DJ Lil' Mic: Three Alarm Blaze; Still Blazin'
DJ Lil' Mic runs a weekly dancehall show on Washington's WPGC. It's one of the more interesting parts of a commercial station, a careful and devoted expression of one DJ's obvious affection for a specific style of music. Of course, there's only so far a love of the latest dancehall can get you. At its best, the genre is hypnotic; at its worst, it's simply mind-numbing and droning. Lil' Mic straddles this line between clever and stupid with two new mix CDs on 4.5.6 Records.
Both discs clock in at over 60 tracks, close to 80 minutes each, and feature the requisite mix-CD toasting. As with all mixes, the proof is in the songs chosen, and Lil' Mic suffers here from quantity-over-quality. Taking a preprogrammed loop, he mixes in the hook and chorus from as many as 10 or 12 songs in a row, creating a sort of "dancehall's greatest hits this week on 45" effect. Then he toasts and raps over it all.
You're left wondering whether highlights like Frisco Kid's "Flex" might have been better served by letting them breathe on their own. And when the mix gels (as it does on "Diwali (Revisited)" from Still Blazin'), it makes the remainder of the disc sound that much thinner by comparison. Overall, neither disc is awful, but given how similar they sound to the radio show that Lil' Mic already broadcasts, there's not much reason to pick them up, either.