From the DJ who
brought you the mixtape classics, Devil's Advocate with The Game, and Rap Phenomenom
with Dirty Harry, comes Hot in Here 6, a much needed blend tape to align itself
astray from the rubbish fluttering the system as of late. Where exclusives go
on to sell like hotcakes, DJ's with blend skill and turntable creativity get
overlooked. Seeing that, DJ Vlad packs the hottest names in hip-hop and R&B
(who else) to capture that attention to skill along with sales. In fact, the
opening Notorious B.I.G.'s "The Millionaire, The Mansion, The Yacht"
over Green Lantern's "Number One Spot" is one of the true blend bangers
of the year. One for the memory, that's fa sho. The "Still Tippin"
Remix with 50 Cent and Slim Thug offers a great tandem, despite being something
you've heard from past mixtapes. Paul Wall's verse is slightly changed in the
fact it namedrops Vlad constantly, a good look as always on the Butcher's part.
I haven't heard Fantasia since her appearances on American Idol (don't listen
to pop radio, folks), but the blend of "Truth Is" displays the long
talent that made her famous about a year ago. 2Pac joining Usher and Luda on
"Lovers and Friends" will give you bumps, as the legend sounds comfortable
over the heart of Lil Jon. Cannon not the biggest fan of slow R&B-man I
don't need that to get what I desire-but the blend of Beyonce/T.I.'s "Soldier"
into Anthony Hamilton's "Charlene" into R. Kelly's "In the Kitchen"
(with a quick Chris Rock snippet!) is a blessing. Hamilton, much like John Legend,
is a true artist of the genre. No doubt. 50 Cent and Tweet's mixing of "Turn
the Lights Off" is interesting, while Trillville's current radio smash
"Some Cut" sounds more at home over the original. One thing that irks
me throughout this release is the one-minute on, one-minute off balance of the
songs. I guess I prefer the blend in full, or at least more than a minute, but
Vlad's mixing makes somewhat sense. 2Pac's "Thugs Get Lonely" over
Trill's bed-rocking backdrop makes more sense than its original, etc.
Stuff that doesn't
make a whole lot of sense: the rest of the original "Thugs Get Lonely,"
Lloyd Banks "Karma," the G-Unit's "Hate It or Love it Remix,"
among others. We've heard these, they're on the radio. One thing you could do
to hear all the blends is to skip every other track. Not good. Number two, "Soldier,"
(yes again!) over Lil' Wayne's "Go Deejay" beat. Wasn't this done
already this year? Why is half of the original "So Much More" here
as well as a minute of the original "Candy Shop"? Why!!?!? At least,
the "Fucking You Tonight" remix of that Fiddy joint is intense. Heh.
Fab's "Baby" over "Juicy" is always hot, and a throwback
at that, and just as you're ready to enjoy it the beat changes to the original,
quickly to the talentless Baby Bash's "I'm Back." You can't stop a
Biggie classic like that! Not 30 seconds Vlad! And yo, everyone's rhymed over
Amerie's "One Thing" so why not Big? Shit actually sounds right. Big
also joins The Game for "Dreams" and Nas for "Just A Moment".
Despite Chris sounding perfect over the current Nas classic, the tape's predictability
becomes all too apparent. I guess that's another issue with blend tapes one
should consider: the forecast factor. Some of Vlad's stuff here is stellar but
awfully expected as hell. Jada's verse from Mariah's "You Make Me Wanna"
makes no sense, while a minute of 112's "U Already Know" not featuring
anyone else or blended doesn't ether. Well, I guess it does when Eminem's "Mockingbird"
matches the beat to perfection. So I take it back. But I don't take back the
original-minute, blend-minute approach Vlad does with the tape. It's a valiant
effort with some interesting meshes, though certainly not enough for the serious
listener. Hot in Here 6 often comes off as "my first blend mixtape purchase,"
or "blends for beginners." Faltering during the middle of the game,
but picked up by some impressive unsigned hype in its latter moments (Stat Quo
and Chamillionaire are signed, but fuck it), the Butcher cuts the meat, but
fails to serve it hot.