It’s no secret that album sales aren’t what they used to be, and the fragile music industry was ill-prepared for the digital takeover. Many rappers have kept their careers alive, and in many cases, ignited one, based off these independently released projects. The positive effects of these independent releases have filtered over into the R&B world, with artists like Dwele, Raheem DeVaughn and now Chris Brown releasing full-length mixtapes, foraying their vocal stylings atop borrowed beats.
On Valentine’s Day, Chris Brown, DJ Drama and DJ Sense teamed up to drop In My Zone, the 21-track mixtape displaying Chris Brown’s hormones and ego on a hundred, thousand, trillion. Brown is flaunting his newfound bad boy image to the fullest, while taking a few notes from fellow Virginia heartthrob Trey Songz; In fact, a few of the songs on the tape are renditions of Songz’ biggest records, including “Invented Head” and “Say Ahh.” Other sampled tracks include the popular radio hits, “Women Lie, Men Lie,” by Yo Gotti, “How Low,” by Ludacris and “I Wanna Rock,” by Snoop Dogg. On each of these tracks, Brown flirts with 16 bars while courting his smooth alto.
Brown doesn’t just stick to the script on this mixtape. There is original material that he recorded exclusively for this project, like the widely popular “Big Booty Judy,” a sort of homage to all the big bootied women of the world. “Sex” could easily be a risqué radio hit, and “Shoes” all the promiscuous women with shoe fetishes go crazy.
But even with some hits, the mixtape seems pointless. It’s been done before, and done well, so Brown’s attempts come across as futile and forced- a young man going to great lengths to declare his machismo. But at the end of the day, this business is about perception and money, and you can rest assured this step was not taken in vain, neither by him or his label. This isn’t to imply that the mixtape isn’t worth a listen, because cougars and hormonal teens alike will find something to love about it, but what it boasts in delivery and packaging, it lacks in talent and originality. Brown will have to step it up if he wants to be a part of the big league now.
2.75 out of 5
Follow Fawn Renee on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/fawn_renee
Follow Us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/planetill
Join Us on the Planet Ill Facebook Group for more discussion
Follow us on Networked Blogs