It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you… My Rakim flow, lol. It’s been a minute since I’ve fallen back into my creative state and dropped a review of films or music on the site. I’m bringing it back with a reintroduction to one of my favorite Cali emcees Mahtie Bush (Get To Know). While I’ve been gone, I haven’t been ignoring the music scene. I’ve been listening to stuff but it just hasn’t hit me. It’s easy for me to talk about Yasiin or piggy back on Okayplayer articles to show how eclectic my listening tastes are, but that would be very superficial. Besides when I review something it has to have something that I can question.
Hate is Love in itself creates a paradox in the allusion used in naming the album and beginning and ending the mixtape. I’ll get to that later. Right now, go over to Band camp (http://mahtiebush916.bandcamp.com/) and begin downloading and let me know what you think. Also visit Mahtie Bush’s website here. Mahtie is currently making a push in Sac Town to get local artists back on the air. In the truest since of Hip-Hop he is taking the battle to heart and doing what artists are supposed to do, fighting the status quo and delivering art.
Here is my song by song breakdown enjoy:
Hate Is Love pt.2 with DJ G.I.Joe
by Mahtie Bush
Hate Is Love pt.2 with DJ G.I.Joe cover art
A Midnight Marauder-esque voice begins the journey into H.I.L. (Hate is Love) which transitions into…
2.Ya Meen feat. Century Got Bars 04:12
The DJ is prominent in the intro which is classic hip-hop status and in the Boom Bap of GI Joe’s production here and you get a crazy introduction track that’s head nod inducing. This features one of my favorite West Coast Emcees Century Got Bars of MLS. As of late her solo career has been jumping off so it’s a welcomed feature. The song title is a play on one of the dopest songs from Distant Relatives and Century even works a Ya Mean into her verse. A dope intro that is highlighted by lyrics like “Katt Williams in Oakland, it’s over my dude.”
3.Head Off 02:19
There is Ghostface like “Daytona” sound on this track, but it’s broken up with horns like on the Creamy Spies track on Digable Planets Blowout Comb (Damn I’m dropping crazy flashbacks in this, lol) There is also a bit of Manny Fresh drum beat from the Juvi days, which is interesting and disrupts the track in just the right place to wake the ears up.
A Big Pun styled flow that has been missed, this is the single off of the CD thus far. The braggadocio is evident and lyrically on point “Ar-Test me and I’ll jump in the stands!” wooooo! This is that driving music that forces you to whip through traffic with the gully, robbing crew look on your face. If this was a video Mahtie would have to use the slap the camera feature for this one.
5.Helmet Rock feat. Bru Lei & Mic Jordan 02:55
A more subdued track, I’m starting to realize a Mahtie album can venture into very distinct locales which is good. A lot of emcees have a problem with trying to capture different sounds and it often sounds forced. Here the variation in style and the features remind you of a Lootpack joint, especially the haunting synth floating in the background.
6.New God Flow 02:33
The title alone gives credence to the Gods and Earths which has always been a foundation in Hip-hop and actually carries this West coast album into an East Coast sound. This has become my favorite track on the album. Pianos “Bitter niggas want you bitter so they feel like they win.” Nuff Said
7.Scream feat. Attikus and Dregs One 03:57
Scream is not a track that reaches me. It does have a more distinctly Cali sound and the lyrics are on point, but here the beat overpowers the track and feels more out of place than the previous tracks. I want to like it, but it’s just not quite there.
8.Toluca feat. Desperados & Kest 03:35
Toluca is another distinctly Cali styled song but it’s a lot more stripped down and fits the track and carries a bit of that DJ Muggs flavor which of course grabs me, since anytime there is a Latin flavor it reminds of my San Diego life. This is bumpin, beach track.
This is a dangerous track that captures the pain of Mahtie’s childhood and in the history of drug narratives, this is 10 Crack Commandments and while this beat makes you want to hit the floor, it’s almost a contradiction to dance to such a dark track. With an allusion to Wu Tangs favorite emcee, you can feel and see the smoke on this track. This track is an addictive warning. Mahtie tells stories.
10.Young America 02:01
From M-E-T-H to Young America is the Mahtie story. This is classic Hip-Hop and makes me need this shit. Taking out the credit card and paying for a download, just based on the last two tracks. Honestly I want the tape to end here. Which is actually hindering my listening to Warrior.
11.Warrior feat. Big Wick BBoy Fidget & Leon the Professional 03:56
I always like motivational anthems but after Young America, this song is actually making me want to shut it off and I did.
12.Merry Go Round 02:46
This is a track that is deceptive. The ABBA/Royce Da 5’9” sample of Merry Go Round actually undercuts the track instead of creating a paradox of a life that wants to be happy. It works, but the sample is intrusive. Then again, I’m still reeling from M-E-T-H and Young America. Which is good because when 2 A.M. starts the feeling
13.2 A.M. 02:24
Of importance and the Eminem styled storytelling resurfaces and has an epic powerful feeling. If the album is coming to a close here then it’s successful and generates a serious though process for the listener. This is important Hip-Hop and every emcee/musician in a local market should want to pump this.
14.The One feat. Task1ne, Bianca Chanel & DJ Nocturnal 03:54
The album signs off with another Cali influenced track, chopped up with the sound of the organ and the Bianca hook which brings the head nods back and it works. I haven’t heard scratching like this in a while and I seriously want for more emcees to utilize the DJ again.
Overall the introduction which is an interview with Osho that allows for a question to be asked of the decision to name this mixtape for a person who was so polarizing. I think Mahtie is pushing to have emcees dive deeper into the lyricism. While he maintains the hip-hop aesthetic of boasting/toasting and the boom bap allows the b-boy to show through, he is different from most emcees in that there is a hidden vulnerability in his art.
This is definitely one of the better mixtapes I’ve ran across and you should definitely take a listen. Sac City stand up!