Critical Breakdown:- Lord Vino – 234 The Mixtape

Critical Breakdown:- Lord Vino – 234 The Mixtape [ Review ]

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Reviewed By:- Obinna “Fazillion” Ifechi-Fred

C.A.B:- 234 The Mixtape

Artiste: – Lord Vino

Record Label:- Sway Entertainment

Guest Appearances: – Boogey, Selzin, Erigga New Money, Mo Fame, Hoodbilli, Johnny Fresh, D-O, Retji, AT, Kel, Splash Josh, Damilola, Fizzy K , And Cyrus Tha Virus

Production Credits: – Uncle Vee, Kid Konnect, and Reeray

Release Date:- 22 February 2013

Ever since Warri originated, Plateau State Raised and US Based Rapper Lord Vino debuted on this website in April 2012 with two songs Pepper Dem and Occupy Hip-Hop, he hasn’t looked back since. He went on to drop different singles and Freestyles which have boosted his Status in the Nigerian Underground Hip-Hop Circuit as an Upcoming rapper to keep within your sights and to further cement that position, he dropped the 18 Track Mixtape 234 The Mixtape on the Independent record label Sway Entertainment

Major Distribution Instrumental by 50 Cent gets the first Mixtape treatment by Lord V, Renamed 234 Intro,  intended for V To introduce himself properly as an MC to the Hip-Hop listening populace, he did just that stating clearly “I’m Repping for the 234” before going cocky on the outro singsonging “I just came into the Game and I spit like A Veteran / with a Long list of MC’s that I’m better than” .Previously released single “Conscience” is next, fitted with thumping drums and a wild baseline that put V in the mood to tackle life issues like corruption, Piracy, and mostly celebrated Mediocrity in Nigerian Hip-Hop, whilst letting you know he’s doing what he does because his inner voice is very much alive, It’s a track that I appreciate and I know a lot of core rap heads will too. Next V Toes the darker route on “Holy Demon”, likening his flow to the Devil on the Hook and calling himself a Oxymoronic  Holy Demon, V rips through the beat feverishly with guest Rapper Selzin further darkening the track with a Mos Def-esque flow and giving me another core Lyrical moment on the Project. Another Uncle Vee production give V an Avenue to dish out some not so kind words to Studio Gangsters, and Wanna-be Rappers on Listen Up. He links up with the Hottest Colloquial English rapper in Nigeria; Erigga on the Rat Killer themed Otapiapia a street track where both MC’s refer to Lame Rappers as Rodents and go on to spit Hard Bars that consolidate the train of thought on this very track. Transformer comes next, it starts off with a Verse by Johnny Fresh who went in with an extensive verse, but I could relate with Lord Vino More,  with J.Fresh Rapping about Guns, I couldn’t help but refer him to track 4 on this Mixtape.V Brings his sound a little bit closer to Nigerian Dancefloors with Give Dem , A Fast Paced Club joint, urging the boys move to the girls on the dance floor, Vino displays his versatility switching cadences between Hausa, Pidgin, And Proper English Languages, as well as performing a bridge with a spike of Autotune. Though Hoodbilli was a little off key on the Hook, it doesn’t affect the whole body of the track at all.The last track sounds like it was influenced by UK Grime Music,  so does this track Badman V Style where V Basically has fun on the beat and Styles off the top of his head, something he is reputedly good at, Being a huge Grime Fan Myself, on hearing this,I am happy that the culture has began infiltrating the Nigerian urban Music scene. He switches to his Lover-boy mode on Damilola, the next track that features Fizzy K, V on,he isn’t scared to profess his love for the female in question with bars like “I aint tryna die but I Kill for you / Cuz I wanna be here to keep it real for you / You know, Push a Record get a deal for you / Then I Hop up in the Kitchen make a Meal for Two / Maybe do the dishes in the sink for you / I’m A Rapper but I’m about to sing for you. Before ending up indicating his intent to get married to her, This track gives me a nostalgic 90’s Rand B Track Feel, Like a Mase and Total Collaboration, an insinuation many people with the Knowledge  of Urban American Music at the time would agree with.I Can’t help but think that the “Damilola” on the last track is the one featured on the next track Beautiful Day alongside Hoodbilli and Splash Josh, A Moment of Clarity song that Had all three MC’s going reflective chronicling their problems in the Rap game, and challenges faced in life; the well executed hook by Damilola added to the feel of the track, that noted optimism is important in life to get by. V Doesn’t get more laid back and Braggadocios on this Mixtape than on the next track UntouchableShey una wan hear Rap? / Vino kpelu Tupac / Omo no be feature, I Sample Am for this track. He spits, letting you know who’s beat it originally is, and what he did with it ( Unlike many Nigerian Rappers that cant differentiate a Sample  from a Feature  ).The song ended with a Shoutout to some of his supporters, Including Nigeriansounds.com ( We appreciate it ).coming against V is self annihilation, that’s the message he sends across on Suicide ( U Wan Die ) a song that has Selzin making another noteworthy appearance on the Mixtape, It’s another good song on the Mixtape that has previously been released. The Head Nodding G-Checking Comes next, on which Vino recruits the Energy of Benin City Vet Cyrus tha Virus, together they launched a fiery lyrical attack on the instrumental, and I can tell you the end product wasn’t a pretty sight. We all Need Money, and Lord v assembled a cast of Rappers that share that same sentiment on The Paper, the Posse track with the most Rappers on the Mixtape, Two Femcees and two MC’s who made that point very clear, though all of them put up a memorable appearance, it was Kel who caught my attention on this one with her verse, as she went in with so much venom that reminded me of her early days, and got me yearning for more of that Version of the Kel that Majority of the Nigerian Hip-Hop listening Populace fell in love with when they heard You Go Wound O.Run Tinz is another upbeat track where V chronicles his typical Friday Night out, explaining how he controls the club scene and spins girls when he decides to wild out for the night; the song is once more another avenue to show that Lord V can make Radio singles tailored for the Nigerian Urban Music consuming populace. As the Mixtape draws to a close, V Sends a reminder that he is not to be tested in any way shape or form, alongside Mo Fame who rode shotgun to make sure that it was a well received memento on Dan Iska. The last Track on the Mixtape ends the listening experience on Occupy Hip-Hop II, V Takes his time to clarify exactly what he intends to do to/in the Rap Game, Sanitize it and whilst doing that contribute his own realness to the Game, as well as  maintaining high Lyrical and creative standards. I feel like this would have been the Intro, however any fan of Vino needs to listen to this song to know what his Manifesto is.

