The much anticipated 09-09-09 mix tape from Mode 9 was finally released as scheduled. I have taken time out to ensure its properly digested by all of ya’ll before my humble opinion is revealed.So strap up and lets begin, begin….
On this intro, Mode 9 freestyle’s over Jay Z’s Death of Autotune instrumentals actually produced by Kanye West. He typically makes it look so easy Jigga would have been proud of this. He responds to questions about his knack for taking out wack MC’s. “They say I’ve got a bad temper/I’ve need to fix that/BP high I seldom sit back”. On a beat that can easily drown even the best MC’s Mode 9 impresses and never lets his stock slide. An above average track
On a first take I almost took this as a straight up anthem to the Gunners, however this was far from it. Rather it was a metaphorical tirade to his competition. Too many punch lines on this track I beg to wonder who can stop this guy. The delivery was flawless and venomous I couldn’t help but burst this over and over. Mode 9 at his best on this track!
Bring it Back
A fast paced track taking us back to Mode 9’s humble beginning as a hard core hip hop artists. He lets us into his affiliation with the Swat Roots, Def O Clan, Rabi, Nitro and his respect for the Tribes Men. Mode, matches the intensity of the beats and never drop a notch as he spits effortlessly. Whoever produced this track must have got his inspiration from DJ Premier. In 2 hot verses he easily tells it all and asks the question we all wanna know; where are the old days? Another top notch track
Comedy Money Freestyle
Mode 9 raises the bar on this track. He takes on every comedian in the industry lyrically and hysterically. Comedy guys are getting dough like mad Yo/I hit him up and grap what I can Yo must summarize the prosperity flowing in that industry. Mode 9, “the Villian” acts like a modern day rap Robin Hood as he steals from every one of them without a winker. The production is once again above average.
Not sure who Mode 9 featured on this track but it sounds like Kein Shef. The production is awesome and grabs your attention. Mode9 once again glides through this track like a roller skate. The chorus also matches the intensity of the track. Kein’s verse compliments the Mode 9’s verse you forget he wasn’t rapping in English. Another above average track I’m beginning to think this is a classic in the making.
Downtown Sweetlove Freestyle Ft Overdose
Oh well I always wondered when Mode 9 will spit some gangsat loving. His prior attempt on his Paradigm shift album was laughable. However, he redeems himself on this track and never wavered. Mode and OD takes us into a journey “downtown” oral sex avenue. They both take turns at revealing their experience in oral sex and their seemingly obsession to it. Don’t know if they were referring to the same girl but surely she must have made an impression. OD impressed on this track as he came tops with his depiction of how it went down. “Full of herself got some saying she heady/girl of my dreams so I nick named her Freddy” summarizes my thoughts. Mode 9, equally responds with “I love career girls cream and proper working class/ cos they never let a blow job pass/got head from a Chinese girl who whoops ass/ didn’t come fast/ but her tongue fu was good. This track has got it all and ranks as one of my favourites. I gotta say OD maybe the next big thing if he can only control is verve. At times it seems like he is in a rush to impress when its’s obvious his ability to flow is never in doubt. An above average track and I strongly recommend for any oral sex fan!
A double take on the softer side of a hardcore rapper aint it? Mode 9 takes us to his softer side again only this time he does it without OD. Don’t know if the beat ranks as good as what I’ve heard so far but it perfectly suits Mode 9’s delivery. It’s encouraging to see well established MC’s like Mode 9 always striving to improve. His delivery, lyrical depth and choice of beats spark of maturity and steady improvement.
Miss Pretty Eyes ft Sage and Lydia
A medley of hip hop and Nu soul my homie Godwin Okpocha would have been proud of this. He definitely makes you wanna love an African sister on this track as he beautifully extols all the virtues of a black woman in two superb takes. He finally closes the track with a lovely Poetic rendition from Sage (I think). A beautiful track you’d wanna listen to everyday.
Nite Before my Shit Drops
The production is once again tight and must have contained samples from Notorious BIG (I stand corrected pls). Typical Mode 9 spit fire he never lets you down. I like the way he controls his vocals at each interval. Not sure when this track was recorded as it feels like one of the tracks that didn’t make it to the Paradigm Shift. If that’s the case, then that’s a poor error of Judgment Mody.
Number One ft Cashino & NDT
Damn! another intense production you wonder if all these beats are proudly Naija! The first verse quickly gets you in the mood as it perfectly reflects the essence of the beat. The guest acts impressed and left no illusions they were protégés or wannabees. Mode 9 offcourse closes the track with a mafiano style verse. A good squad track!
I was there
Another tell tale taking us back in time when it all started. Mode 9 applies his skilful ability at storytelling without a fuss. The beat this time is drab but can easily be passed over as he makes you ignore it with his well taken verses. An average track in my opinion!
Mode 9 unlike his previous works didn’t really take on any specific rapper thus far. However, this track seems to be directed at an artist I can’t seem to figure out. He seems to refer to a failed attempt by a protégé to diss. An average track with an equally average production
That’s the Thing
A dull track in my opinion as I feel something is amiss. It’s either the beat don’t perfectly match the delivery or vice versa. A track you can skip without a blink.
Who da best
A rhetorical question in my opinion! Mode 9 displays his knack for dissing wannabee hard core acts who dare to dare! He takes on hard core rappers who try too hard to sing, a common occurrence in modern hip hop. If there is one thing Mode 9 does so perfectly it’s relentlessly saying it as it is and separating hard core hip hop from contemporary hip hop. The chorus is befitting of a King as it repeatedly hits your ear as the track fades away. An above average track and as Harry Okoh put it “Dope rhyme and a banging beat/essential hip hop/what else do you need/you need nothing else”. That summarises this track!
The Journey So far
Not sure I wanted to hear another tell tale of Mode 9’s journey so far as the track depicts. The production is hazy and disconnected to say the least. However, for those who are interested in an autobiography this seems like a good material for you. A below average track in my opinion and shouldn’t have closed this mater piece “mixed tape”. I do need to mention that the lyrical content and delivery was above average and typical of what to expect from Mode 9.
I thoroughly enjoyed this review as there were fewer boring moments on this mix tape. Mode 9 keeps it real all the way and once again raises the bar even higher. He is untouchable as it is and honestly got nothing else to prove. If this is a recipe of what to expect on his next album then I must say the main course is worth waiting for. He has really improved.
I also noticed a slight deviation in his battle rapping as he applies a “drone” strategy catching diverse rappers by surprise so much so they don’t even know they’ve been hit.
Downsides however, were the many “back in da day” tracks on the tape! However,one can permit this considering its’s only a mixed tape.
Notable tracks on this mix tape are who da best, Arsenal Anthem, Comedy Money, Downtown Sweet Love, Daez and Miss Pretty Eye. As much as we enjoy Mode 9’s ability to spit dope tracks continually we also should grade him with his ability to turn this into commercial success. That’s what sets greats like 2pac, Biggie, Jay Z, and Nas apart. A track like Downtown Sweet Love if well mastered and given a better chorus would be a chart buster.
So in my Opinion I rate this Mixed Tape 4mics for its lyrical content, delivery, focus and quality production. Not sure if I’d rate this high if it were an official album but all the same well deserved.
Ratings: 4 Mics