GT :: Third Coast Criminology Mixtape Vol. 1 :: Flow Factory Records
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

Fort Worth, Texas may not be the most recognizable city to most rap fans, but chances are if you've ever tuned in to the popular show Cops you've gotten acquainted with the city's seedier sides, including Como and Poly. While Fox has surely made much money filming the Fort Worth Police Department's exploits in those two respective neighborhoods, no rapper has ever made it big out of Fort Worth. Dallas has had its fair share of national and semi-national stars, including the always overlooked but highly talented D.O.C.. GT is hoping to change that eventually, though for now he only hits us up with a mixtape release to showcase his lyrical skills. Now if you're wondering why I know so much about Fort Worth it is because that is the city I called home during my first 18 years, specifically the Poly neighborhood that is consistently featured on Cops and shouted out on this mixtape. Before you go crying foul and thinking this is a biased review you need to know that this CD was sent to the website for review and nothing I purchased personally. I don't know GT personally nor even heard of him before I got this mixtape in the mail. Furthermore while GT shouts out my hood more than a few times on this CD, his home is Como, an equally notorious neighborhood on the opposite side of town. So though I appreciate hearing my city and hood shouted out on a CD, the most I let this influence me is in the fact that I can personally vouch for GT's authenticity and can relate to his experience.

Personal connections aside, GT is surprisingly capable on the mic. When I say that I don't mean to imply other Fort Worth rappers are wack, but given the slew of mixtapes released and the quality of many local mixtapes I've gotten from across the country, it is a surprise when the rappers featured on them don't completely suck. GT has a dope style that, while not exactly unique, does the job very well. His voice reminds me of MJG's deep southern drawl while his flow is extremely on point. It's clear that either GT has been at this for a long time or is a natural at rap as his flow features none of the awkwardness I've heard from many other up and coming rappers. Lyrically, GT still has a lot of growing to do in order to rise above the pack of rappers gunning for the top, especially in a state that features heavyweights like Chamillionaire and U.G.K. and local stars like Lil' Keke and K-Rino. His opening verse on the album is a good example of his strengths and weaknesses:

"Gotta get away, taking the back streets
Jumping the fences like I'm running a track meet
Niggas attack me, but they plan was tacky
Wanting to jack me, but I pack-that-heat
Put a hater to sleep, leave you with a slow leak
On the concrete, tripping got your ass beat
Roll like a fat sweet, what it do now
Now run to your boy's stack, get your whole crew now
I'm a fool now, doing what I does
When I'm ready to leave I'm pulling bitches out the club
It don't matter if I'm sitting on dubs and shit
Game recognize game, she want-this-dick
You know I put it on her bush til she passed out
Trickled in her mouth, then I mashed out
Lit a blunt, let the music play
We did our thing now its time to 'Get Away'"

He has a few decent lines and he delivers them all with his dope flow, but overall his verses don't tend to be much different that anything else you'll find on a mixtape, in Texas or otherwise.

The production on the mixtape is actually pretty good for more than a few reasons. Though the mixtape features no tracklisting or production credits, making it difficult to get too specific about who did what, the album's production maintains a unique southern feel throughout. Filled with syrupy synths and pounding beats the music stays true to Texas funk. The only overly bad moments occur when the infamous "Triggerman" beat is worked over once again with little effect and another point where the synths sound lifted from Roy Jones Jr's "Do It Big."

GT is definitely capable of becoming the next big thing out of Texas but he needs more time before he can really compete with the top tier of talent coming out of Texas. His subject matter needs to get more varied and his concepts more original if he wants to be more than just a local star. The production, while on point tends to lack the catchy quality of a hit song so it too could use some improvement. At this time, GT reminds me a lot of Chamillionaire, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall during their early days at Swishahouse. Though it took them more than few years to refine their talent enough to become national stars they finally made. With more time and work GT could definitely join the ranks of Texas' rags-to-riches rap stars.

Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5.5 of 10

Originally posted: April 4, 2006