I’ve wanted to do this for a while but haven’t gone through with it. I wanted to go back and revisit old mixtapes, specifically the epic G-Unit Radio series, and listen and reminisce over it and give some commentary on it.
The mixtape was one of my first loves, along with wrestling and other shit. Back when I was younger—I want to say my freshman year of high school, around 2003—I feel in love with mixtapes. I don’t remember what the first mixtape I ever heard/downloaded was, it could be this one, but I’m not sure.
Back then I would do two things: go to school and be online on a hip-hop message board. The latter one was beneficial as it introduced me to different rappers that I wasn’t familiar with. This platform allowed me to see what I liked and didn’t like.
One thing that was a big thing back then was a new mixtape’s anticipation. Someone would start a thread about a new mixtape and the rest of the members to chime in. Usually, this included the mixtape cover and the track list, and from there speculation would ensue. Speculation would start over unbelievable collaborations, what songs would be dope, which were renamed aka were already released, etc. I feel in love with this.
I feel in love with how the mixtape was constructed. I loved that original music was combined with freestyles. I loved the titles these DJs would use. I feel in love with the DJ’s trademarks e.g. Whoo Kid’s gun shots, Drama’s “dramatic,” Clue’s “clue-minati,” Kay Slay’s screaming, I loved it.
I remember I would visit websites like Mix Unit and Mixtape Kings and see the upcoming mixtapes. Sometimes you would see new gems on there but most of the time, it was a wack DJ scrambling together songs that were floating around the Internet, put them together and release it as a mixtape.
I would spend my time downloading and listening to mixtapes from DJ Whoo Kid and DJ Clue and I would sprinkle in some mixtapes from DJ Drama and DJ Kay Slay. My music library had so many mixtapes at one time. I wished I would’ve kept them but I deleted a bunch of stuff a couple years ago because I didn’t listen to them. I wish I hadn’t. I would’ve loved to listen to them today, especially after the inspiration behind this post and future ones. I can still get them but the ones I had were better, they were group rips. And if you know what that is; you know what’s up.
DJ Whoo Kid – Smokin’ Day Part 2 aka G-Unit Radio (Hosted By Snoop Dogg)
First of all, the G-Unit Radio series is legendary. It helped make G-Unit the biggest clique in hip-hop. This mixtape series was groundbreaking because it lasted over four years and reached 25 volumes. Plus, every artist that was on the G-Unit label had their own mixtape in the series.
Is there anyone else more qualified to host this mixtape, especially with that mixtape title, than Uncle Snoop? I don’t think so. Snoop is pretty much synonymous with weed. There’s a moment in the mixtape were you hear 50 Cent talking and says, “it’s time to get high,” which is followed by three weed songs, great placement of that drop.
Right off the bat, Whoo Kid hits us with some foreshadowing. On the mixtape’s intro, he declares, “this is not a mixtape, this a revolution.” This mixtape would be a cornerstone in the career of 50, as he, Whoo Kid and the rest of G-Unit would revolutionize the mixtape scene. Fifty did some foreshadowing as well by rapping, “‘till Makaveli returns, it’s ‘All Eyez on Me’/all eyes on me” on the hook, hitting us with a double entendre.
Fifty would go on to rule the hip-hop world for the next three to four years. He would be everywhere He beefed with several rappers; he scored a huge payout from Coca-Cola for Vitamin Water; he starred in a film that was loosely based on his life, etc. everything he deal was looked at through a metaphoric microscope.
Back to the mixtape, from beginning to end, the songs delivered. The Snoop conversations and interludes was a great touch. Plus, those Whoo Kid drops were legendary. From his patent “Whooooo Kid” to “non-stop” to his “can’t forget” shout outs. They were memorable. He even shouted out blunt wraps, how fitting. Also, hearing 50 share stories about smoking some heavy weed with Snoop was cool to hear, I love hearing behind the scenes stories.
I think the first songs I heard off this mixtape were the “P.I.M.P. (remix),” which is still ill, and 50’s rendition of Busta Rhymes’ and Mariah Carey’s hit single, “I Know What You Want.” 50 flipped it and made it his, properly naming it ”Baby Get On Yo Knees.” He changed the hook’s lyrics to his masterful, blowjob-wanting rendition. I heard it for the first time back in high school and thought it was brilliant. I couldn’t stop reciting the hook.
The rest of G-Unit is present on this mixtape. They attacked the previously mentioned Busta and Snoop’s “Beautiful” instrumentals. Young Buck caught my eye with “High Than A Muthafucka.” Backed by a funky and smooth beat, Buck was able to proclaim himself Smokey the Bear from all the smoke he’s around. The Game, not listed on the track list, freestyles with a former NBA player. Although incarcerated, Tony Yayo makes an appearance on the dope “True Loyalty.” (NOTE: Yayo’s recent tweets all but confirm the end of G-Unit. It sucks.)
With Snoop hosting the mixtape, you knew the funk was around the corner. He stunted on “Crip Hop” and neck damaging “Let’s Get High.” I couldn’t help but instantly bob my head to the latter. It features Tha Eastsidaz and RBX and is dope.
Overall, this mixtape was solid. It was a great way to start what would be a monumental mixtape series. I give it 3.5 gunshots out of 5.