Defcee • A Mixtape As God Intended
One of the most notable examples of the streaming era’s disruption in the music industry is the transmutation of the hip-hop mixtape and what it means for artists. Nowadays, the line between ‘tapes and albums has been blurred so much that it’s hard to distinct one over the other. What used to be sold out of trunks or uploaded to blogs for free is currently landing at the top of the Billboard 200 and going platinum under the label of “commercial mixtape.”
And while we’ve attained tons of classic material packaged as such, labels have already begun to flood the streaming services with bloated, unimaginative records in order to attain a bigger market share and game the charts. It can also be overwhelming for the listener, who will often lack the time to properly digest a release before rushing to the next project featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday section.
With that in mind, your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper’s teacher, Defcee, has released A Mixtape As God Intended. Inspired by ‘the 90’s and early 2000’s ‘tapes that shaped his youth, the emcee checks off every key element that comprised them: drops, original and repurposed beats, a slot for his young homies to shine on and, most importantly, tough bars.
Defcee’s penmanship is undeniable and here it’s driven by his influences in battle rap as he rhymes with deadly precision. The 20-minute ‘tape can be understood both as a lyrical flex and a homage to the spitters that paved the way for him. A Mixtape As God Intended is filled with humor (“you wasn’t cool before your pinterest was popping”), spine-chilling grief (“I want my friends to grow old, not just in pictures / I wonder if the sidewalks ever poisoned by all this liquor”) and earnestness (“my album coming together, my body falling apart...fucked up how I only feel better in songs”).
It’s a well-rounded project with a midwestern spirit and the swagger of an undefeated champion. It might not reach the huge audiences Spotify playlists (falliably) brag about, but it will surely clutch the listeners that give it a chance.
Available for streaming above and --for those who still treasure the physical aspect of collecting music--Machine Wash Music has limited edition cassettes available through their Bandcamp page.