Published Feb 19, 2016Despite his front-hanging aqua-blue dreads, massive stature and top-notch work for the likes of Future and Gucci Mane, TM88's always been eclipsed by fellow trap producers. But since his recent split from 808 Mafia (the crew of superstar beat-makers affiliated with Waka Flocka Flame's Brick Squad Monopoly), TM88's been doing his very best to change that.
88 World is his latest mixtape, one ostensibly intended to serve as the exclamation mark at the end of an excellent few months, or maybe to help us forget about his cancelled collaboration with Mississauga's PartyNextDoor. Either way, it certainly succeeds in demonstrating his production expertise.
All 21 tracks here have already been released in some capacity, but the majority are still thrilling to listen to. TM88's brilliant when he's in the zone, exhibiting an unconventional style best paired with eccentric rappers like Waka Flocka, 2 Chainz and Young Thug (and lesser-knowns like YFN Lucci and T Shyne, the latter of whom he's recording an entire project with).
Unfortunately, the tape sags slightly under the weight of underwhelming deliveries (especially from the no-name Ethan Sacii, who bizarrely ties Wiz Khalifa for the most feature spots here) and TM88's tendency to autopilot beat-making for more conventional trap artists. Perhaps such instances further validate Metro Boomin's tweet from November when he wished "everyone would put out more quality music over the quantity."
TM88's one of the more significant producers working out of Atlanta, but 88 World proves that the key for his future may be mostly determined by who he decides to collaborate with and how weird he allows himself to be. (Independent)