Monday, March 7, 2011
Pac Div - Mania (Review)
So I hit play on Pac Div's much anticipated "Mania" mixtape and right off the bat I thought I had accidentally downloaded a Stevie Wonder score. The first minute of the opening track "Mirror" is an amazing piano piece that is begging to get a beat slid under it for every other rapper's mixtape. The piano and the standup bass that follows are seriously fly. "Super Negroes" revives the classic Rob Base "It Takes Two" (which is actually a sample of Lynn Collin's "Think") while Pac Div delivers a comical throwback vibe sprinkled with bits of LL Cool J "Jinglin Baby" references. If you have been keeping up here or listening to my mixtapes and radio shows you already know I seriously dig the "Anti Freeze" track so I don't think I need to say anything more about it. "Take Me High" is also one of my favorite Pac Div records although I honestly think its due more to the classic vibe of the original "Love Won't Let Me Wait" from Major Harris (or some of you may think of the Luther Vandross version). If you can tolerate Don Cannon constantly screaming all over a record then you'll love "Fallen" the moment it drops in. I need a "No-DJ" version of this record so I can flex it in my mixes which I have to say - this 'mixtape' is not a mixtape at all since there is no MIX. Don Cannon screaming all over a track list of dope music seems like it actually defeats the purpose for the artist. Pac Div has enough of a following that they could have just released a No-DJ street album and gave it away as a free download and enjoyed a strong run of downloads AND provided a dope set of tracks for ALL DJs to run in the mix. Anyway...
"Same 'Ol Shit" is my favorite track from "Mania". The production is dope as hell, the flow is bananas, and I love that they got a DJ to step in a actually rub some wax on the hooks. I will chop Cannon's mouth right the hell out of this one just so I can run "Same 'Ol Shit" in my mixes immediately. "Nobody's Perfect" is yet another hot track and by now I'm thinking its too good to be true?! I'm halfway through an album, er...'mixtape', and loving every track. Knowing Doitall personally, I kind of have split feelings on Pac Div's "Chief Rocka Freestyle". This is absolute classic LOTUG so they should have actually reached out to Doitall and got him to jump on this to make it official. Pac Div - if you need to get a hold of Du, just holla out "LG'z UP" on twitter or hit @DoitallDu or shit, hit me...I'll get you in touch with Du for a REAL Cheif Rocka revisit. And with all the shoutouts Cannon screams for mixtape sites - he knows damn well he should have shouted out Lords of the Underground on that joint.
"Your Fuckin Song" is one of my favorite Pac Div records EXCEPT for the gay ass hook. The production is ill and their flow is smooth but that goofy hook drives me nuts. Everytime I have spun this record in my mixes I have clipped the hook clean out of the track like it never existed. "Show You" is a nice record to vibe with and BJ the Chicago Kid does a great job blazing the hooks out. At first I was all set to hate on "Saved" but the live flavor of the drum kit and the sick drum fills won me over. Besides, how can I really hate on a record that samples up gospel music? I can honestly say that there is one track on "Mania" that I just didn't like..."Somethin" could have been left off the project. It just feels corny like it belongs on the Disney Channel or those old throwback after school specials. It sounds like something Drake would do.
"Still a Knucklehead" is another one of my favorites from "Mania". That production is so simple but damn if it don't get stuck in your head and have you bobbin' left to right with that goofy synth chirp bouncing left to right. Thankfully Cannon kept his mouth shut for the most part and limited his tags so I can effectively work this record in my mixes. Pac Div better not let that instrumental leak or there will be hundreds of random versions of this floating around within a month. I'm not going to roast on "Out" too much since I just really considered it an outro to the project, but as a stand alone track I wouldn't spin it once.
Overall, "Mania" is a dope street album that should have all the Pac Div fans happy and more importantly should bring some new ears into the fold and expand Pac Div's exposure. I would definitely put this in my top 5 releases of the year so far.
Download Pac Div "Mania" for free