Willie the Kid - Aquamarine (Review)

Willie the Kid - Aquamarine

"Aquamarine" is the latest mixtape from Michigan emcee Willie the Kid. The mixtape features guest appearances from Smoke DZA, Jon Connor, Jovan Dais and others as well as production from Soundahfekz, V Don, Vokab Beats and others. It was released for free on on August 27, 2013 over on DatPiff.com.

1) Open Water (featuring Jovan Dais and Azizi Hasani) - The mixtape kicks off with a quick sample of the ocean before hopping into a beautiful instrumental by Vokab Beats. The beat is smooth, with ambient synths and a nice backing sample over head-nodding drums. Willie the Kid comes through and rips the beat, spitting vivid braggadocio rhymes in his usual fluid flow. The lyrics are full of ocean imagery and metaphors which help to set the tone for the rest of the mixtape. The song ends with a quick spoken outro by Azizi Hasani that also keeps with the ocean theme. Very dope track.

2) Winners Circle (featuring SupaNatra) - The beat on this track, courtesy of SupaNatra, has a mellow synth guitar sample and rolling drums that give it a carefree, but triumphant, feel. The beat is banging and both Willie the Kid and SupaNatra come correct lyrically, rapping about living life without a care. Another dope track.

3) Moving Forward - Hippie Sabotage comes through with a real chill instrumental that has a soft vocal sample and breezy pianos while Willie the Kid kicks some smooth rhymes about always moving forward and never going backwards in life. The beats and lyrics on this mixtape have all had a real soothing feel which is a nice change from the usual upbeat, trap music sound so prevalent in hip-hop today. This shit is fire.

4) Glasses of Water - The instrumental on this song is basically a sample from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" episode where Will Smith made a beat from glasses that are full of water. Soundahfekz just loops the sample pretty much straight up over some hard-ass drums, but the shit is dope. The laughing in the sample is a bit overdone in my opinion, but the "Will" part fits in nicely due to Willie the Kid's name. Anyways, both Will's do their thing on here and the whole thing comes together for an ill track. It's not my favorite song on here, but it's still really good. 

5) Goodness Gracious (featuring Smoke DZA) - This song has a beautifully cinematic beat by The Audio Unit that has a hazy, smoky feel to it while still maintaining that smooth "ocean" sound. Both Willie the Kid and Smoke DZA murder the beat and spit about everything from smoking weed to staying on their grind for the paper. This shit is fire and is one of my favorite songs so far.

6) She Wanna - Soundahfekz returns with another banging instrumental with some breezy synths, a jazzy saxophone, light piano keys and thumping bass. Willie the Kid comes corect and kicks a few rhymes about a woman who just wants the money and the good life while using more water and ocean imagery. I'm definitely diggin' the entire feel and concept of this mixtape so far. Another banger.

7) Lost At Sea (featuring Kara Cole) - The beat on this track, courtesy of VSO Hott, has some light synths over a hard resonant snare and has a real calming feel to it. The minimalistic nature of the instrumental works in its favor and gives it a spacious, wide-open feeling like the vastness of the ocean itself. Willie the Kid comes with a softer flow to keep in tune with the instrumental and raps about not getting lost in the sea of life while Kara Cole provides an ethereal chorus. This shit is beautiful.

8) Mainstream (Freestyle) - Willie just kicks a quick freestyle over the instrumental from Outkast's classic song "Mainstream" from their "ATLiens" album. The beat fits in perfectly with the rest of the instrumentals on the mixtape and Willie rips it. Very nice.

9) The Pleasantries - This mixtape just keeps getting better and better. The beat on this track, provided by Soundafekz, has an breezy, carefree vocal sample and some airy strings over light drums and Willie the Kid just bodies it. Too bad this is so short since it's really dope.

10) Marina (featuring Jon Connor) - V Don comes through with a textured horn sample that is sure to get your head nodding a bit despite the lack of drums. Willie the Kid and guest Jon Connor (who's name I see everywhere but I've never actually gotten a chance to check out) both sound great over it and spit in smooth flows that mesh with the beat nicely. This is ill. Guess I need to check out more of Jon Connor's work now.

11) Sea Foam - V Don returns with a crazy beat that sounds like something the Alchemist would come up with. The sample is atmospheric, with wavy synths and a subdued guitar loop over soft drums. Willie comes correct, rapping in his usual stream-of-consciousness style while utilizing more ocean symbolism. This shit is fire and is another one of my favorite songs on here.

12) Aquahydrate (featuring Rachel) - The Abjo beat on this song has a haunting chopped up sample layered over rapid-fire hi-hats. The beat seems sparse in a way, but it's still really dope. Willie the Kid keeps with the nautical theme and does his thing while Rachel provides the hook. Another banger. This mixtape is crazy.

13) GODspeed - Willie the Kid wishes us Godspeed over a real mellow Troy Caesar instrumental that has a soft guitar and shuffling drums. The beat is dope and Willie rips it. Great way to close out the album. Too bad its so short since it left me wanting more.

I'm going to rate the mixtape

4.5 / 5

because its fire the whole way through. This is Willie the Kid's second mixtape of the year (the first being "Masterpiece Theatre" with Alchemist) and both have been really, really good. The beats on here are all consistent in tone and theme but still manage to have their own unique qualities that make them standout over the course of the project. Willie the Kid comes correct on every song, spitting in his trademark stream-of-consciousness type flow while incorporating tons of aquatic metaphors and imagery into his lyrics. Very dope. Head on over to DatPiff.com and download the full mixtape ASAP.


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