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MellowHype – BlackendWhite (Review)

L.A.’s Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All was recently unleashed to the masses with the retail release of Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin last May. Next up we have MellowHype, a group within the Wolf Gang click composed of Hodgy Beats and producer Left Brain. Coming less than a year after its initial release as a free download, Fat Possum Records brings you a re-mastered, stripped down re-issue of their sophmore effort, BlackendWhite. Now I’m a huge supporter of trimming the fat, but the shortened re-release version suffers severely by the absence of the slashed songs. No “Chordaroy,” no “Loco,” no “Strip Club,” no “Hell” this time around. The replacement tracks also feel completely out of place on the new release. Both “64″ and “Igotagun” seem like songs that would have been better for suited for a different project. But the lyrical dexterity displayed by Hodgy is so impressive that they are actually worthwhile listens. Gripes aside, BlackendWhite succeeds in the fact that it finally gives Hodgy Beats a voice within the Hip Hop community. Think Kanye West with more emphasis on gunplay and less emphasis on corny punchlines. Maybe like Kanye meets Eazy-E. Up to this point, he’s primarily been viewed as Tyler’s hypeman. However, with this release to a wider audience, Hodgy Beats is finally able to stand on his own. Can’t forget about Left Brain’s solid production either. For those who miss the glory days of West Coast gangsta rap, look no further than the N.W.A.-inspired “F666 the Police” (feat. Tyler). If this adrenaline-fueled track doen’t bring you back to the days of “100 Miles And Runnin’,” I don’t know what will. In contrast, other tracks like “Primo,” “Brain,” (feat. Domo Genesis) “Loaded,”(feat. Mike G.) “Right Here” and “Rico” (feat. Frank Ocean) serve as great examples of Left Brain’s woozy lo-fi scraper slump. They also give other under-rated homies like Mike G and Domo Genesis a chance to shine on the mic. While past OF projects were quite dark and disturbing both sonically and lyrically, MellowHype brings a lighter side to the Odd Future sound. It’s avant-garde stoner gangster swag.

There may be some better entry points into the Odd Future spectrum, but BlackendWhite is arguably most accessible from the crew. If you can’t get into the morbid depravity spewed by Tyler or Earl Sweatshirt, Mellowhype may strike a different chord. It’s just unfortunate that BlackendWhite wasn’t re-issued in its original entirety. While the “official release” is a damn good album, the predecessor is a fucking great album. Regardless, it’s a solid introduction for the unfamiliar. Because whether you like it or not, OFWGKTA is re-defining West Coast Hip Hop…”Wolfgang Killemall….”

(3.5/5)

MellowHype – Brain Featuring Domo Genesis by stampfactory

MellowHype – Fuck Police Ft Tyler The Creator by naetrees