There has been a yearning in Hip Hop for the days of the lyricists, back pack rappers and gangsta rappers to resurface. As corporate America waters down the once controversial genre there are a chosen few of artists who stick to their guns. Kendrick Lamar was able to transcend the basic norm to drop a classic album in 2012 and rebranded the west coast as a current staple in Hip Hop. One artist we’ve seen on the come up in the last few years who continues to spit about the ills of the hood and the streets he comes from is Watts, California’s, very own, T-Bone.
It’s 2013 and he is back with his best mixtape to date, and as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. T Bone keeps the formula in tact and enlists Digital Dynasty creator Tha Advocate to host the whole mixtape. This time around T Bone shows the crew love and showcases many artists that rep the left coast and make up the Graffiti Gang. T Bone has a chip on his shoulder, his confidence is strong and that’s why this one is called “Pay Em No Attention”. It’s dedicated to moving forward and not giving the haters any time.
The mixtape kicks off with audio from the classic movie “Belly” and “Harlem Nights” and sets the tone for what’s in store…. that intense gangsta shit. Tha Advocate continues with the intensity as he lets the listener know that he’s “seen T Bone evolve over the years” and that “we will too”. Nothing could be more truthful. The first track “Pay Em No Attention” finds T Bone spitting to “bring back the khakis” and lays bar after bar of his Watts infused flavor on the smooth west coast sounding foundation.
Further in the mixtape tracks like, “Death Wish” and “What It Do”, find T Bone and company painting pictures of the mean streets of California, pay back to foes and slick word play about the privileged life. Double Gunnz continues to make several memorable appearances each verse he drops on this mixtape. We look forward to hearing more from the Graffiti Gang member on the solo tip and along side T Bone. They have a great chemistry and dynamic together.
Gangsta mode is turned up full throttle on “Terrified”, “Ima G” and “Watts City Nigga”. T Bone viscously spits about how “the gun play is magnificent” and bodies many foes on track after track. The G Funk is back in full swing on the James Brown sampled “The Boss”. T bone rides this beat like it was made with hydraulics. The majority of the mixtape has that classic west coast sound but some tracks find T Bone displaying his versatility on a few east coast inspired beats.
Graffiti Gang tears up the classic Mobb Deep instrumental on “Real Hip Hop”, while Tommy Guns is spitting bars like “Get the fuck out of here you fraud nigga/ come to the hood shining, get robbed nigga/ I do it big till I die, swear to God Nigga/ This is a RE-RUN of my life .. ask Raj nigga”. T Bone wastes no time and follows up with equally dope darts like “See these wounds will tell you better/ real life gun fights, fighting for the cheddar/ Battled different hoods just to see who’s better/ and if you wasn’t banging you was fucking with them haters.”
Track after track paints a visual into the Watts streets. T Bone continues to spit about his surroundings and isn’t that what Hip Hop’s really about? This is a compilation of self reflection, harsh truths and bravado. We thoroughly enjoyed this mixtape and hope to hear more from T Bone. Make sure you download the mixtape here –http://www.sendspace.com/file/s52s5c – and stream it below. Connect with T Bone on Facebook — and Advo as well facebook.com/ThaAdvocateNJ or Twitter.com/ThaAdvocate .