This week’s Mixtape up for review, DJ Whoo Kid’s “POW Radio Vol. 1”.

When I talk to rap fans about mixtapes, a very common complaint is that the annoying shout-outs that seemed to be laced in every song like a batch of bad drugs, take away from the music. Mixtape music for my sake is a way of listening to music I would never have access to outside of a mixtape in a raw form. While I understand the reasoning behind a DJ wanting to insert random sounds or sayings that authenticate a song as being produced by them, you can’t deny the presence of these annoyances in mixtape music and their negative effect. DJ Whoo Kid’s newest mixtape “POW Radio Vol. 1” is guilty of using the shout-out to a point where the music gets compromised. It’s sad to think that the energy, soul and lyrical excellence rappers put into their music gets ruined when all of a sudden a classic rap track gets hit with “WHOOOOOOOO KIDDD….” or a gun shot or any other of a plethora of annoyances that fall under the umbrella of being a shout-out.

“POW Radio” is a mixtape full of very commercial, pop sounding, radio friendly music. The names on the mixtape are huge whether it be 50 Cent, Jay-Z or T.I. The lead track of the mixtape is T.I.’s “Hands in the Air”. The first part of the song isn’t incredible, but T.I. kills it on the song’s final verse: “I don’t want to make it seem like I’m bragging to you/ ‘Cause I don’t think that’s one of the things a rapper should do/ but if I happen to forget I’ll be back in a few/ I got a Phantom, leather truck, Cadillac and a Coupe”.

Lloyd Banks has a few appearances on the mixtape including a 70 bar long freestyle. Banks, as he has since he came on the mixtape scene a few years ago, improves any mixtape he raps on including this one. In the freestyle, Banks has a clever rhyme scheme rapping about “having a bitch for every letter in the alphabet”. In a very Pappose-ish “Alphabetical Slaughter” style, Banks rhymes names of woman for every letter in the alphabet (well at least up to the point where he gets stuck on the letter J), while still rhyming. Freeway also has a hot freestyle on the mixtape to the beat of Lil’ Wayne’s “Hustler Muzik”.

There are a couple of interesting appearances by Jay-Z on this mixtape, but not Jay-Z the rapper, Jay-Z the businessman. In an interlude between tracks, there is audio of an interview with Jay-Z by an unnamed interviewer in which Jay talks briefly about how he is focusing on the business side of rap for right now, essentially squashing any rumors of a lyrical comeback. The two-minute interview then turned toward the subject of Cam’Ron. When asked what he was going to do about the beef that Cam has with him, Jay responded simply “I’m really trying to doing the boardroom thing right now”. Later in the mixtape, on a track called “Talent Search” we hear Jay-Z the comedian come out. In an unnamed radio appearance, Jay addresses a caller trying to rap for him by simply telling him his lyrics are “hot” after the caller only spoke one word. The conversation between the two is funny, and Jay-Z has a couple of hilarious lines.

Kanye West gets on the mixtape with a track a few seconds longer than a minute called “Murder She Wrote”. In addition there are tracks by Jae Millz and a hot track from Peedi Crack. With a fast flow and constant rhymes Peedi’s song “Bury Niggas” serves the mixtape as a hot song from a lesser-known artists. One of the hottest beats on the album is from a Lloyd Banks and Avant collaboration called “Xclusive”. Papoose has a hot verse on the song “Throw Yo Guns in the Air” which also features a rapper named Riz.

Overall this mixtape has some quality to it. There are some hot freestyles and a couple of tracks you won’t find on the radio. However, the shout-outs are way to frequent and disrupt the flow of the mixtape. Additionally, this is a very mainstream sounding mixtape, which will definitely dissuade some hardcore rap fans from picking this one up.

OVERALL SCORE: 7 out of 10