From The Mixtape Vault: Papoose – A Bootlegger’s Nightmare


Believe it or not, at one time Papoose was the hottest rap out, especially in the mixtape circuit. Nowadays, his relevancy is non-existent, except for that brief, controversial performance at last year’s Summer Jam.

I was a huge mixtape fan at the time, and, you guess it, I was big on Pap. I thought he was going to be the next great rapper, the next to blow. Boy, was I wrong. Pap collected a 1.5 million dollar contract from Jive Records, married an incarcerated Remy Ma, before falling off the face of the planet.

At the time, Pap was dropping mixtapes like crazy. Every few months a new Pap record would drop. In 2005, he dropped seven mixtapes, SEVEN! That is unprecedented. It was insane.

However, too much of a good thing can cause saturation.

Pap kept releasing a lot of material, but in my opinion, the quality was decreasing. By 2006, when he signed his contract, I was done.

I got bored.

I stayed a Pap fan until his seventeen mixtape, “The Fourth Quarter Assassin.” His last few mixtapes before this mixtape weren’t as dope as his earlier work, in my opinion, so I threw in the towel.

Plus, the delay of his debut album “The Nacirema Dream” didn’t help. The album was announced early but it was delayed. It finally was released in 2013.

“A Bootlegger’s Nightmare” is one my favorite mixtapes from him. I didn’t like all the songs but the songs I did, were great.

First of all, that cover is dope. Miami Kaos did his thing. I bet a bunch of rappers and DJs wish they could do that to bootleggers for taking money out of their pocket.

The mixtape starts with Kay Slay introducing various clips of people in hip-hop praising Papoose including DJ Enuff and Funkmaster Flex, and fellow rappers and mixtape veterans Cassidy and Tony Yayo.

Then, Pap got to work. He ran through several instrumentals, the like of Jay Z’s “Blueprint 2” (“A Bootlegger’s Nightmare”), T.I.’s “A.S.A.P.” (“That Nigga Pap, Nigga Pap”), The Diplomats’ “Bigger Picture” (“Return of the Living Dead”), and 50 Cent’s “Gunz Come Out” (“Lets Shoot a Fair One”).

Fun facts, the second collaboration between the soon-to-be-married couple Papoose and Remy Ma appears on this mixtape, entitled “No Competition.”

Also, “Chess” samples Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’,” which was sampled in the classic “Regulate” record.

The Paul Wall-assisted joint, “Ridin’ Shotgun” was a nice surprise. I didn’t think I would like it because it seemed like a weird collaboration but I did. The beat was cool.

“Body Bluffin’” was dope too. It features a hard, head nodding beat from The Heatmakerz.

The two songs that stood out, at least in my opinion, were tracks three and four.

“We Are The Streets” is fucking dope. The guest verses from WC, Bun B and Maino provide a nice change from the all Papoose raps. Three of the four regions are represented. The only exclusion is the North or Midwest, whatever you want to call that region that includes Detroit and Chicago. Los Angeles is represented through WC’s gangsta verse. Houston is in the house with Bun’s verse, and both Maino and Papoose rep for Brooklyn.

Speaking of Maino, his verse is killer! I fucked with it back then, and I still do. I can still recite most of his verse. His verse is tough, street, gritty and gangsta. It’s like he embodied the borough of Brooklyn in a verse. His wordplay was good and that Eve line was funny.

Meanwhile, “In The Bushes” features a Ghostface Killah sample in a production from the legendary, DJ Green Lantern. The title is a metaphor for the song. Pap will hide in the bushes to get you, meaning he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Pap’s ability to paint a picture of the ‘hoods is striking.

The mixtape was cool. There was a mix of songs that were good, and songs that were eh. Others were carried by the beat, but contained some decent lyrics. Overall, I enjoyed this mixtape back in 2005, and now that I revisited it in 2014, I still fuck with some of the songs but not all.


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