Published Apr 20, 2018Hip-hop history is replete with classic releases for which an MC enlists a sole producer to build a focused, cohesive sound. Snoop Dogg had Dre, Common had Kanye and Killer Mike has El-P. Now it looks like Miami Soundcloud poster boy Smokepurpp has recruited Fort Erie, ON producer (and frequent Migos collaborator) Murda Beatz to conjure up a similar sort of magic on the newly released mixtape Bless Yo Trap.
And while the pair don't reach the lofty heights of those aforementioned older team-ups, Smokepurpp and Murda Beatz clearly have chemistry to spare. Purpp's nimble and eclectic flow, for instance, helps him snugly fit whatever tempos and rhythms Murda throws at him, be it the murky and hypnotically plodding "Bumblebee," or the soaring and anthemic "123." Smokepurpp's mercurial flow also helps him hold his own when more charismatic guests hop on some of these tracks. You'll wish that Lil Yachty's bouncy verse on "Do Not Disturb" was twice as long, for instance, while A$AP Ferg's hilariously juvenile bars on "Pray" equating guitar fretting with a particular sex act render Purpp's lines a bit bland in comparison.
Not that Purpp doesn't have memorable punchlines of his own. On "Big Dope," he quips: "Smokin' on gelato, see these niggas smoke oregano" over Murda's menacing string samples. He also creatively bends an unlikely combination of words into rhymes, and tosses some concise imagery in for good measure, on "Pockets," spitting: "I wanna fuck but she boring / Fuck a friend, money important / Look at my neck and it's snowin.'"
All that can't compare to "Do Not Disturb," where Migos member Offset kills with the line: "I put a bullet right into yo' bowels / My crew turnin' heads like a owl." But until Smokepurpp better realizes his clearly apparent potential as an MC, his impeccable taste in collaborators at least helps him make up the difference. (Alamo/Interscope)