CD REVIEW: X-Lav - I'll Advized
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"in your face - doesn't back down"
"possess allot of variety & versatility"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
MIX TAPE: I’ll Advized
Label: Independent Records
Genre: Rap, Hip Hop
Sounds Like: Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z
Technical Grade: 8/10
Nothing to Report
When you think of American rap locales one thinks of places like ATL, LA, NY. Even Seattle Washington has had its share of popular rap artists over the years. Artists like Sir Mix-A-Lot, LaborOldoninion, Blue Scholers, The Boom Bap Project, No Clure come to mind. One of the fresh new Mix Tapes to come across my desk was from X-LAV who just recently released his debut mix tape entitled I’ll Advized Turns our X-LAV is the cousin of another impressive Seattle area rapper who goes by the name “Swift Tongues A/K/A J. Mitchell. I had the privilege of reviewing Swift Tongues mix tape entitled Last MC Mix Tape last month.
The Mix Tape kicks things off with “Free SK” a prelude of sorts that’s set’s the stage with it’s theatrical musical build, apocalyptic groove & striking theatrical vibe. This song quickly explodes you into the title track “I’ll Advized” . This track hits hard with no holes barred rap delivery from X-Lav that’s in your face & doesn’t back down. Track 3 “Almost There” dishes out hypnotic grooves with well placed horns, solid low end groove support & a grand slam chorus. Track 4: one of my favorites “My Paper” features guest rapper Mafia as he delivers rap that's hot to the touch, with yet another hooky chorus & impressive verse split. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many rap influences reminiscent of classic Biggie Smalls, Jay Z, Big L, & even Crooked I. Along the way you can’t help but notice a lot of impressive musical soundscapes layered in the music. The mixing is brilliant, & packed to the hilt with things like sound effects & sampling that make their point, well placed strings, horn sections, guitar, & smooth as silk keyboard & synthesizer accents. The beats are thick as a brick providing solid low end punch, & amazing hi end touches. The CD has many musical flavors, from hip hop, rap, jazz, blues, R&B, and even psychedelic rock. You will find everything from clever rhymes, addictive melodies, lyrics that are thought provoking, & rap flows that are masterful. Now turning out attention to X-Lav - he is a marquee talent & should be treated as such. The thing I like the most about the vocal performances is how well X-Lav handles himself within each genera. Equally as impressive is the X-Factor from X-Lav as he dabbles in several menacing alter egos with each musical environment. Some tracks are funny & up beat providing old school harmonies, & hooky Motown-type grooves like “Fa Now (Imma Get It)”, “Cuz Cuhz” & “To Rude”. While others go down are smooth & are extremely melodic like “Crazy as it Sounds”, "Livin the Life”, & “Interlude”. But as expected several tracks hit you right between the eyes like “Spent” & “Throw That”, “Gossip” & “Revenge (2:51).” There are some true gems on this Mix Tape from my personal favorite “Fluffy”, to hypnotic “Premium Unleaded” to infectious “Fly Sh**”” At the end of the day this production has everything you would expect from a world class mix tape.
Song for song, pound for pound Ill Advized by X-Lav is one of the most powerful Mix Tapes that's come across my desk this year. Like a heavy weight fighter this CD goes the full 12 rounds, & never once lets its guard down. It has everything from raw intensify, clever lyrics, to songs that are well crafted & hold your attention span perfectly. As a whole this CD possesses allot of variety, & versatility. It delivers the typical in your face urban swagger you would expect from a rap production. Even more impressive is the strong production value, infectious rap grooves & the arsenal of rappers X-Lav brings to the table (Mafia, Taane Jr, De Lile, & The Floheakinz.) It’s also a fully loaded production. So i you want an action packed Mix Tape that not only keeps it real from the start, but will also keep you looking over your shoulder – then you should devote 60+ minutes of your time to Ill Advized by X-Lav. Like a powerful drug – X-Lav makes his presence known to your mind, body & soul. I guarantee you'll be coming back for more!
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