First off, its been about a year and a half since the original "Hydro" mixtape was released, and I still remember picking that one up at 52nd and Market in South Philly. That was one hot CD at the time.
In discussing mixtape worth with a fellow rap fan, we came to an honest conclusion-mixtapes are good for a week or so, then the listener is ready for something new. This, and most other mixtapes, hold true to that rule. I consider myself to be a "mixtape collector," namely because I collect mixtapes, not too hard to figure that one out. By collecting them I listen to them, and say I get three or four new CD's on Monday, by Friday of that same week I am tired off all of them and waiting for a new one to arrive. When I review mixtapes, I review them like its Monday, and I just got a new tape. I review WITHOUT thinking of how stale or old it is, but how hot it was before I overplayed it.
A key difference between mixtape DJ's, as any mp3 downloader or mixtape fan could tell you, is the quality of the CD put out, from low quality sound, to mediocre and then high. Usually, if its not a retail CD, that means if you can't walk into Best Buy and purchase it, the quality of the sound will be no greater than mediocre.
I consider Whoo Kid to be an above average mixtape producer. Sometimes Funk Flex and Cutmaster C and all them, they just take songs that are already out there and package them into a mixtape. Okay that's cool and all, but Whoo Kid kinda goes to the underground to get his material. He doesn't just throw out songs or freestyles that everyone has heard already, or just put on one or two hot tracks, he kinda digs up the good shit.
For example, Hydro 2 has two appearances by Red Cafe, who is a member of Da Franchise. I understand that the two of them are good friends, and any Major Figgas/Da Franchise fan could tell you R.C. has some ill lyrics, but most people never even heard of him. Whoo Kid brings that out. He has R.C. with Jada on the Iverson commercial, extended version. Whether or not Red Cafe was actually suppose to be part of that commercial or not, I don't know, but he dug that up.
A few other hot freestyles by such as Philly's own Pretty Ugly and Sandman, and a nice track by Beanie and Freeway renamed "Philly Smoke" to follow the Hydro theme shove Philly sound into the listeners face. A few other tracks by some Cash Money family and Havoc of Mobb Deep seem to scream exclusive with the members talking about smoking (not saying that's anything different than what other rappers do) but the truth isn't clear.
Overall not bad, the major downer off this one is Whoo Kid's annoying voice sample. He should step up the sound quality and I think he'd be nominated for a lot more at the Mixtape Awards in December.
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: July 30, 2002