Since Step Brothers, the collaborative mixtape between Starlito and Don Trip, Starlito’s voice has taken on this intense world-weary quality that gets amplified a little more every time he releases something new. Across Mental Warfare’s 17 tracks, as Starlito’s voice crumbles, decays, gets hoarse, cracks and sounds like it’s painful to push even the smallest phrase out of his throat, it gets pretty clear that Starlito’s primary appeal lies in sounding wise beyond his years, and so, so exhausted. It’s part of what makes him such a great rapper, but it also works exceptionally well when he brings someone into his circle of tiredness. Don Trip appears, once again, as a perfect foil a couple times here, and Killa Kyleon has a mixtape-stealing verse on “L.E.A.N.” that is awesome but way too energetic for the subject matter of the song (you can probably guess what it’s about pretty easily).
Download: Starlito, Mental Warfare