The good people at Thizzler On The Roof (www.thizzler.com) have been working hard on letting the world know about the dope music coming out tha yay, as well as pushing some of their homies doing their thang in the music world. In this case they put me onto BPos and their new free mixtape Pos Tapes Vol. 1. The idea behind this mixtape series is that Goodward, D-Wiz and DJ Johnny Venetti will be teaming up with different beat smiths from The Bay to produce an entire project. For their first run of things, they enlisted the talents of Big Shawn from The San Francisco collective Bored Stiff. Download it from their Bandcamp here.
Goodward and D-Wiz definitely appreciate the art of MC’ing, and they have those unique non commercial vocal tones and delivery that would seem right in line Aesop Rock and the rest of the Def Jux crew. They may not be the type of rappers your girl or your drug dealer wants to listen to, but they got some solid lyrical content and rhyme schemes. Big Shawn provides a lot of different soundscapes on the album from electronic on the opening track “Volume 1” which features Mantis One, to the hard driving bass heavy “Star Provin” featuring Chicago’s DMN OLGY, to laid back and jazzy on “Shit Talkers”. Yet production wise the two tracks that most stood out to me were “Drink, Drank, Drunk” ft. Khafre and “Is That Why” ft. Otayo Dubb (a very under appreciated MC who dropped a dope free tape called So Opinionated which you can download here.
These two tracks found in the middle of the project both feature samples from classic rock albums that I have spent my entire life listening to. My favorite of the two is “Is That Why”. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon is without question one of the greatest and most cohesive albums of all time, and Big Shawn’s does justice to “Any Colour You Like”. He uses a lot of elements from the sample and the drums have a cool swing and slap to em. “Drink, Drank Drunk” samples The Doors’ “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”, which was also sampled by Nick Peace on “Show Me The Way” which featured Mac Dre, San Quinn and Smoov E on the Green Eyes Million Dollar Dream compilation. Big Shawn’s has a more hip-hop feel than Nick Peace’s and incorporates more parts of the sample, but Peace’s most definitely knocks a little harder in the speakers. Which brings me to probably my only complaint about Shawn’s production. In general I’d like to hear his drums have a little more low end and volume to them.
All in all Pos Tapes Vol. 1 is a good introduction to a side of Bay Area hip-hop that most people don’t recognize exists, as well as to a mixtape series that has the potential to be really legit. It’ll be interesting to see who BPos enlist for Vol. 2. I know who my short list would be, but regardless of who it is I’ll be sure to give it a listen.