Artist: Ben-ha-meen, Paul Wall & DJ Strategy
Album: Game Tight Down South Mixtape Volume 4
Label: Rooftop Entertainment
Rating: 8 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Houston meets Atlanta as Ben-ha-meen and Chick Magnet Paul Wall hook up with DJ Strategy to drop the hottest dirty south tracks of the moment. As with many of the high-profile mixtapes these days, expect no mixing, with tracks played almost to completion and added “copywriting” talking from your DJ hosts dropped over the top.
The role call of crunk kings kicks off with Lil Flip, who has heavily dented the charts this spring with ‘Game Over’. Here we’re treated to the remix with different video game effects and guest verses from Young Buck and Bun B. Its not the only remix on here either, quickly being followed up by the J.Kwon / Chingy / St Lunatics remix of ‘Tipsy’ and the ‘Saltshaker’ remix from Ying Yang Twinz which adds Murphy Lee, (the sounds-out-of-place) Fat Joe, and Juvenile to the roster over the familiar Lil Jon beat. Ying Yang also make a later appearance with Bonecrusher on ‘Shake It (Take Off Your Clothes)’.
The hot tie-up of the moment seems to be the mix of down south Hiphop and Reggae music, so its no surprise to see one appearance from Elephant Man quickly followed by a second. He first pops up on ‘Jook Gal’, where he, Twista, and the Youngbloodz ride the rapid rhythm expertly, before linking up with Lil Jon on the Usherless ‘Workout’ version of ‘Yeah’.
Of course with Lil Jon arguably the King Of Crunk, its natural for him to be all over this tape. In addition to the above cuts, he also pops up on the Trillville remix of ‘Neva Eva’ (where Twista adds a quickfire verse), Jermaine Dupri’s attempt to ride the durty bandwagon, ‘Dance Floor’, a thumping remix of Baby D’s ‘Hoe Check’ where he urges Lil Flip, Baby D, and K-Illa onto new rabblerousing heights, and Lil Scrappy’s ‘F.I.L.A.’ where his trademark synths and bumping bass combine on a loving ode to footwear. How sweet.
If you wanna look away from Lil Jon for a minute, Paul and co have kindly provided other artists for your perusal. ‘Oochie Pop’ is standard Mystikal gravel-voiced rantings over some staccatto ‘Drumline’-type beats – though how he’s gonna capitalize on the buzz this will create from behind bars will be tough to work out. One of the south’s premier lyricists, T.I., appears on the familiar remix of ‘Rubberband Man’ where he splits mic time with Mack 10, Trick Daddy, and Twista to great effect, and then jets to NY for a collab with Memphis Bleek, BG, and Bun B on the ‘Round Here’ remix. Other high profile southern emcees such as Killer Mike, Eight Ball & MJG, and my fave emcee of the moment Mike Jones also make appearances throughout the mixtape.
This is a top notch collection of what’s burning up the south right now, with the added benefit that the 3 DJs keep their mic-ranting to a bare minimum. This is definitely one for riding in the car – it flows well from start to finish, and as is the norm with the durty, the bass kicks are powerful as hell. If southern music is your bag, then definitely consider picking this up.