The Highest point on this Mixtape for me is Mathematics. The Well Calculated ( pun intended ) track that features Boogey over Mos Defs Instrumental of the same Name. I’m not going to explain this Track, Why ? I’ve listened to it for 3 weeks, and as at yesterday, I was still deciphering some phrases on it, but I can tell you one thing about this song, Any true Rap head will be fascinated by this first of its kind ( In Nigeria ) lyrical calculus that Vino and Boogey got together to create.

Lord V Listed American Rapper Jadakiss amongst others as one of his Favourite Rappers whom he draws inspiration from, after listening to this Mixtape, I could see exactly what impact Kiss had on Vino as evident with his Laidback Flow, simple style, One Liners and distinct voice ( though not as Raspy as Kiss ), you can Tell Vino is a well versed Rapper that knows his onions and doesn’t force the rhymes out, I like this Mixtape for the mere fact that after listening to it, you would definitely know what country the Rapper that created it hails from ( Even If he is based in the US He sounds more Nigerian than Many Rappers that  never left Africa Before ) , Though there were one or two Missteps in production ( as evident on The Paper ) that didn’t stop Vino from making sure that the substance behind the Mixtape wasn’t lost, He’s not a Rapper that tries too hard, The bars come easy and he delivers them even easier. The Mixtape is well composed and balanced, and was tailored to cater to different tastes of Rap Music  in the long run V proved that it’s not about the Numbers, It’s about Hip-Hop.

Production:- 8/10

Collective Lyrics:- 7.9 /10

Composition:-  8.5/10

Favourite Verse:-  Mathematics [ The Whole Track ]

 Best Production:- Conscience

Best Instrumental:- Run Tinz   

Shock Value:- Its not easy for a Rapper to drop a Mixtape less than a Year after he dropped his first single,V Did It.

 Final Score:- 8.1 /10

DOWNLOAD MIXTAPE HERE 

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