J. Rocwell – “Handbags”: I have no idea who J. Rocwell is, but I gave this a listen, and I pretty much became a fan the moment it started with a spoken loop saying “I love white chicks that walk around with handbags.” Since the premise of this song is hilarious (“That Hollister dime got me going out of my mind”), it really only has to be marginally good to be entertaining. This is fortunate because the beat is pretty pathetic, and the rapping is not exactly lyrical genius (“Hey shawty what’s your name/I heard you like fun we can play those games”). What the lines lack in cleverness is made up for by their total absurdity, though. The lines are completely detached from any physical female presence, which makes the whole song feel like a boastful conversation with “the guys.” As a result, it lacks any kind of gravity, making it infuriatingly entertaining. It’s a great party track because even all the white chicks with handbags at your parties will be repeating the hook instantly.

T.I. – “What Up”: It’s no secret that I love T.I., nor is it a secret that T.I. feels a little victimized in the wake of his gun charges. However, since his sentence was laughably light, it’s a little surprising that T.I. is still bitter as hell. “No Matter What” was the kind of song that I was happy to see in the wake of all his drama. The beat killed and it was probably the best T.I. has ever rapped. Most importantly, it channeled all of T.I.’s frustration with his usual swagger. “What Up” does basically the same thing except not quite as well. It’s a little more spiteful, the lyrics are a little less clever, the beat is a little more generic, and the hook is significantly less enthralling. If he hadn’t made “No Matter What” two months ago, this song would probably have me excited. Now I know how good T.I. can be. So no, it’s not up to what he can do, but it’s still a solid T.I. track. I’m kind of wondering who all these “haters” are when he’s putting out such good songs. I mean, I can’t really hate because he sort of already calls me out when he says “we can stay up all night/on the blog sites…but that’s alright/let the nerds hate.” I get it. Although his other new song, “Swing Your Rag,” is kind of dumb, so maybe that’s what this is all about.

Snoop Dogg feat. Kurupt – “Diamonds on My Neck”:
I’ve never liked Snoop as a rapper very much, which is okay because he is more of a persona than a rapper at this point. On this track, from his The City Is In Good Hands Mixtape, this role works out well because all he does is deliver the awesome hook, leaving the verses to Kurupt. All three verses are pretty solid, but over DJ Drama’s funky, laid-back synths, it sounds great. True to Snoop’s style, this could be a great radio track, but it’s way too drugged chilled out.

The rest of the mixtape is pretty great, too.

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