It's 4/20 week!!! Welcome to #OTDHipHop blog. This week's artist content kicks off with today's Mixtape Monday. I reviewed No Joke, an album by Mackie. Mackie is a female hip hop artist/rapper from Nova Scotia, Canada. We initially met in 2015 at Team Backpack's Mission Underground Los Angeles, and have kept in touch ever since. No Joke is Mackie's latest project, featuring a wide variety of beats and flows that keeps listeners going. Below is a track by track review by yours truly.
1. Beast ft. KTC
Hella dope hip hop intro. I met Mackie at TeamBackpack’s MULA 2015 event, so I’m familiar with her style on classic rap and cypher type beats. But off the bat I’m honestly pretty impressed with her delivery and wordplay. Lastly, KTC did his thing on the feature verse. I hella dig the hook. Excited for the next track.
This song’s instrumental has sounds of EDM and Trap. I would say that Mackie sounds hella clear on these tracks so far, especially on this one. Props to the producer/engineer Sean Lewis. I dig her confident persona on the track and it shows that she aint playin.
3. Mackie Motives
I really dig the diversity of beats she’s going on with this album. So far, this is my favorite. Lyrical content is inspiring and motivating, especially her last verse still coming with the confidence and realness. Great hook and sonic quality.
4. I Try
Once again the beat is totally different! This beat has a heavy electronic and pop element. I really appreciate how she’s showing her diversity as an emcee. This beat has different changes within itself such as piano solos, drums, and other electronic sounds. I would say that Mackie’s voice continues to grow on me. Lyrically, she tells different stories about her personal struggles and perspectives. These are the lyrics of an intelligent young woman, written and performed by her herself. Very relatable song.
5. Toss & Turn
Again, a totally different element. This song starts off with some Asian “Kungfu” sort of sounds, quiet and mysterious. The instrumental builds on itself and production alone is pretty amazing. Mackie’s flow is very melodic on this beat, and then she switches as the beat elements change. I would say this is another favorite track of mine from this project. Her rap flows can change but I’m seeing how her style seems to incorporate fast-paced bars and very wordy. The hook is very catchy, would love to see this at her live performances.
6. Watch Your Mouth
This beat starts off with deep electronic bass, and the auto tune and deep vocal filters generates a dope “dark” vibe to the track. It has an “anthem” type of style that calls out the haters and bitches that want to keep talking shit. On the track, I believe Mackie’s stands strong with bars and delivery. Her songwriting abilities are largely showcased overall, especially her hooks.
7. Better Bitch
This beat has a more relaxed vibe from the other beats, but still has electronic and trap elements. She raps hella fast on this, but still precise and painting her stories and pictures for the listener. I’ve noticed that her style is also very confrontational. I respect the competitive emcee in her.
8. Fill Up My Glass
This track has a country type of vibe, props on production once again. Mackie talks about her struggles as a female artist trying to make moves independently and through community. The different ad libs and paused punchlines highlight the vibe. Message is dope, basically a song to not worry and just be in the moment.
9. Where The Dead Go
This has a trap deep bass type of sound on the instrumental. I really dig the polished sound in her voice and sonic quality. But under all that is raw emcee skills no doubt. This track talks about her frustrations and personifies a halloween vibe; I dig that artistic ability from her as the emcee and Sean Lewis on production. Another track I’d be interested to see how she performs live.
10. The Monster ft. X-Plycit
This instrumental is totally different than any of the hip hop themed vibe. This one reminds of sounds from bands like Owl City, newer rock type of vibes. But the anthem vibe is also evident with the marching band-like percussion tempo. X-Plycit is the feature on here and her voice is fittingly showcased on the hook. Mackie talks from a perspective of a loved one or friend someone as they struggle deeply with substance and alcohol abuse. Using the “monster” analogy, poetic shit foreal.
11. No Joke
This track has a trap beat with cadence style drums. Content has an inspirational message; Mackie uses personal trials and triumphs as a means to relate. She flows in her element, a bit of fast paced story telling mixed with a melodic hook and bold vocals.
Overall I really dig this new material from Mackie. On my "Lumpia Scale," I'd rate this as a 4/5. The main critique I have for this album is that I didn't really follow a concept. The cover art, beats, and vocals were hella tight; but as far as an actual album, it sounded more like a mixtape. Regardless, it's a dope and thoughtful project in itself. I think that as Mackie finds her lane and builds her sound and fanbase, I'm genuinely excited to see her future concepts.
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