I didn’t realize how expansive the world of hip-hop was until I discovered DatPiff.com a few days ago. The sheer number of artists releasing free material to get exposure is huge, which opens up a world of possibilities for music lovers like myself. The first mixtape that caught my eye was the new B.o.B release, EPIC: Every Play Is Crucial.
I love B.o.B and consider his style a new breed of hip-hop. He’s a young, intelligent guy with an appreciation for many genres of music, and this shines through in his work. His albums and mixtapes are heavily influenced by the parallel worlds of rock, pop, alternative, R&B, and hip-hop. I like to think of B.o.B as a cross between Outkast, Kid Cudi, and Kanye West. He has the swagger of an Atlanta rapper, the open-mindedness of a Kid Cudi, and the clever and humorous lyricism of a Kanye. Regardless of his influences, B.o.B is a talented artist all his own.
I’ve probably listened through Every Play Is Crucial five times or so, and I really like what I hear. While a few of the tracks aren’t on par with most of the others (Welcome To The Jungle and Boom Bap featuring T.I. & Mos Def) in terms of beats, production, and sampling, this does not in any way impact the overall flow of the album. The quality of the tracks is really impressive. A majority of the songs feature a guest producer or artist, including Eminem, Ryan Tedder, Jim Jonsin, and Lil C. With all of these big names involved in the mix, the EPIC vibe of this tape is undeniable.
Fans of B.o.B and quality hip-hop should definitely check out this mixtape!