumental and vocal greatness. Scattered Thoughts 2 by South Central’s Chubby Jag has no problem finding that perfect formula.
With an impressive batch of instrumentals from the likes of The Cratez, Mic West, Pampitrou Music and others, plus tasteful collaborations from Dave East, James Fauntleroy, and Suzie Soprano to name a few, Jag reinvigorates the concept of a hip-hop mixtape. Instead of a hodgepodge of tracks, here are 17 lyrically outstanding songs that are as melodic and catchy as they are hard-hitting and hype-inducing.
To call this a heartfelt release would be a vast understatement. The imposing vocalist and the company he surrounds himself with delve into tales of origin, anthems of encouragement, familial ties, homages to fallen comrades, and the raw realities of growing up in harrowing environments, without sacrificing any amount of head-knocking energy. If you’re seeking lyrical, hype-inducing hip-hop, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)