Khalil Nova - 808s of Life (Mishka, 2013)
I try not to get sentimental on here, but I’m so proud of how far my brother Khalil has come. No words are needed, simply download the sequel to the tape that ushered in a new era.. 808s of Life.
Hustle Gang - G.D.O.D. (Grand Hustle, 2013)
T.I. can’t warrant a post here in 2013 (actually, it tends to take something really interesting to grab my attention), but the return of Young Dro to relevancy amongst the Grand Hustle ranks is really intriguing. For the last, say, 7 years, Dro’s been on the back burner of Clifford’s label, and last year there was even some blog speculation that Dro had left increasingly Disney-friendly label. Yet, here he is, popping up on songs with French Montana and Meek Mill, songs produced by Young Chop and FKi, and having the most dominant presence on the tape aside from Tip and Bobby Ray.
Does that result in good music? Not particularly, but the story still deserves to be reported. Has Young Dro finally found his way back in T.I.’s favor? Probably not, but he seems incapable of escaping his contract, so he might as well steal the show on songs like this instead of releasing solo mixtapes only enthusiasts care about.
Chill Will - O.V.A. (Mixtape, 2013)
Chill Will has returned! Not that anyone knew he left. Or who he is. Regardless, I’ve gushed enough over Will in the past, so all I can really do is further endorse the most underutilized, underpublicized Brick Squad affiliate. Also, if he’s still releasing mixtapes, someone other than me has to be listening, right?