Mixtape Saturday: Rome Fortune, Casino, Rocko, K Camp

On Rome Fortune’s intimate experimentations, Casino maturing from yelling to rapping (albeit loudly), Rocko’s quiet charisma, and K Camp’s feminist take on love songs.

February 15, 2014

Welcome back to Mixtape Saturday, a weekly roundup of great rap tapes around the web hosted by FADER contributor Meaghan Garvey. This week, she talks about Rome Fortune's intimate experimentations, Casino maturing from yelling to rapping (albeit loudly), Rocko's quiet charisma, and K Camp's feminist take on love songs.

Rome Fortune, Beautiful Pimp II, February 12, 2014

Rome Fortune has always occupied a singular position in Atlanta rap: in touch with street trends, but focused on something gentler and headier. On the followup to last year's intriguing Beautiful Pimp, he fully realizes what its predecessor sketched out, embracing drawn-out pauses, stirring vibraphone interludes (played by his grandfather), a washed-out palette reminscent of blearily staying up till sunrise. Much of this is due to CitoOnTheBeat, who produced the entire tape; it's a bold switch-up from the buzzing production roster that shaped BPI, but it pays off. Much of Fortune's lyrics are turned inward here—he trails off, sometimes contradicts himself, admits ugly truths about love and lust—but rather than come off isolating or navel-gazey, it just feels intimate, like we're being allowed into something intensely personal.

Highlights: When the beat drops on "I Was on One, I Can't Lie." It's unbelievable that a song so delicate—like a FlyLo track inside a snow globe—still slaps so hard. The wistful, neon-lit "Patience" showcases some of Fortune's nimblest lyricism over a beat that'd make Harry Fraud weep with envy.

WTF: There's something about Cito's production that's at times almost Postal Service-core... and yet it works. What's the deal?

K Camp, K.I.S.S. 2, February 12, 2014

Most of K Camp's biggest songs thus far have been triumphant, posi-vibed sing-raps ("Money Baby," "Think About It," much of the rest of In Due Time). Apparently he's had a softer side this whole time: his latest mixtape is entirely love, lust and sex jams, following the blueprint of his 2011 tape K.I.S.S. He sounds right at home on for-the-ladies jams, perhaps because the production's handled by Big Fruit, who made most of the aforementioned hits. But his idea of for-the-ladies jams is far more nuanced, supportive and feminist than your average. On "Lately," he compliments his girl by telling her she's got her shit together, rather than getting hung-up on physical appearance; he proves he has no hang-ups about physical appearance whatsover on "I Ain't Gotta Type"; and on "Can't Stop The Grind," he seems more enthralled with a stripper's hustle than with her body.

Highlights: "Blessing" (which originally appeared on In Due Time) is stripped down to only its bare essentials, resulting in something Miguel might make if he didn't try so damn hard. "Piece of Love" is warm, rich and the most sex-positive, feminist statement since Rich Homie Quan's "Can't Judge Her" (She gon get her own, don't need no savior/ If it's working 9 to 5 or dancing on that pole, I won't judge her, I wont judge her).

WTF: Your ass already nuts, cashew/ But I ain't gonna lie, that's what dope dick do. Infinite cringe.

Rocko, Lingo 4 Dummys, February 7, 2014

Rocko's still best known for his catchy (and controversial) early 2013 single "U.O.E.N.O." and hasn't quite managed to keep his name in the spotlight since. His charisma isn't immediately apparent—his delivery can fall a bit flat—but his specialty is a sort of sweetly earnest appreciation of life and a desire to truly inspire listeners to strive harder. (I definitely teared up on previous mixtape Gift of Gab 2's "Feels Guud" when he said Feels good when your kids call you 'Dad.') He does that on Lingo 4 Dummys too. But what's most interesting here are his experiments with Mustard-wave west coast minimalism—as on "Sucka" and "PhuckUThot"—which pairs perfectly with his understated delivery. But as far as following up "U.O.E.N.O.," there doesn't seem to be an obvious radio hit on here.

Highlights: "Proud" is motivational Rocko at his best, invoking listeners to be someone that you'd be proud to know. "Sucka" (produced by the legendary Nitti!) is like an Atlanta-fied remake of New Boyz' jerkin classic, "You're A Jerk."

WTF: Rocko's penchant for weirdo phonetics takes on a double meaning with "PhuckUThot."

Casino, Frank Matthews, February 11, 2014

I feel like I'm the only person on earth who rode for Casino's Ex Drug Dealer tape last year—I could listen to dude yell his own name all day!—but I must admit, technically speaking it kinda sucked. Thankfully, he's stepped his game all the way the fuck up for Frank Matthews, which comes in the wake of the biggest look of his career. He's not just bellowing into the void and beating his chest here—he's gotten cleverer, more lyrically flexible, and most of all, you can tell he's having fun putting in effort here. He seems to have taken notes from his brother Future—his breathless catharsis on "Do What I Wanna Do" is on par with the Freebandz leader at his most unhinged.

Highlights: "White," originally the highlight of last year's Black Woodstock Freebandz compilation, is the most purely joyful song about cocaine ever made. "Pocket Watching" has Casino delivering one of the most energetic hooks of the year, out-Futureing Future himself.

WTF: Casino dead fresh, look like a Photoshop!

From The Collection:

Mixtape saturday
Mixtape Saturday: Rome Fortune, Casino, Rocko, K Camp