Rhythmicru / Various Super Toke Mixtape Vol. 1

Guaranteed, it’s not promising to pay homage to the Beastie Boys three times in just the first two songs — and at least one more easily identifiable instance before the end! Still, D-Ray, who produced the whole of this mix-tape, acquits himself quite well while spitting over the "Paul Revere” beat, as well as on a few of his own super smoked-out, drum-dominated grooves with the rest of his Rhythmicru compatriots and a few guests. Super Toke has the best run with five songs early into the mix, starting with D-Ray’s "A Meditation,” which turns a too-long intro into a funky little confessional before flipping into "Time Flies,” a jungle-party jam packed with punch lines courtesy of one of the album’s standout guests, More Or Les; a funky bass sets the mood for the crazy vocal antics of Uncledropsi’s "Dropzone,” followed by Shad’s smooth flow on the Native Tongues-styled "Here It Comes,” and then a hard two verses from BrassMunk’s June6 over pseudo-g-funk doo-wopper "Get Outta My Head.” Unfortunately, the rest of the mix-tape sort of blends together (no pun intended), with three notable exceptions: Reason’s opening verse on "Street Rebel Network” benefits by a bumping beat with a slight hint of experimental noise, D-Ray’s "Goldrush Season” is another confessional over a thick funk bass and shoes-in-the-dryer drums, and "Magical Saxophones” works Mindbender into an easy-listening sax beat. (After Midnight)