DJ Mustard created a sound in rap music that, since the release of Tyga's "Rack City" two-and-a-half years ago, has taken over the production game. Regardless of his opening tagline, "Mustard on the beat, hoe," that finds itself on all of his production, DJ Mustard's infectious high hats, handclaps and heavy synths have been emulated over and over again. Following the release of his 2013 project Ketchup, DJ Mustard has finally released his debut album, 10 Summers, a 12-track project that boasts collaborations, party anthems and one very bold sonic statement.
DJ Mustard takes a page out of DJ Khaled's book, bringing heavy-hitters in rap music together for a series of anthems, and many of the tracks here stick. DJ Mustard calls on Nipsey Hussle, newcomer TeeCee and RJ to join forces on the bass-heavy tribute to West Coast car culture, "Low Low," swiftly followed by TeeCee grabbing the reins of the Too Short-inspired track "Throw Your Hood Up" with indie artist Jay 305. In true California spirit, Mustard calls on IAmSu! and AKA Frank to celebrate the classic Bay Area soundscape on "Can't Tell Me Shit." A-listers Jeezy and YG show up on "No Reason," while 2 Chainz and fellow label co-founder Ty Dolla $ign deliver a strong strip-club anthem with "Down On Me" over Mustard's classic handclap percussion.
DJ Mustard throws in a few skits to break up the party atmosphere, including Tinashe's smooth interlude, "Tinashe Checks In." Though it's only two minutes long, DJ Mustard follows up the interlude with "4 Digits," a strong standout single driven by organs and harmonies, as well as R&B crooner Eric Bellinger vocals and bars from Fabolous. "Deep" is another standout, a slippery smooth track featuring Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa and TeeFLii that drives the album home.
What DJ Mustard has proven over the past two years is the many ways of how the West has won — or rather, has been winning. While 10 Summers delivers everything we'd expect from DJ Mustard, it definitely doesn't challenge his artistic growth. If Mustard expects to own the next ten summers, he'll need to add a new condiment to his menu. (Roc Nation/Republic Records)