A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a Wrongkind mixtape that featured some impressive rapping from its Youngkind subdivision. And what do you know: a quick search of the Wrongkind website yields a short but sweet mixtape from Youngkind rapper Oso Ocean. It's kinda cool when writers do research, right?
Whereas the previously mentioned Wrongkind Is Everywhere Vol. 1 mixtape was an overlong, hit-and-miss affair at 22 tracks, The Whole 9 (free download here) is a much more condensed, consistent, enjoyable experience (sadly, one of the nine tracks has been lost to the black hole of Internet download sites; the title doesn't make much sense when you only have eight songs). The Whole 9 isn't everything that was good about Wrongkind Is Everywhere -- there's no Mitchy Slick on this, after all. But Oso Ocean was one of the brighter points -- if not the brightest point -- of that mixtape. He stands out as Youngkind's most talented rapper so it's fortunate that he'd drop some more material.
The Whole 9 follows in the familiar jacking-for-beats mixtape formula with Ocean rapping atop beats from popular artists like Future and Wiz Khalifa, among others. If you got that Wrongkind Is Everywhere joint, Ocean's three tracks from there -- "Ocean Montana," "Rozay" and "Lunchtime" -- also appear here (before you go whining about regurgitation, remember that this all comes to you at a cost of Free.99). If you liked those tracks, the rest of this tape follows in the same vein, especially "Chucks," which manages to sneak in some cultural commentary amid the blackout rapping.
"Mezmorized" expands on this sociopolitical side of him. Over a somber, stoned-out instrumental, Ocean raps:
We're trapped in the land
Where it's trapped to get grands or end up back in the hands
Of the Devil. Right after we fall, took me on the right track
We'll probably never understand that cheese is just a mice trap
The main highlight for me though is "MiLF," in which Ocean spits some real hip-hop over the beat to TLC's 1994 classic, "Creep." And by "real hip-hop," I don't mean endlessly regurgitating Wu-Tang metaphors that members of the Wu have already regurgitated way more creatively. I mean going back to the origins of hip-hop, or at least one of them. Hip-hop partly evolved from dudes like Blowfly, who pretty much just performed raunchy stand-up comedy routines with rhyming words thrown in the mix. "MiLF" is a raunchy, comedic folk tale in the same style as Blowfly or, more recently, Houston's stoner-champ Devin the Dude. Plus there's a comparison of sexual parts to food somewhere in there, which automatically guarantees months of rotation for me. If you like good rapping or dirty jokes, this mixtape should stay in your rotation too.
Quan Vu Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog sdRAPS.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by becoming BFF's on Facebook or e-mailing him directly.