various artists :: Mixed Nuts - The Mixtape :: 3 Deep Records
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

The mixtape has become the prime choice for promotion for both record labels and emcees. Looking to take advantage of this craze, 3 Deep Records has released "Mixed Nuts," a mixtape that looks to exhibit everything the label has to offer. While most mixtapes are made up of some "freestyles" over the latest hot beats, "Mixed Nuts" is made up exclusively of the 3 Deep Records crew spitting over other people's songs. From recent hits like UTP's "Nolia Clap" to older club bangers like Red and Meth's "Da Rockwilder," the 3 Deep family has all grounds covered on the mixtape.

With such an approach to the mixtape it's difficult to judge 3 Deep Records. Production-wise we get no insight on what the label is about other than the fact that they have good taste in choosing beats to rhyme to. It's also difficult to make an accurate statement about the emcees on the label as the mixtape contains a limited track listing. The title to each track is listed alongside the name of the original artist, but aside from that no information is given about what specific songs the 3 Deep emcees contribute to the mixtape.

As a "family" the emcees represent very well on "Mixed Nuts." The title is appropriate for describing the mixture of styles and different topic matter found on the CD. The emcees represent the entire country as they hail from Chicago, Cali, N.Y.C, Virginia, Kansas, and even Wisconsin and their styles reflect this diversity accordingly. Po' Baby and J. Tripz represent well on "Let The Dogs Out" as they spit battle-type lyrics over "Da Rockwilder." J. Tripz drops another tight verse on "Getcha Hand Out My Pocket" :

"The untouchable, indestructible, ill-poetic
I'm strapped with energy that's potentially kinetic, so let it
I be by your soul and your mind
I warm you to the bone like this Cali sunshine
My rhymes carry a unique type of flavor
The kind that's got you saying [...] to you neighbor
Fore I forget I gots to let ya know
These mind trips ain't free I gotta charge for the show
It ain't no stopping this ink apocalypse
I'm cold as ice when I be dropping this, my verbal pit is bottomless
I'm on a mission and you wishing I wasn't
I switch gears like transmissions in the hood of your bucket
J. Tripz on the microphone, ripping it up
2 nines at all times like Warren Sapp of the Bucs
I'm doing damage they can't stand it
Sicker than that nigga with the anthrax sandwich"

"Rims, Platinum, Ho's & Weed" is a deceptive title for a track that criticizes the Hip-Hop's fascination with material things and includes almost the whole family dropping introspective verses. Other stand-out tracks include "Message To Music" and "One Love, One Life" where the emcees address deeper issues. Even the crew's cover of Freeway's "What We Do" is worth noting, though they didn't flip the script conceptually their verses stay true to the original song.

As with most mixtapes there are bound to be some misses. 3 Deep's cover of UTP's "Nolia Clap" and Fabulous' "Breathe" pale in comparison to the originals. Crime Mob's "Knuck If You Buck" isn't a very good song to begin with so 3 Deep's "Bust If You Nuts" cover fails to deliver much either. The only emcee that needs work seems to be Ric-Hard. His cover of David Banner's "Like A Pimp" is just bad with him ending each line with the word "pimp." The concept is unoriginal and his flow isn't enough to keep one interested.

Overall, "Mixed Nuts" is recommended to anyone looking for something fresh to listen to. The obvious stars on the label are the aforementioned Po' Baby and J. Tripz, but the rest of the roster is equally adept. With a deep roster full of talent and a Bi-Coastal approach to Hip-Hop, 3 Deep Records is poised to make a splash in the music scene.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10

Originally posted: January 25, 2005