Mixtape Shmixtape

Wherein we review Yay Area mixtapes of the day

This was a fine year for local mixtapes, and nothing less is expected for 2007. As people continue to clue in to the many ways the format can be used for promotional purposes — showcasing DJs, artists, producers, and product — there's increasingly crowded competition for our attention. Rest assured, though, as Mixtape Shmixtape will continue to dance our way toward the mixes truly deserving play.

Featured pick:

Prince Ali presents

Details

Get in the mix! Send your mixtapes (any style), 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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Corner Ensemble

(www.eye5recordings.com)

An excellent teaser for the 2007 album Curb Side Service, Hayward's Prince Ali is an MC with an MFA (from New York University). So rather than guns and hoes, he's talking about nonviolence and spirituality — on his own record label. Of course, even an advanced degree couldn't prevent some of his guests from dipping into more lowbrow territory at times. But high-minded collaborators like Hieroglyphics' Opio, Dilated Peoples' Rakaa Iriscience, and Defari help keep the subject matter thoughtful. Los Angeles' Destruments (and featured vocalist Sharon Little) also contribute a respectable cover of Roy Ayers' "Everybody Loves the Sunshine."

Also recommended:

DJ Thirrzty

Tha West Coast Toast Switchtape Vol. 3

(www.myspace.com/djthirrzty)

Local artists J. Valentine and E-40 share mike time with L.A. staples like Daz and Kurupt on a set straight from "the Couve" (also known as Vancouver, Wash.). And perhaps in tribute to our innovative Yay Area slang, Thirrzty even coins his own terminology. Cuz we've darned sure never heard of a switchtape.

Seth Spins

All Bay All Day

(www.sethspins.com)

Seth Spins continues his creative approach of remixing Yay Area hits (adding a snappy shuffle to Too Short's "Blow the Whistle," for instance) and blending them with original songs. Rapper T-1's title track zeroes in on local pride when it declares, "If it ain't Bay, it don't stay."

 
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