I’ve been playing Pac Div’s Don’t Mention It (do yourself a favor and download it now at: http://itspacdiv.com/) pretty consistently since it was released for free download in April. It slaps from beginning to end, while managing to hit a variety of subject matter and moods. It most definitely deserves your listen, and probably a full review from us. And while it’s a little too late for a review, it’s never too late to give something a listen. And if one – two months is too old for you, you probably have a very serious downloading problem, and aren’t giving very much of anything a full listen. I know I’ve been that way on a few too many occasions.
Anyways, while pretty much the entire album is impressive, I have been finding my self listening to one song more than the others. “Don’t Forget The Swishers” is a song I think most hip-hop fans can relate to. The lyrics are funny but honest and while the topic is pretty much getting fucked up and hitting on chicks, it’s done in an down to earth and relatable way, rather than saying that every night they put on their $500,000 necklace, roll up to the club on four quarters, buy out the bar, and then run trains on supermodels in the handicapped bathroom stall. In addition, while hip-hop choruses more often than not fail to please me, Pac DIv always seems to do a solid job with theirs. I find this hook enjoyable as hell, and catchier than the clap. I think we’ve all gave the same message or felt the same way as the chorus at at least one point in our lives, but hopefully, much more than that.
BeYoung mos def takes the prize for illest verse, but at the same time he’s the only MC that takes a full 16. The end result was for sure worthy of all 16 bars, but every MC came with it, and showed that they all more than deserved a complete verse. And while all the rappers no doubt did their thing, Swiff D’s beat steals the show. More than anything it’s Swiff’s drums that stand out as always. It seems like the drums on every one of his instrumentals have the perfect amount of knock, and just the right balance of simplicity and variation. If I had one complaint about his production over the past few years, it’s that he never properly showcases his sampling game, which in my opinion he is best at. I regularly find myself wondering when can we hear someone rap over tracks like the instrumental at the end of “Broccoli”, “That Kind Of Action” or “Down!” off of Basic Cable, or more importantly over any of the beats from his Red Bull Big Tunes Battles? By the way if anybody has a mp3 copy of those Red Bull beats, you would make my year. Also why is the finals against Babu the only battle still on youtube?
If you want to hear more of Swiff, and you like instrumental albums like I do, check out last year’s Basic Cable (get it here), which he made available for free download. The diversity of the beats and the quality that they all maintain is one of a kind. I don’t know why, but I’ve recently been imaging Dom Kennedy ripping all of the Basic Cable tracks. He may not have had the most stand out verse on “Don’t Forget The Swishers”, but a Dom Kennedy Swiff D collabo album would be close to number 1 on my hip-hop wish list. I know Dom recently let the world know that he’s now doing a lot of work with Don Cannon, but that’s not nearly as exciting. Although I’ve only listed to 3-4 of Cannon’s projects, in my opinion he mixes them way too quietly, and his drums on them are almost always nonexistent. Listen to Freeway, Jake One, and Don Cannon’s The Beat Made Me Do It and tell me where the drums are. Listen to “I Don’t Fucks With Them” from Curren$y, Nipsey Hussle, and Wiz Khalifa, off of Curren$y and Don Cannon’s Smokee Robinson tape, and tell me it wouldn’t be immeasurably better if the drums gave the low end of the speakers at the very least a hint of a work out. We all know that would never be the case with Swiff, just like you can be sure I’m never without my pack of Swishers.