Review Summary: A mix tape that makes most LP's look mediocre.
This is the European release of “The Mix Tape” which features a few different tracks and some of KRS-ONE’s most enjoyable music. KRS-ONE continues his virtually unmatched poetic and lyrical skill shown throughout his early years while progressively adopting a faster style. A lot of this album is about rappers (primarily Nelly) ruining an authentic movement to make money, but it also touches on more interesting topics in the album's two classic songs: "Womanology" and "Believe It!". The album never gets even slightly boring because the songs are short and each one has a drastically different sound and rhyming style to it.
The best song is “Womanology”. If you’re a woman you should listen to this, you might enjoy being complimented on a rap song instead of called a nappy headed hoe for a change. An uplifting tribute song that is brilliantly produced with clips of singing girls and trumpets. A song that may singlehandedly change your opinion of the Hip Hop genre. 5/5 A+
“Believe It!” features a strumming guitar at the breaks in a song that you could expect to hear anywhere from a church to a boombox in Broklyn. KRS-ONE’s rhymes here are somewhat depressing but this beat brings the best out of them in a bluesy way. The message of the song is to turn your life entirely over to whatever moral force you believe in and stop living parts of your life as a hypocrite. It also has some of the most impressive poetry “All my raps are street related- how can you spit and not have it hit the pavement?”5/5 A+
"My People" is not quite as meaningful as the previously mentioned songs, but this is by far the most impressive flow-production combination in the way the beat two-key up-down-up-down sound knocks perfectly with KRS-ONE’s rapid flow. Only downside is a short repetitive chorus where KRS-ONE shouts out different towns. 4.75/5. A
"Splash" This beat has an ancient Chinese sound to it, a slow flute playing and then the break comes in with that typical bong-bong-bong-bong-Chinese sound in movies. KRS-ONE brags about his experience as a rapper for most of the song while backing it up with lyrics. 4.75/5 A
The song "I Remember" is another immensely enjoyable production that reminisces about great 80s artists and musical traditions with a 1950’s-sounding singer coming on the nostalgic chorus. KRS-ONE's flow on this song is as impressive as ever, the introductory chorus gets you relaxed but then KRS-ONE comes out with a flow that will make your hair stand up. The beat sounds a lot like Ghostface's "One", with a smooth simple piano playing and the girl that was singing on the chorus crying out regularly at the break-in-the-beat that make the punch-lines as hard hitting as can be. 4.75/5 A
"Problemz" is as lyrical as hip hop can get. The beat sounds like a batman theme song being done by the dramatic playing of a violin; coming in with multiple POW sounds that are made when batman hits a goon and dun-dun-DUN! sounds for the break of the beat. 4.75/5. A
In “Down the Charts” KRS-ONE displays his poetic skills by making a song that is entirely about the different things that happen to you throughout every year of your life. The beat is very simple and only slightly changes for the breaks. What starts out sounding like a simplistic song ends up being astonishingly enlightening. The lyrics in this song will have you wondering how KRS-ONE knows most of the events in your life so well, and whether he could be right about whats next. 4.5/5 A-
On “Ova here” KRS-ONE takes out all his frustration with pop rappers on Nelly. The first line calls him out for a Nysnc commercial, the last line tells him even his home town of St. Louis doesn’t follow him. Everything else in between is true and very well put together. The beat is a hard-hitter: it builds up until the regular break where a short playing of a high pitch trumpet gives the song a medieval feel where you imagine Nelly and KRS-ONE jousting, KRS-ONE landing a direct blow to the face and multiple trumpets blowing as Nelly is falling of his horse. This scene replays about two dozen different ways after every 'punch line'. 4.25/5 B
“You Don't Really Want It”- After KRS-ONE lyrically killed Nelly in “Ova Here” he decided he wanted to ease up and tell some jokes about him as well. KRS-ONE keeps it humorous and civil in this battle song. The beat starts with a simple clapping and comes in with an old 70’s DJ-remixing sound at every punchline. KRS-ONE featured Nelly on a song called Self Construction about stopping the violence in 2010, so obviously KRS got over this. Still, this song is really hilarious for four entire verses. 4.25/5 B
"Things is about to change" is what you will be thinking should happen to your stereo when you hear the chorus of this song screaming out different places across the globe. After you get through this, though, the verses and flow are great. The beat is like the previous track with an adrenaline-pumping drum beat and only a few minor sounds added during the break. KRS continues on the topic of rappers not appreciating the original form of hip hop and doing anything for money. 4/5 B-
"Stop it". The featured guest, Mad Lion, is the craziest guy i've ever heard. You will feel like you were put in the middle of an African tribal dance and expected to dance while listening to this song. His voice is outrageously up beat. This is probably a lot different than any song you have ever heard. Mad Lion has made a few songs with KRS-ONE and this one is my favorite because I can actually understand him, and when thats the case hes quite good and on KRS-ONE's verse he comes in to say the rhymes, which works well. However. about 1 min in you might be wishing Mad Lion took his own advice from the title/chorus of the song. 3/5 C-
Essentially the only downside to this album is its short length, and the choruses that don’t add much to the song. The subject matter also isn’t the best of KRS-ONE’s albums, but still more meaningful than virtually all other rappers.