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DJ Whoo Kid, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Freeway: Rep Yo Click

DJ Whoo Kid, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Freeway: Rep Yo Click

Label:G-Unit Radio Part 19
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Jess Harvell | Posted 5/10/2006

Don’t be misled by the marquee—50 Cent and Jay-Z are nowhere near this mixtape. Rumor is that the two will be “executive producing” Freeway’s upcoming solo album. That’s also a cheap way to shift CDs: the Roc meets the Unit, a summit of two labels less and less relevant by the day. What looks on paper to be a star-studded event is actually a slapdash collection of freestyles, year-old beats, and verses you’ll swear you’ve heard before. In other words, it’s just another mixtape.

While Freeway has never been the world’s most nimble rapper, his breathless, shouting attack is thrilling in short, controlled bursts. But when he rhymes over the low, slow, regal fanfare of T.I.’s “What You Know About That?” he sounds out of place, his blocky Philly enunciation lacking the louche, drawling menace that T.I. gets out of one elongated “o.” This is a problem. The South may dictate hip-hop fashion these days, but if your voice isn’t suited to Southern rap, knuckle down and dig up some hot beats from your hometown. The beats from Northeast producers suit Freeway better but betray their age: Everyone sounds good over Beanie Sigel’s “Gotta Have It,” just like they did two years ago.

Rep Yo Click is everything wrong and confusing about hip-hop in 2006: East Coast rappers without beats to call their own, business moves disguised as entertainment value, and a market flooded with mediocre mixtapes. Freeway deserves better than this hodgepodge. Hopefully his executive producers can steer him in the right direction. Or maybe he just needs to squirrel away in the studio with 12 bangers from Just Blaze. Hey, it worked for T.I.

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