Aaah, mixtapes. As an eternal staple in hip-hop culture, every head knows the feeling that comes from owning a good one. We've all had that one tape that strikes the perfect chord, and just seems to become a permanent fixture in the walkman. I'm talking about the days when mixtapes were actually TAPES, and you'd get them from homey on the school bus. Of course kids today will probably never experience that sensation, what with CD burners, MP3s and the like. That's a shame.
But as for me, Payperkutt's "Shut Your Mouth" was nostalgic in the way it brought back those old feelings. You know that indescribable rush you used to get from knowing you're bumping some really hot shit through your headphones, and wanting to show it to all your boys? I actually felt that way listening to this compilation. And damn it felt good.
The record's biggest accomplishment is definitely the way it manages to include so many different styles and sounds into the mix, and still managing to sound fresh the whole way through. You wanna talk about value? Payperkutt's included a whopping 34 tracks here – that's 78 minutes – and you'd be hard pressed to find any weak shit in the entire package. There's a ridiculous amount of talent to be found here, and "Shut Your Mouth" will cater to everyone's taste to some extent. I couldn't possibly talk about all the goodness on this album in one review, so ya gets a quick rundown instead.
Right off the top, the music's infectious. Masta Ace and Greg Nice get it poppin on the smooth and bouncy "Don't Understand." The sample on the hook is nice too. (By the way, how long is it gonna be till Masta gets his dues? Can we get him his credit now, please?) Following that cut is Royce da 5'9 with "Friend." No Royce didn't do a track dedicated to his penis! Yes, he did. But don't be mad at him. It'll make you nod your head (ahem) with its simplistic and scratched-out beat, and the way Royce makes you think he's talking about an old friend is genius. Punchline and Words get the HELL over on "Let Me Be," as, once again, Punchline lives up to his name. Talking about his girlfriend, he notes that he's got beef with her ex-men like Magneto. Strictly clever shit on this track, and Wordsworth comes with a fresh rhyme scheme too. Then it's Juice with "In the Trenches" which is one of the absolute illest battle raps I have heard in a looooong time. Peep:
"He spit first, a sick verse that sound written
I reply with some shit that simply leave the ground splittin'
And if it was written, so what, cuz fools love it
I can't accuse him like he wrote it
I done been accused of it the same way!"
Unlike a lot of braggin-ass bastards, I don't have trouble believing Juice when he says that. R A the Rugged Man will crack you up on "Proud to be Poor," his anthem for poor white folks. This is another track that appeals for both its witty lyrics and its ability to bang in your trunk.
Realize that this summary covers about a quarter of the album's best moments. Payperkutt keeps the tracks short and sweet at about two minutes a piece. And unlike so very many DJs out there, ‘Kutt actually scratches and mixes the songs into one another, making for wonderful cohesiveness. This touch combined with the phoned-in, couldn't-make-it-to-the-studio freestyles and the shout-outs from other DJs like Jazzy Jeff, are just icing on an already fine cake. Payperkutt delivers an unbelievably solid lineup of MCs here, besides the ones I already mentioned. They include: Grand Agent, Flipmode Squad, Big Daddy Kane, Guru, KRS, Kool G Rap, Rahzel, Apathy (twice!), Beanie Sigel, MOP, Ed O G, Common Sense, Tha Liks, D12, Pharoahe Monch, Big L, Celph Titled, and so many more.
"Shut Your Mouth" is fantastic – I really can only make one complaint about it. It just ends. I mean, in the middle of track 34, it just cuts off. No outro, no fadeout, no scratching us to a conclusion, nothing. This is a very abrupt end to what is otherwise a 100% enjoyable CD, and it is distracting.
Other than that though, I am thoroughly impressed with what Payperkutt's delivered here. There are only two or three albums so far this year that I would recommend ahead of this one. Cop this, or miss out on an excellent mixtape full of the highest quality beats n' rhymes you're likely to find. It's your decision, so dammit, make the right one.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10
Originally posted: November 26, 2002