"SoulMate" is the latest mixtape from Nashville by way of Chicago emcee Moss Da Beast. The mixtape features guest appearances from ST 2 Lettaz, Yella Tha OG, Truey Lewis and others as well as production from Bandplay, BlockBeattaz, Mac Reid and others. It was released on January 8, 2014 over on LiveMixtapes.com.
1) Alive - The mixtape kicks off with a dope BandPlay instrumental that consists of a looped up vocal sample and some subtle ambient synths layered over deep bass drums. The beat is nice and Moss Da Beast sounds really good over it, kicking some boastful rhymes celebrating life and his drive to succeed in everything he does. I'm feelin' this track. Dope shit.
2) This is Mine - BandPlay returns with a another chopped up vocal loop, this time combined with a funky backing sample, more synths and hard-hitting bass. The beat lacks a little of the energy present in the previous track, but the beat is just as dope in my opinion. Lyrically Moss Da Beast comes through and kicks some more braggadocios bars about his mic skills and about how he runs everything from his music to the streets. I like the laid-back vibe of this song. Nice.
3) Man of the Hour (featuring Yella Tha OG) - The instrumental on this track, courtesy of Yella Tha OG (who also spits the first verse), is real dope, with light pianos blended with horns during the verses and a hauntingly distorted vocal sample and marching band drums on the chorus. This is probably my favorite instrumental on the mixtape so far and both emcees come correct over it, spitting some rhymes about how they are "the man of the hour" and about how they are here to leave a legacy while having fun at the same time. This shit is fire.
4) SoulMate - Alabama beatsmiths The BlockBeattaz provide the instrumental on this track, which features another soulful vocal loop over more synths, horns, rapid-fire hi-hats and window shattering bass. Moss Da Beast spits nicely over the beat, professing his love for music using the extended metaphor of it being his soul mate. Lyrically this is probably my favorite song on the project so far. Dope.
5) Stares From the Crowd - This track features another banging instrumental, this time by Frank Lucas. The beat is centered around an almost somber horn loop, but the beautiful vocal sample on the chorus as well as the energetic drums help to lighten the mood a bit. Moss comes through and raps about his money, fame and about how everything he does is big. I'm really feelin' this track as well. This mixtape is shaping up to be something serious. Nice.
6) Summertime in the Chi - As you can probably tell by the title of this song, the beat on this track has an almost carefree feel to it, which keeps with the lighter feel of the mixtape so far. The instrumental, by Mac Reid, is nice and is a welcome change from the "colder" feel of songs that usually drop during the winter time. As expected, Moss Da Beast uses this time to kick some feelgood rhymes about summertime and about thanking God that he survived. Very nice.
7) Numbers Game (featuring ST 2 Lettaz) - Mac Reid is back with another dope instrumental, this time with some subtle synths, a smooth sample and light drums. I'm really feelin' the beat on here and both emcees rip it, with ST 2 Lettaz (who dropped one of my favorite albums of 2013 with his "The G... Growth and Development" album) setting it off beautifully before Moss comes in and shuts it down. This shit is banging.
8) Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha (featuring Yella Tha OG) - Yella Tha OG returns for production duties on this song and comes with the most mellow beat on the mixtape so far, featuring an almost sparse sample layered over light drums that dont really ramp up until the chorus. The title is derived from a Biggie sample that is utilized on the chorus, which goes nicely with the lyrical content of the song - just laughing at all the bullshit and letting all the bad talking just roll of your shoulder. Nice.
9) Takin It To The Streets (featuirng Truey Lewis) - Despite the title of this song, the Mac Reid instrumental on this track has a real light-hearted vibe to it that almost seems contradictory to the trap-inspired lyrics. With that being said, the song actually comes together quite well, with both Moss and guest Truey Lewis kicking some street rhymes over the bouncy instrumental. While it's not my favorite track on the mixtape, its still pretty good.
10) SpotLight (featuring Jim E Mac) - This track has a real smooth instrumental, courtesy of BandPlay, that is full of spaced-out synths and mellow drums that give it a real breezy feel. Jim E Mac kicks off the song with the first verse and the chorus before Moss comes in and closes it out, with both emcees rapping about being in the spotlight and about how they put in that work throughout the years to get where they are today. Nice.
11) Hate Shit (featuring Phat Kat and Sofa Brown) - The Mac Reid beat on this track is somewhat relaxed, but it also seems to have its roots tied into that trap music sound at the same time. It's full of synths, soft pianos, rapid-fire hi-hats and deep bass that give it a different feel than some of the other beats on the mixtape so far. Lyrically Moss and guests sound ok on here, rapping about the hate that comes along with fame. This is ok, but it's not really a standout track for me in the overall scope of the project.
12) Pause and Rewind - Now this is better. Mac Reid makes up for the somewhat lackluster preceding track with an almost celebratory feeling instrumental with an airy vocal sample and light drums for Moss Da Beast to do his thing over. I'm really feelin' the beat on here and Moss rips it, reminiscing about the good old days cruising the streets in his car and about getting into all kinds of trouble. This shit is fire.
13) High Tonight (featuring Yella Tha OG) - This is the obligatory weed track and its dope as hell. The beat, by Yella Tha OG, is real ill, with a breezy sample blended in with light synths and head-nodding drums, and both emcees come correct over it, spitting some drugged out weed raps. Despite the somewhat cliche subject matter, this shit is banging. Nice.
14) DreAM (featuring Sin and J Dot Mason) - Yella Tha OG has really impressed me with his production on the mixtape so far and this track is no exception. The beat on here is real energetic, with a distorted guitar and vocal sample layered over upbeat drums, but it also has a slightly hazy feel to it at the same time. I'm not familiar with either of the guests on this track but everyone comes correct on here, rapping about how they went from living out their nightmares to living out their dreams. Dope.
15) Never Forget You (featuring DJ Crookid) - Macnifisent comes through with his single production credit on the album and its a banger. The beat is centered around a soulful vocal sample that is mixed in with trunk-rattling bass drums that give it a real triumphant feel. Lyrically Moss Da Beast and guest DJ Crookid sound really great on here as well, kicking some more rhymes reminiscing about the old days hustling on the block. Very dope.
16) Relentless - The final song on the mixtape features Moss Da Beast rapping about losing some of his role models, friends and family to violence over a somewhat sparse BandPlay instrumental. The beat sounds real barren at certain parts of the song and then builds up in layers and complexity during the chorus, but that's not a knock against it though because the shit is fire. Yeah, I'm really feelin' this track as well. Very ill way to close out the mixtape.
I'm going to rate the mixtape
4.25 / 5
because its quite good. The beats are banging throughout, with many utilizing soulful vocal samples and straying away from the trap music sound so prevalent on Moss's "Lebron Jordan Kobe" album. While that album was dope, the beats on this tape are more my style and I was really impressed with the variety of production presented here. The same can be said for the lyrics on this project, with Moss switching up the topics and providing more diversity to his rhymes over the course of the tape. If you are a fan of ill rhymes and beats that blend soulful vocal loops with trap music undertones, make sure you check out the full mixtape below.