Mixtape Saturday: Soulja Boy, K Camp, DJ Nate, Zooly Gvng

December 06, 2013

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 Soulja Boy's late era, K Camp's shimmering earworms, DJ Nate's move out of footwork and the new Atlanta supergroup, Zooly Gvng.

Soulja Boy, The King, November 30, 2013

I’ll forever be a Soulja Boy apologist, arguing that his influence has been colossal and that The DeAndre Way is one of the best rap albums of the 2000s. But I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a full Soulja Boy tape since 2011’s Skate Boy tape. The King, in typical Soulja fashion, borrows heavily from what’s currently trending in swag rap, specifically the Migos flow. He’s not trying to hide it—he features Migos on a couple tracks. (Unsurprisingly, those are some of the tape's most fun.) King is bookended by a handful of passable-to-good tracks, including an EDM-reggaeton-house hybrid outro that should be a disaster but isn't. But the tape's middle is a total mess, aggressively sloppy even by Soulja’s standards.

Highlights: “Tattoos On My Body,” the clear hit of the tape, which explodes with batty, HudMo-esque percussion. “Bonnie & Clyde,” the seemingly nightmarish house outro that transcends its own garishness to approach poignant beauty. At this point, I wish Soulja would dive head-first into goofy dance tracks?

WTF: “Guwop” is just terrible.

K Camp, In Due Time, December 2, 2013

Atlanta’s K Camp came to my attention this year with his regional hit, “Money Baby,” the joyful, Kwony Cash-featuring ode to having fun while spending cash. That song is the clear highlight of In Due Time, but the rest of the tape is also catchy as hell, marked by repetitive, ear-wormy hooks and sparkly, room-filling production (frequent Future hitmakers Nard & B, masters of twinkly, synth-heavy rap, show up on “Make A Wish”). K Camp switches seamlessly from singing to rapping—he’s actually kind of better at the former—but I found myself glazing over anything he was actually saying. Maybe I'm finding his personality feels less engaging only as a reaction to how weird a lot of Atlanta rap is becoming?

Highlights: “Good Weed Bad Bitch,” which sounds like a long-lost early Rustie production. “Turn Up The Night,” a party anthem so perfect in its simplicity that it makes me emotional.

WTF: Only two features, and one of them is… CyHi The Prynce?

DJ Nate, Dope N' Music, November 28, 2013

I loved DJ Nate as boy genius footwork producer as much as anyone, but can we accept the fact that the dude basically grandfathered Chicago bop music with his 2012 shift to turbo, Auto-Tuned rap/R&B and move on? Dope N’ Music is his second tape this year, and it's more polished than summer’s 13. The first half is a blast of bright, chirpy tracks, then it transitions into a second act of syrupy, slow-mo R&B. Content-wise there’s not discussed much beyond cars, parties, and girls, but that’s not the point here. The tape's meant as a soundtrack for dancing and fucking, and that’s more than enough.

Highlights: The three-song stretch of “Anything I Want," “Bend On Dat” and Breezy Montana-featuring “Forgiattoz." Ten minutes of aggressively happy, triumphant party music.

WTF: Nate’s demonic skrrrrts throughout the tape are the saddest skrrrrts since Migos' “Baker’s Man.”

Zooly Gvng, Zooly Gvng, November 29, 2013

Zooly Gvng—the coalition of production duo FKi and new Atlanta faces Natasha Mosley (who sang the super-sexy hook on Jeremih's "Fuck U All The Time"), Kingston-born rapper Zuse, Mike Fresh, SaucelordRich and the elusively named 1st—released their first tape. It's primarily a showcase for FKi, who've been at the top of their game, working on their own dubstep-influenced tape, small rap (Key!) and big rap (Iggy Azalea). True to their eclectic style, Zooly Gvng balances sparse, icy sensuality with the bombast of EDM. Vocalist Mosley, who's saccharine yet super-casual shines on "Sick," but it's 22-year-old rapper Zuse who steals the show. With his gravelly Jamaican accent, as attention-grabbing as Assassin on "I'm In It," filtered through an Atlanta weirdo-trap lens, he's poised to be one of the most distinctive voices in Atlanta's increasingly insane landscape.

Highlights: Zuse's "Red," the tape's most menacing and bizarre moment: one minute he's yelping like Young Thug going through puberty, the next he's growling death threats.

WTF: A bit off topic, but why does the Zooly Gvng Twitter seemingly just slang tattoo deals?

Mixtape Saturday: Soulja Boy, K Camp, DJ Nate, Zooly Gvng