Remember Taylor Mallory? He’s the super talented R&B crooner from Illinois, who was featured on the site not too long ago. Well he’s part of a company called Level Next Music. Level Next Music features a variety of up-and-coming artists with true talent that span all genres from Hip-Hop to Pop. The company just released a brand new mixtape called My Level Is Next, that gives each artist a chance to shine. So by special request, we are going to dig into the project track by track and see how the Level Next Music crew gets down. Click the jump for the first half of the review.
“All Of The Lights” – Jami Singer
Yes this is a remix of the infamous Kanye West track by the same title. So the production here is the same as the original. Also, the hook is the original version too. Which is the only disappointment with this cut. Jami has such great vocal skills, it would have been nice to hear more of her on the chorus section. However, she definitely brings her own flavor to the verses. She delivers a great message about bringing positivity into one’s life and getting rid of the negative. Overall, this is a hot remix and a great way to kick off the mixtape.
“Famous” – Endiskize
The production here is on point. It features various instruments, a light bass, and a chill vibe. The hook is dope. The vocals are uniquely delivered and the lyrics are memorable. The verses are quality as well. All three members had clean cut deliveries and well put together rhymes. Also, the message/story in their lyrics is a sad yet common one. There are always individuals out there who are willing to chase fame and money at any cost. Overall, this track is worth a spin or two. It’s good for entertainment purposes but also brings to light a tragic reality that exists in the world. Gotta love Hip-Hop that makes you think.
“Hustle Hard” – Endiskize
This is a remix to Ace Hood‘s popular track by the same title. So the production and the hook pretty much mirror the original. The new parts come in via the verses. The verses are good, the group once again has solid deliveries. Also, the lyrics are skillfully done and heavy hitting. All three members came with their A game. The highlight of the track comes in the pre-hook/chorus. The lyrics are real and serve as a great reflection of the song’s theme. “Same old same old, man ain’t nothing changed. I’m chasing dreams, but they out of range. Kids is getting grown. Time don’t stop. I’m a get my guap, if you like it or not,” dope lyricism, right? Overall, this track is a banger and another respectable remix. Way better than the original even. This version features true talent and has some meaning behind it. Gotta love REAL Hip-Hop.
“Loves Been Good To Us” – Taylor Mallory
Taylor Mallory slows things down a bit at this point in the tape. The production here is low key and has a grown and sexy vibe to it. The hook is strong. Taylor has flawless vocals and appealing lyrics. The verses are winning too. Taylor creates a beautiful and intimate picture of his relationship with a passionate delivery and vivid word play. He blends in perfectly with the feel of the production. In the end, this song is worth a listen. Perfect for cuddling up with that special someone.
“Look At Me Now / Rampage Jackson” – Paris
Yup, another remix track. The production here is the same as on the original Chris Brown version. The hook is slightly different. Paris added his own flavor, hence the “Rampage Jackson” portion of the title. It was a nice change of pace. He had a solid delivery and clever lyrics. The verses are sick, Paris handled his business. He went IN from start to finish. He had a clean mid-tempo flow and ill rhymes. “I had envisioned the difference between both losing and winning. Winning I compare to heaven. So to lose would be sinning. I know you should be grinning. Just as the usual women do when I cruise through their linens and leave everything spinning. Just like a carousel, caramel complexion, in the VIP section. These rookies playing foul, guess I gotta tech them. Better yet I will eject them;” the word play here is insane and that’s just the first few seconds of the track. Overall, this song is a banger and a favorite off of the tape for sure. If Paris keeps going at this rate, he’s right, his level is sure to be next.
“Lover” – Endiskize
The production here is good. It contains a slower tempo and a more serious vibe. Also, it features a sample of “Can We Still Be Friends” by 70’s Rock singer Todd Rundgren. The hook is alright. Part of it is original material by the group and the other portion is the sample from Mr. Rundgren. The parts contrast a lot and don’t really blend well together. They should have chosen one method or the other, instead of using both. Either option would have been sufficient. The group is skilled, so the original material is on point. And the sample used has catchy and memorable lyrics. It’s not a major issue, just something to be noted. The verses are fair, not the trio’s strongest work though. The deliveries could have been smoother and the rhymes could have been stepped up a notch. As is, the flows are a little choppy and the lyrics are a bit on the simplistic side. Overall, this song is okay. Some things need a little work but it’s still a respectable track.
So this wraps up the first half of the mixtape. As a whole, the first half of the tape is hot. All of the artists had quality content and presented it in fresh and unique ways. Which leaves expectations high for the second portion of the project. Be sure to check back for the second review. In the meantime, readers can check out the entire mixtape for themselves via the above provided link. Feel free to leave your thoughts about the music in the comments section below.
While Level Next Music features plenty of artists from our neighboring city of Chicago doing their thing, Milwaukee has plenty of talented artists too. Check out local artist Prophetic‘s most recent mixtape Purgatory here.
And for additional Hip-Hop articles check out this previous review.