Mixtape Shmixtape

Wherein we review Yay Area mixtapes of the day

Quality Bay Area mixtapes show no sign of slacking, even as seasons change and the mainstream music industry prepares to dump its holiday junk on consumers. Here's a few highlights from what's recently caught our attention.

Featured pick:

Too Short, mixed by Matthew Africa & DJ Eleven

Dirty Raps: The Best of Too Short

(www.matthewafrica.com)

In honor of Too Short's recently released 16th album Blow the Whistle, DJ Matthew Africa and his buddy DJ Eleven (of Brooklyn DJ collective The Rub) have expertly arranged and curated a selection of the legendary rapper's career highlights, hosted by Short himself. From crackly tapes of early cuts like "Invasion of the Flat Bootie Bitches" to rare mixtape-only songs from the past couple years (one gem is "My Dick, My Sack," a no-holds-barred answer to Khia's cunnilingus anthem "My Neck, My Back"), it's amazing to see how one artist can create so many variations on a single theme. Africa also hosts the free party Hubba Rock every Friday night at Bar Kitty's in Emeryville, blending hip hop and soul classics with modern jams.

Also recommended:

DJs B.Cause and Max Kane

Night of the Remix Vol. 1

(www.4onefunk.com)

Two members of S.F. turntable group The Dollar Bin Quartet unleash 31 ultra-creative mash-ups/remixes possessed by funk, cheeky wit, and lots of Yay Area rap stars. Here, Midnight Star has a dancefloor rendezvous with Can, and Lauryn Hill duets with her long lost, um, sister, Faith.

Sickamore Presents Sky Balla

Lifestyles of the Hoodrich & Famous

(www.skyballa.net)

One of S.F.'s biggest rappers isn't as well known at home as he is nationally. Unlike many Bay Area MCs who choose to only operate locally, the former Fillmore District pimp has been steadily on the grind, building his name in New York (home of DJ Sickamore) since getting recognized in The Source's "Unsigned Hype" column a few years back. Flamboyant guest stars Young Jeezy, Fabolous, and Juelz don't overshadow Sky's tales of West Coast hustling.

Get in the mix! Send your mixtapes, and maybe we'll review 'em: Mixtape Shmixtape c/o Jennifer Maerz SF Weekly 185 Berry Street, Lobby 4 Suite 3800 San Francisco, CA 94107.

 
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