Wasn’t there this little disagreement between 50 Cent and Ja Rule? Something involving a wankster, jewellery being robbed, a little mutual shit talking, and a glorious appearance on the very entertaining documentary Beef. These MC’s are supposed to be archenemies, and guess what: on DJ Haze’s glorious mixtape “Welcome to the Rotten Apple” they are featured back to back with their songs mixed into each other. Something’s smelling very rotten here, and I don’t think it’s apples.

The streets of every city in the United States are bombed to pieces by mixtapes nowadays, like the B-52’s did to Vietnam in the sixties. DJ Haze will probably have slept through that history class on U.S. involvement in Asia, but fact is that most of those bombs didn’t hit more than a couple of banana trees. “Welcome to the Rotten Apple” managed to miss even the banana trees after it dropped into the CD tray of my music player.

The mentioned example of sloppiness in the intro is just one of the many faults of this mixtape. The mixing has been poorly done, since ending pretty much every song with a gunshot is not my idea of proper mixing. A lot of tracks just don’t live up to anything, and some tracks shouldn’t be on any mixtape ever, period. LL Cool J doing the thug thing together with G-Unit point man Lloyd Banks is not convincing at all, and the title “Bump This” is about as original as Homer Simpson saying: “Doh!” The accompanying emotion is the same, though. Cam’Ron’s “JayZ Diss” is quite shameful, since the Jigga Man gave up the microphone for a business tie and suit.

Unbelievably so, but NY kings Mobb Deep made the mistake of associating their name to a tape that is supposed to represent the NY street scene to the fullest. The result of this ‘host collaboration’ is one meager freestyle featuring 40 Glocc, which is meager indeed, an intro, and some talking skits by both Prodigy and Havoc. Many fans were not happy with their decision to join the G-Unit team, and 99% of these fans won’t like this short intermission either. Their appraisal of DJ Haze counts up to just over a minute, so there is no doubt they made just a little less money a second than Tyson fighting Holyfield the first time.

Luckily, every cloud of rain has its silver lining. Raekwon does a (too) short appearance with “Blue Eagles,” and SunNY’s freestyle over Big Pun and Fat Joe’s legendary pitch black gangster ballad “Twinz (Deep Cover ’98)” is above average. SunNY’s brief, no-nonsense style is enjoyable, but with such a crazy beat, it is difficult to go wrong. If this is the quality level of the breeding grounds of hip-hop music, I think it is time for a thorough wake up call by Smiley the Ghetto Child. I will and shall not waste any more words on this waste of time and space. I hope DJ Haze puts some more effort into his next mixtape, because it pains me to hear the five burroughs being represented in this way.

DJ Haze :: Welcome to the Rotten Apple: Hosted by Mobb Deep