Joe Coudie Trading Places

Toronto, ON's Joe Coudie is a legend on the HipHopCanada.com forums, where he's known for his battle bars and inventive death threats. But with interest building from major labels and the release of this long-hyped mixtape hosted by DJ Green Lantern, Coudie's laidback, monotone style and simple swagger ― equal parts menace and madness ― may finally be heard by a larger audience. While Green Lantern's name on the 'tape should attract more than a few curious heads, his mix is uninspired, relying more on loud sounds and shouts to connect the songs rather than any blending techniques or true DJ skills. However, the songs are strong enough to stand on their own. The guest list is also impressive: Tony Yayo and Maino appear on "Deep Pockets," a tougher-than-thou track that's surprisingly catchy despite (or perhaps due to) its simplicity; Joe Buddens and Joel Ortiz trade lines on the up-tempo "Put Some Money On It," a song that forces Coudie to speed up his flow, with good results; and "Rock N Roll" deserves note more for its cool use of Michael Damian's "Rock On" than the verse from Block McCloud. But the solo tracks are just as worthwhile, especially "Game Over," with "Killa" Coudie's murderous braggadocio and a beat of epic proportions. Coudie won't win any awards for complex lyricism, but he does come up with some crazy shit, and aside from a generic, introspective rap beat that turns a song featuring Keith Murray into the low point of this 14-song mixtape, his beat selection is impressive, especially considering his attempts at wider commercial appeal. In other words: this is a guilty pleasure. (Rothshild)