This week’s mixtape up for review, Big Mike’s “The Rulers Back 2006”

This mixtape started off with a bang. The 1st track is from Jadakiss, called “It Can Get Ugly”. The Swizz Beatz produced beat is great and we get the normal lyrical lunacy that we have come to expect from Jadakiss on nearly every other mixtape. Jadakiss puts out more excellent mixtape tracks in a month than many rappers do in their whole careers.

Mobb Deep got on a track with self-proclaimed “soul-hip-hop queen” Mary J. Blige and suddenly sensitive 50 Cent for a very R & B sounding song, “It’s Alright”. I personally miss the 50 Cent that sounded more like a vengeful man then the one we are increasingly hearing, a more sensitive half dollar. Mr. Jackson has gone from wanting to fuck over his enemies to making love to each track. Mobb Deep tries to save face with a more thuggish sounding track “Ain’t No Thug On You”, but ultimately comes up short with sub-par lyrics.

After some G-Unit’s nonsense, it came time for Dipset’s turn at the mic. Cam’Ron started it off strong with one of the best songs on the mixtape “Ya’ll Can’t Live His Life”. Cam utters one of the more ridiculous lines in recent mixtape memory: “I’m the shit/ Shit, I should rock a diaper Yo/ No homo though”. Then came 50 seconds of a new Juelz Santana track called “Gangsta Muzik”. The highlight of the rest of the Dipset stuff is 40 Cal.’s “It’s Magic”. In the song, 40 does a good job sticking to the song’s theme with a great Houdini/Whodini line and mention of the NBA team from Orlando.

Other highlights of the mixtape include Lloyd Banks verse on the Avant track “It’s Like That”. Towards the end of the mixtape there is a really good 10-minute freestyle where J.R. Writer gets the nod for best rhymes, but Jae Millz and Stack Bundles also bring some hot lines. About 2 minutes and 25 seconds into the freestyle Jae Millz spits one of the freestyle’s sickest lines: “Nothing they portray to do is mediocre/ The next best thing like Tyra to Oprah”.

The rest of the mixtape has some good tracks from some lesser-known artists, including Nuci Reyo and his song “Hip-Hop”. Nuci’s passion for the industry pours out on this track. He mentions his admiration for such rap legends as LL Cool J and Run D.M.C., while still giving us his own point of view. Cory Gunz also chimed in with a hot track rapping over a Biggie beat on the song “Kick In The Door”.

Overall, the mixtape gives the listener a lot of bang for his or her buck. Heavy on lyrics and light on shout-outs, from start to end this mixtape was a joy to listen to. The mixtape also gets points for featuring a hot freestyle and some underground artists.

OVERALL SCORE: 8 out of 10

“I’m a Coco weigher/ But then again all these deals on the table I feel like a poker player”
-J.R. Writer