The internets are usually teeming with more free downloadable mixtapes than the world truly needs at any one moment. And since we have a discriminating ear at Soulbounce, we thoroughly review all musical product before passing the sounds onto you. That being said, both Sha Stimuli and Theo are two artists whose mixtapes were released recently. What’s especially interesting about these two is that they represent a sound in hip hop that is often underrepresented: maturity. We all know that hip hop was based upon throwing verbal darts instead of physical ones to slay your opponent. Somewhere between Spoonie Gee, Pete Rock & CL Smooth reminiscing, and Common expressing the love he used to have for H.E.R. lies the fine art of storytelling. Luckily both Sha and Theo have mastered this art.
First up is Sha Stimuli. His mixtape produced by DJ Victorious relies heavily on Stevie Wonder samples and this is exactly the point of the mixtape DJ Victorious & Sha Stimuli: Hotter Than July (A Tribute to Stevie Wonder). Sha shines particularly on “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” a tale that charts his progression past an old, toxic relationship towards a healthier, more mature one. The use of Stevie’s original uses just enough that the song doesn’t overpower Sha’s lyrics.
Sha Stimuli & DJ Victorious: “Knocks Me Off My Feet”
Emerging emcee Theo also shows what growing up in age ruled by Kanye West‘s production and Myspace rappers can lead to: someone who has enough sense to know what to keep (originality) and what to drop (ignorant, repetitive nonsense). Harkening back to ’93, Theo rhymes over the beat made famous by Souls of Mischief with a nod to Kanye’s “Diamonds Are Forever” about his shortcomings, hopes, and dreams.
Theo: “Theo Till Infinity”
While both of these artists do not represent the mainstream that you’ll hear on the radio, this may not be such a bad thing. Sometimes it’s nice to keep such things to yourself. And if any if any of the recent beefs have shown, the rap game is short on maturity these days. Thankfully, these two artists prove that this does not always have to be the case.
DJ Victorious & Sha Stimuli: Hotter Than July (A Tribute to Stevie Wonder) [SHM]