Mixtapes are a funny thing. They have flooded the industry over the past years, and yet it can be hard to find one that it is seriously rocking. Singing or rapping over someone else's beat, it can be a tricky endeavor that isn't always well executed. This is not the ACCURATE mixtape by Bebble Rock artist Kabaka Pyramid, who recently teamed up with Major Lazer's Walshy Fire for this musical gem. It has the Jamaican lyricist dropping bombs on classic reggae riddims and hip hop instrumentals like “Stalag” and “Gimme the Loot", while also sneaking in a few new tracks produced by the artist himself.
ACCURATE also features artists such as Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Chronixx, Protoje, Pressure, Koro Fyah and Hempress Sativa, just to mention a few -- plus a special remix version of Major Lazer’s “Wave” with Colombian Kali Uchis. As if the tape wasn't classic enough by Kabaka and Walshy's own doing, the collaborations make it one for the ages.
With the ACCURATE tape giving us so much life, we wanted to give you our Top 5 Moments from what we are calling "the mixtape of the summer."
TOP 5 MOMENTS OF THE ACCURATE MIXTAPE:
#1. IT'S ALL IN THE TITLE: ACCURATE. Kabaka says this word several times throughout the record, almost as many times as he mentions being from Kingston, Jamaica. The term "accurate" can be seen as an adjective for Kabaka's lyrical ability to flow on the beat, but it also sheds light on his ability to perfectly match his verbal styling with the beat before him. Whether it be dancehall, hip hop, or roots reggae, he has you covered. His talent is not only rarified air, it is something that is rarely seen from an artist -- the ability to cross genres and do this with skill in all facets.
#2. THE LOVE BOAT: On "Lyrical Anamoly", Kabaka's mixtape guest Chronixx mentions the Welcome to Jamrock cruise. This cruise was started by Damian Marley to give Jamaican artists without a US visa the opportunity to perform in front of American fans. Chronixx says, "Who's the owner of this ship? Him name Damian. Ask him if him have a lickle space for some aliens." Kabaka follows up by saying, "It gone international!" They are both referring to music's ability to carry them to worlds they were previously not allowed to inhabit. Both will join the stellar lineup for the sold-out 2016 cruise in November.
#3. WAITING IN VAIN: While Chronixx compares himself to Bob, Kabaka covers "Waiting in Vain" on the "Waiting for You" remix, showing the listener that while he may be a lyricist at the top of his game, he still has a soft spot and is searching for his queen.
#4: GIMME THE LOOT (Notorious B.I.G.): Here is where you begin to realize that Kabaka Pyramid is sending a message to the east coast and hip hop in general. He can hang with one of the best that ever did it. His flow harkens back to a time when hip hop was about lyrical content, rhyme pattern and delivery, which he nails with accurate precision.
#5: ALL FOR ONE (Brand Nubian): New York hip hop has had a special relationship with the west coast. In the early 90s, it hit like a bomb, changing the landscape of our music diaspora. Not to say that the West Coast doesn't stand on their own two feet, but what early 90s east coast hip hop had in it's vibrations was something the west coast didn't -- the early dancehall sound. In particular, the One For All album from Brand Nubian. Grand Puba led the charge with his hit "Who Can Get Busy Like This Man...", where he went in and out of dancehall rhythms with precision. Yet, the title track (backwards), "All for One" was the main attraction. Make no mistake! Kabaka is purposeful in choosing this beat to rap over. He is toasting the pioneers of the past who brought dancehall to hip hop. Now he's giving them one back -- bringing us a Patois rap style over a classic hip hop beat.
To create a mixtape with so many memorable moments is truly a feat, making it hard for us to narrow our list down to five. Yet, we can all agree that this is one mixtape you can draw on for an example of lyrical superiority way into the future. See if you agree with our Top 5 Moments by listening to the entire mixtape below.
Images courtesy of Parker Bartlett. All rights reserved.