The homie Dizzy and the rest of the Benz & A Backpack crew put together this tape as a part of their Mixtape Monday series, along with this montage about some real shit…
Every now and then things happen that remind us of the fragility, preciousness, and complete and utter randomness of our collective life. Recently, two incidents (both involving pedestrians, vehicles, and alcohol) stung people I love so acutely that they’ve been debilitated. It’s the height of irony that someone can serve several years of required military duty in a constantly war-torn nation, and then die when a drunk American driving too fast glances down to change the song on his iPod and forgets to look up because he’s too fucked up.
There are certain truths we all acknowledge: if you work hard in school, you’ll get good grades; if you show love to the people around you, they will undoubtedly show you love back. But many parts of our lives escape our control no matter how hard we try to grasp them. They are dictated either by the coincidental nature of the world or fate, depending on which theory you espouse, and no personal responsibility should be self-imposed by friends and family of victims of senseless tragedy, although it is often unavoidable.
What we can and should impose upon ourselves is an apologetically cliche question that nearly every hip hop artist has had to confront in his or her time: if I die today, tomorrow, or in three weeks, will I be happy with what I’ve done? BIG knew before he was 25 that his trajectory was short, and when the end came he was ready for it. Hip hop was built on the cold, hard foundation of braggadocio, which doesn’t exactly inspire love in opponents, but rather competitiveness, jealousy, and other violence-inducing sentiments. Couple that with the abnormally high presence of guns in poor, urban, largely black communities at the inception of hip hop (gee, I wonder how that happened), and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. It’s no wonder then that death is more than a minor ingredient in the hip hop kitchen.
Hit the skip for 20 of the most recent tracks that you GOTTA have, including Wu Tang’s ‘Early Grave’ and Jay Rock’s ‘Life is a Cycle.’ Other notables: Freeway, Raekwon, & Styles P, Lupe, B.o.B. & Asher Roth, Preemo-produced Evidence…
Hit the jump for tracklist x download link courtesy of the B&AB crew.
B.o.B ft. Asher Roth – Fuck the Money
The Black Sunn ft. 810 – Black Serenade
El Prez ft. Donwill & Von Pea- Victory Lapse
Evidence – To Be Continued… [prod. DJ Premier]
Folk & Stress ft. GZA – New York Ginseng
Freddie Gibbs ft. Pill – Do Wrong
Freeway & Jake One ft. Raekwon – One Thing
J. Cole – Knock On Wood (Freestyle)
Jay Rock – Life’s A Cycle
Joell Ortiz – Shake Freestyle
K. Sparks & G.C. ft. Sean Price & Julius Francis – Keep Movin’
Lupe Fiasco – What U Want
Maja7th Feat. Freddie Gibbs & Mikkey Halsted- On My Own
Redlight Boogie ft. Sean Price – Heat Rock [prod. Killingskills]
Sene and Von Pea – Cantstandya
Soul Khan – Kids Today
Stat Quo – Success (Back To U)
Styles P ft. Raekwon – Time Will Tell
Wu-Tang Feat. ODB & Bad Luck – Early Grave [prod. Mathematics]
810 – Save Me Now
Get @ Benz & A Backpack here.