Since the NFL regular season is just around the corner, I thought I should go back and check out this Clue mixtape from a decade ago.
I remember when this mixtape first came out back in 2004. DJ Clue was one of a few mixtape DJs who I checked out. I could handle his screams and talking on the tracks. Plus, he usually had an exclusive Desert Storm record from Fabolous, Joe Budden or A-Team.
Speaking of Desert Storm, let’s start there, as they were all over the mixtape.
Mixtape veteran, and beat destroyer, Fabolous opened the mixtape with a freestyle over The Alchemist’s “The Essence” beat. That beat is hard, and is one of my favorites, ever. Also, it’s one of my favorite freestyles from Fab. The A-Team also hopped on this beat on this mixtape, and is also one of my favorite freestyles from them.
Fab makes several appearances on the mixtape by freestyling over the “Hold You Down” beat from Alchemist, as well as jumping on the remix of New Edition’s “Hot 2nite,” where he pays homage to Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mike” line off “Victory,” and his own song, “Tit 4 Tat,” off Real Talk, which was attached to the “Hold You Down” freestyle.
That freestyle was my introduction to the A-Team.
The beat is banging. So I was already intrigued. That gunshot is crazy. Ransom and Hitch came with it. The claim from Ransom calling themselves “mixtape artists of the year” was arguable, in my opinion, especially after I heard their verses. I liked what I heard. “You was never good in the hood like Kenny from South Park,” rapped Hitch. I chuckled then, and can’t help but smirk now.
Joe Budden, Paul Cain, and Stack Bundles make contributions to the mixtape too.
The official-slash-unofficial part two of Jay Z retirement album’s single “Change Clothes” is one of the mixtape’s highlights. Hov rapped over Slim Thug “I Ain’t Heard of That” and did it justice. He keeps at it with the Michael Jordan references by saying you can’t fuck with him, and that he’ll go six-for-six in six different categories, kind of like Jordan in the NBA Finals.
Jay’s one time foe, Nas, provides two freestyles over “Breathe” and “West Side Story” and hooks up with AZ on the banger “Serious.” Nas and AZ go back and forth, trading verses as they rap circles around us with ease.
“How We Do” by Game featuring 50 Cent, “Pretty Girls” from Jay Z and R. Kelly, off their collaborative effort, Unfinished Business, and “Encore” by Eminem featuring 50 and Dr. Dre, labeled here, “One Last Time,” help close the mixtape.
Freestyles from Sheek Louch and Styles P as well as songs from Busta Rhymes, Xzibit, Ja Rule, Foxy Brown, etc. are on the mixtape.