Sunday, November 10, 2013

CyHi And The ‘Kickback

If you’ve been actually reading my reviews and articles, you’ve heard me extol the lyrical strength of Atlanta rapper CyHi The Prince. In addition you have also heard my thoughts on his last mixtape (a classic bit of work to add to an already impressive catalogue of mixtapes and appearances) Ivy League Club.

Imagine my giddy surprise to find that he’d come with a sequel of sorts called Ivy League Kickback.

He’s keeping with the college theme of the last album through the interludes.

As before the tracks are on point. Unalike the last time, I will not be giving you the full tour of the mixtape. Instead I will be speaking on about five to six tracks from the impressive twenty-one tracks.

Mary Jane” is a weed smoker’s track, complete with the slowed down vocal samples of Rick James’ original track in the background. Much like James did CyHi personifies marijuana as a woman, telling all the things his associations with her have gained him. This list includes a Monte Carlo, gold chains, and his first set of rims. As if predestined or ironic rapper Smoke DZA is featured on this track.

Let me be completely honest for a moment: “Favorite Things” caught me off guard at first. CyHi takes the song “My Favorite Things”, a song sung by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film version of The Sound Of Music, and turns it into a piano laden song of deep introspection about his past. Not many artists could ever hope to do that and this track does that without difficulty.

Whoa” comes on like a club track is mostly expected to-with an infectious beat ad the promise of more once the lyrics and hook hit. The title comes from the vocal sample of  fellow G.O.O.D. Music artist Big Sean’s  verse on the hit song “Mercy”. For the first verse CyHi adopts a similar style of clever wordplay akin to what Big Sean did.

Sexy” is, for want of a better word, is a rather sexy track. The beat reminds me of something akin to the 90s and Jodeci. It’s a song about a sexy woman and her allure to him. More to add to the track fellow Atlanta rapper Diamond comes through with a verse dripping with honeyed sweet sex. You almost need a cigarette afterwards.

The final song I will speak on is “Pillow Talking”. This, much like “Favorite Things”, is a sample taken another way. Total’s “Kissing You” is transformed into an admonition how some females cannot be trusted to be loyal to their men. It plays into that old adage that tells how you cannot turn a ho into a housewife.

CyHi makes us long for a debut album with yet another mixtape full of well conceived rhymes and great production work. This is truly kickback music.

Written by Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine

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