PEEZY - Ballin Ain't A Crime
There's not just one Peezy in the rap game. While the buzz is growing around OMB Peezy, another guy with the same name deserves our attention: Team Eastside Peezy (per a new trend, rappers include now their bands' name to their own: will we talk soon about WTC Raekwon?). His Ballin Ain't a Crime mixtape is, indeed, one of the best in 2017. Contrary to the young rapper from Alabama, though, this Peezy is experienced. Based out of Detroit, his collective is active since the early 2010's. Now almost 30, Phillip Glen-Earl Peaks already released several albums or mixtapes, like Mud, Sweat & Tears in 2015, so far his most noticeable project.
Boyz Entertainment :: 2017 :: download mixtape
Ballin Ain't a Crime was preceded by a non-musical event. Peezy, indeed, was arrested in 2016, with other members of his 6 Mile Chedda Grove gang, for racket. As a result, the title of the mixtape looks like his line of defense: ballin', showing up one's fancy lifestyle, is actually not a crime. The ways through which he achieves it, though, might very well be criminal, reading between the lines of the eponymous song. This is one of the best on this free album, as well as the perfect introduction to the rapper: a bit like his neighbors (and collaborators) from Doughboy Cashout, Peezy is both a flamboyant and threatening rapper, and a heir to No Limit – he uses the same "uhh" as Master P – but his beats are dryer, neater, cleaner, colder, his synthesizers more modern. He sounds more northern.
Some tracks don't comply with this formula. They are softer, like the Auto-Tuned "Session Litt", or "Eastside", a song with Jim Jones (and Philthy Rich, who confirms here his strong connection with Detroit). But generally, the same recipe as "Ballin Ain't a Crime" applies through the mixtape. The same swift and relentless music supports the best tracks. Same with Peezy's implacable flow, who manages to outshine his many guests. Same again with his themes: his thirst for wealth, his street tales, and a few sexist words about girls ("All Over", "Soaking Wet", etc.).
This project, however, is never too repetitive. The bells and piano keys on the great "Against All Odds", the synthesizer on "Regardless", the guitar on "Soaking Wet", the rhythmic versatility of "I Got Mo", the relentless loop on the striking "Neverseen B4", or the sad trap music of "All Over" (one of his songs with Babyface Ray, another eminent guy from Team Eastside), make the mixtape diverse enough, until it is getting closed with "Everybody", another banger. Thanks to this, it is now obvious: Detroit is one of the most exciting scene, in modern rap.
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