Before I got the hereby cd I had not heard of Mr. G, a young Sacramento artist debuting with these "808's & 16's". Don't get him confused with another Mr. G - a homeboy rapper out of Visalia whose work has also been reviewed by us. Anyway, like I said, I have not even seen him as a guest appearance on other people's projects, which isn't that unusual nowadays when everybody and their mama can easily release digital music, put it up for download and call it an album. What foremost gets you noticed in my eyes though is a presence of hard copies, if you feel the music is worth it, you will take some time and effort to have it pressed. It can even be a cardboard sleeve, just like in the case of "808's & 16's".
The title itself is a good excuse to point out that it's Mr. G himself who prepared both the musical (808's) as well as major part of vocal (16's) side of the solo. He goes by KG when it comes to production. The cat is characterized by young voice and rapid flow, something along the lines of T-Nutty. He often changes his pace, occasionally even slows down, but the fast pace never leaves him for good. And it's always a breath of fresh air for me, it's not that easy to spit out your rhymes quickly and at the same time maintain the rhythm and keep up with the beat. G does it pretty well, he sounds experienced the way he easily blends with his own production. Although I need to admit that rhyme quality suffers the faster he flows, which is often the case. The longer the bar is, the simpler the word combinations tend to be. However since he plays a lot with tempo, you will also get your share of really nice verbal patterns and untypical vocabulary. What's interesting, in his lyrics he focuses a lot on haters ("Wrong Ambitionsz", "FDS", "Why You Trippin?"), people who don't believe in him and think he will fail. This is obviously coupled with your typical bragging & boasting, claiming to be the best around ("Gods Greatest") and to crush the competition.
Get hit with that fire if that's your desire
Get your new J's thrown on telephone wires
Tell'em bow down, you know I'm your messiah
Wash off these niggas and throw'em in dryers
I'm never pretendin' I'm gettin offended
These allegations you makin' horrendous
Go check the record it's stupid stupendous
If I wanna touch you, it will be intended
There's more to the lyrics though, there's a little something about getting paper ("GYM"), a more street-focused anthem "Bussin" and more party flavor towards the end of the cd: "It's On" as well as "Clap" dedicated to dancers and strippers. Overall it's definitely far from a standard gangsta shit with turf business and selling dope type of material. It's rather centered on recording music, enjoying life, dealing with hardships, giving the best out of yourself. As I mentioned before Mr. G's alter ego KG did the whole production. It has its ups and downs, but it generally is of good quality. I'm particularly fond of the opening songs that feature serious, omnipresent choirs in the background. On the other side of the spectrum his take on a faster entertainment in a form of "It's On" also came out great, I really feel like bobbing my head intensely while listening to that track. I don't know if I would notice that if the artist didn't mention it in one of the skits, but there are a lot of hi-hats in his beats. I'm not a big fan of those sped up hi-hats, I'd rather get a heavy slump of a regular drum, but I guess it's a matter of opinion. Sometimes the beats are too minimalistic for my taste, I think they'd benefit from more sounds ("Ride Slow", "Why You Trippin?"). And as always - since Mr. G serves you not only pure entertainment - I think his message would be resounding if he had less electronics and greater emphasis on regular musical instruments. With that said I definitely prefer him as a rapper, as he brought something fresh to the scene, whereas his production turned out to be simply ok; with a couple of notable exceptions, so there's room for improvement. It's a decent album, and if you take into consideration that it's his first official attempt I've got to say that it bodes very well for the future.
You can follow Mr. G on Twitter and Facebook.
Thanks for sending us the review copy.
Written by: khamenei