Mixtapes are extremely hit-or-miss. I'm talkin' like 2006 New York Knicks unpredictability. Drama king DJ Kay Slay is probably the most notable promoter of the hip-hop phenomenon, if his battle-thirsty ass isn't the mascot, that is. His latest up-and-coming product is Mo Pacino, an emcee clearly not inspired by gangster movies whatsoever.
Unsurprisingly, Mo Pacino is an aggressive dude. His voice is big, his temperament is decidedly tough, and his content is violent. His stronger areas include puffing his chest and talking about guns, bitches and weed. Add a dash of terrible singing, and you've got "Lyrical Warfare" in a nutshell.
DJ Jack da Rippa hooks him up with some tolerable beats, some jazzy and cool, but most obnoxious and rushed. They do finally take a turn for the acceptable on "Sunshine," but that's only when they straight-up jack Mos Def and Kanye West's version for their own. Oh and, before the cheesy horns come in, "One Son" could've passed for a thumping 9th Wonder beat. And even though "Stress Game's" sampling of the Eagles' "Hotel California" isn't even that bad, it still deserves a big, fat "LOL" It's downhill from there, but at the end of the day it wouldn't matter. Pacino's that wack.
When his no-name homies aren't wasting your time, Pacino doesn't venture far from his comfort zone throughout the 27-track mix tape - everyone's jealous of him, and people want him dead. If you mess around, he will end you. This wouldn't be so bad if his voice was pleasant - Slum Village got by rapping about nothing but dicking bitches down, but their gorgeous flows were all they needed. With Mo, every line sounds like he held his breath and waited until his face turned blue to spit. Then there's his atrocious, half-sing, half-rap. Do we not remember Ja Rule?
The fantastic and believable on-the-come-up tale of "Stress Game" is certainly the highlight of the album. Unsurprisingly, it's spear-headed by a superb guest appearance by Bizzy Bone, but even Mo Pacino jumps to a startling conclusion: "we ain't gonna blow, but we do this anyway." Meanwhile, his other on-the-come-up tracks (all 50 of em SHEESH) get extremely tiresome. When he actually feels like breaking into a detailed story it can get nice, but normally it sounds like a bunch of autobiographical facts randomly thrown in.
Mike Jones proves that he's still a pathetic rapper determined to repeat his name a hundred times per minute on "A Boss," and Mo the "political" rapper answers Kay Slay's questions ever-so eloquently in a closing interview: "How do you feel about the war?" "I feel there should be peace, not that pussy shit, not that fag shit, but peace." Oh ya, that pussy shit.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 3.5 of 10
Originally posted: May 1, 2007