Raz Fresco & Chillxwill The Popcorn Tape

During the 1993/94 NBA season, which was sans Michael Jordan, Nike used a wacky campaign to push the Air Jordan IXs. The comedic commercials were centred upon a recording of a popcorn-eating fan watching the mysterious Johnny Kilroy do what only Jordan could. Raz Fresco and ChillxWill reference this for the title of this release, The Popcorn Tape. The decision stemmed from their mutual affection for sneakers, but solidified into a clever, unifying concept for their collaboration. The tape is pretty much a bag of popcorn — beats that pack a crunch and the smooth, buttery flows of the two confident MCs. As ironic as it is, mixtapes tend to be under-mixed, but here Toronto, ON MC Raz Fresco's productions sizzle perfectly, especially on the heavier numbers like the bumping "chainSNATCHerz." On "RagTopz," Fresco flips ESG's often-sampled "UFO" with a new bass line, breathing new life into an old school standard; he's an 18-year-old who sounds like he's crafting '90s hip-hop. Obsessed with the freshness related to it, hip-hop has always been enamoured with its earlier days and this duo embody that with their youth and revivalist style. The Popcorn Tape succeeds by displaying how cool these two rappers are, but as tasty as it is, ultimately it's still just a snack. Raz and Chill are ready to serve up something with a bit more substance on their next project. (Independent)