UTG Mixtape Roundup: September 2015

Mixtape roundup

With the collective work ethic of rappers at an all-time high, it’s easy to sleep on a lot of quality (and free) music. Thus, at the end of each month, contributor Mike Giegerich will bring you a list of the best mixtapes to hit the Internet in the past 30 days.

Know a struggle rapper whose mixtape is actually hot? Want to try and convince Mike that Gucci Mane isn’t the most important artist of the 21st century? Get at his mentions on Twitter.

Young ThugSlime Season

As described in a recent Pitchfork column that recalls him writing shapes rather than words in the booth, Young Thug operates on a plane of existence far away from the rest of hip-hop. Thus, it’s no surprise he manages to assemble 18 tracks into an abstract masterwork. Extensive vocal experimentation combined with the context of Thug’s visual nods to the Grateful Dead on a recent tour poster signals 2015’s hip-hop answer to jamming sonic psychedelia. Rock on, Thugger.

Standout tracks: “Best Friend,” “Draw Down,” and “Quarterback”

MigosBack to the Bando

Migos’ major label debut was a colossal slab of trap music with production so carefully constructed it could at times be misconstrued as sterile. Sure, joints like “Dab Daddy” and “Spray the Champagne” call for some casual dabbing, but the lack of street-ready music is all too apparent. Enter: Back to the Bando. The tape finds Quavo and co. spitting triplets at full speed atop imperfect beats whose distorted bass extends beyond the boundaries of what a major label album could offer.

Standout tracks: “Back to the Bando,” “Rich Nigga Still Trappin,” and “Slanging”

$uicideboy$My Liver Can Handle What My Heart Can’t

Taking cues from the depths of Memphis shock-rap, $uicideboy$ have channeled the sentiments of anxiety and despair into jarring music that laughs Death in the face, because fuck it; we’re all going to die anyway. Might as well pour up on the way to six feet under.

Standout tracks: “Kill Yourself (Part III),” “FUCKTHEPOPULATION,” and “Opal Ring”

Chief KeefAlmighty DP2

While not receiving much critical fanfare, Almighty DP2 is nonchalantly one of Chief Keef’s better releases in recent memory. Its balancing act of autotune-soaked romantics and aggressive bravado still gives way to the occasional hand-to-face moment, sure, but what’s a Chief Keef record without a little campiness?

Standout tracks: “Ain’t Even Know,” “Bag,” and “Where”

Juicy J100% Juice

In the scheme of hip-hop’s rapidly evolving identity, Juicy J doesn’t have much to say, but he still knows how to ride a wave. Applying his carefree blunt-and-lean worship to the beats of Atlanta’s finest results in speaker-obliterating cuts like “Tap Back” that surpass even the highest altitudes Juicy has ascended to in the past.

Standout tracks: “Tap Back,” “Film” (Remix), and “Mix It”

Honorable Mention(s)

Run The JewelsMeow The Jewels

2015 is weird, man.

Mike Giegerich

Mike Giegerich is a freelance journalist with an affinity for the hip-hop scene. His top-five favorite records of all time are Future's last five releases. Feel free to blow up his mentions on Twitter.
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