This column was supposed to start last week, but I was preoccupied watching the start of the NBA season.  I know, it takes a certain kind of lazy asshole to use that as an excuse, but it’s true.  Me being a Laker fan, I had to keep my eyes on the “Big 3” in Miami (final verdict – I’m not worried.) Anyway, I’ve been so damn wrapped up in all of that ish that I didn’t even pay attention to what was going on in the world of online hip-hop downloads over the past week.  With just a few hours left before this column was due, I woke up this morning realizing that I needed to pull my head out of my ass and get it together.  Trust me, on a regular day, if something dope has come out, I’m the first one blasting it at the stoplight.  But the damn basketball season had me playing hookie from hip-hop hunting class last week.  And honestly, with me being such a huge advocate of hip-hop, especially on the West Coast, it was a really shitty time to fake an illness.

No less than 5 dope ass mixtapes (by the way, you can call them “street albums” if you’re the shit) came out for free download last week from 5 of the most talented West Coast artists.  Realizing this, I was relieved on one hand because I finally had something to write about. One the other hand, I’d dicked around for so long that I had to spend all of today (literally, all of it) listening to these mixtapes back to back to back to back to back.  Just as a helpful hint, I’d never recommend listening to that much new music at once unless you’re on a road trip or something.  I feel like a kid who overloaded on Skittles from his trick or treat bag now. 

Even though I overdid it today, I’m ready to offer my humble opinion on these new tapes right now.  Call it the “Big 5,” if you’re into the West Coast scene.


Artist: Roccett

Project: "America’s Nightmare"
Hosted by: DJ Ill Will, DJ Drama, & DJ Kay Slay

Fun Fact: Roccett’s real name is Jerome Rockett
Download Here

The Rundown:  Honestly, this tape has it all, and it’s Roccett’s most polished project yet.  Whether you’re vibing to Roccett’s acrobatical delivery, the bangin’ production of Dae One, or the features from Bun-B, Trey Songz, and Rick Ross, this is one of those mixtapes where you get on your knees and thank the Lord for the fact that artists give out free music like this nowadays.  If you’re not convinced, just check the track “Be Afraid.” Roccett, G. Malone, and Jay Rock have no mercy - they straight up Roethlisberg that one.


Artist: Young De

Project: "De Is For DEMRICK"

Hosted by: DJ Fingaz

Fun Fact: De is known for being able to drink a whole bottle of Patron at one time.  Click here to watch him do it.

Download Here

The Rundown:   Young De’s been on the scene for a minute, and his new set offers more lyrical chronicles about his rise to the top.  Although it’s a bit less melodic than his last solo project “Audio Hustlaz Vol. 1,” you’ll still hear some of De’s signature singing in between him tearing the tracks to shreds. And if you’re a West Coast head, you’ll flip your shit over the two cuts on here by his new supergroup The Serial Killaz with Xzibit and B-Real of Cypress Hill.


Artist: Glasses Malone

Project: "Drive-By Muzik"

Hosted by: Nobody, like Keith Sweat

Fun Fact: Glasses Malone has been on tour with Tech N9ne recently

The Rundown: Assisted by features from Gudda Gudda, Brisco, and The Jacka, Glasses delivers a solid set of that dark, hard-hitting funk that West Coast fans can’t get enough of.  It’s under 30 minutes long too, so you can listen to the whole thing during a half-assed session at the gym and then tell your friends, “Yeah man, I listened to a whole album while I was at the gym today.”


Artist Rome

Project: "No Excuses"

Hosted by: DJ Skee

Fun Fact:  Rome is popular for his signature production style, where he samples old Latin songs and flips them into something crazy.

The Rundown:  It’s been a little over a year since Latino producer Rome came out with his first project as an MC, and on this second effort, he shows some serious growth as a solo artist.  This one will definitely be in rotation among the backpacker types, but it’s also broad enough for everyone to enjoy.


Artist: Bishop Lamont

Project: "The Shawshank Redemption (Angola 3)"

Hosted by: Nobody, like Keith Sweat (sorry, I had to throw that in again)

Fun Fact: Bishop references the Travel Channel show “Man vs. Food” not once, but twice during this new tape.  What other rapper would do that?

The Rundown:  OK, sure.  A free download mixtape featuring production from Dr. Dre & DJ Quik?  If any other artist told you they were doing that besides Bishop Lamont, you’d laugh in their face.  But Bishop has been dropping ridiculous free projects for the online crowd for years now, and this one is his most personal to date.  On top of the crisp production and the witty lyrics, “Shawshank” has enough depth conceptually to be considered one of the best projects of the year, retail or not.


And there you have it, ladies and gentleman.  I’ll be back again next week with something else to talk about.  If you want send me some comments or feedback, feel free to hit me up on Twitter – or send me an email at  Peace!