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Mixtape Monday: BeatKing, KDOGG & Mr. 16

BeatKing; 2nd Home The more I wonder about BeatKing, the more he continues to surprise me. Last week we got one of the harbingers of Texas club music with DJ Chose's Surveillance tape, which felt more like a clever mix of Texas' club sound with the revolving-goofball mystique that is Migos and Future's trap fun in Atlanta. This week, BeatKing travels to calls, his own second home if you will and easily the other epicenter for all things Texas ratchet. 2nd Home is skimpy at only ten tracks complete with two DJ skits but it's BeatKing using all of his collective talents in the smallest space available.

At his core, BeatKing can craft club tracks in his sleep, those rounded-out stretches of audio where nothing really matters except having complete fun and indulging. The Club God knows which piece of musical land he lords over and rarely attempts to cross over into other lands. You won't find BeatKing pulling a red wedding on people in some kind of Game of Thrones takeover; he'll just sit at the throne of the club ruling with an iron fist -- and the Dallas-ready 2nd Home tape proves it.

Best Track: You can argue for "Smile," the Bell Biv Devoe-sampling sex/club angler that takes plenty of cues from UGK's "Take It Off," but that's cheating. Instead it's BeatKing ripping on Big Tuck's "Not a Stain On Me" into a medley of other Dallas cuts such as "Flex," "Rack Daddy" and more.

Notable Quotable: "Shoutout to Mr. Rogers, he inspired me to hit PV and engage in ménages." That's right, blame the guy who just scored a gig with 93.7 The Beat for this rampage all over the mini-musical hotbed that helped birth Kirko Bangz, OneHunnidt, DJ Chose and a litany of others. Download Here

KDOGG, 3point5 Some rappers truly get it. KDOGG, the hungry stalwart who in public is about as quiet and pensive as you can get in Houston, is fresh off minding his business, biding his time and cranking out freestyle tapes where his fixation with different pseudonyms and nicknames gained more attention than the actual tracks.

All of that changes with 3Point5, his first project where the production has been completely spearheaded by him and the Headwreckas team and he really gets to do what he does best. The same guy who told his P.O. to "suck his balls through his drawls" appears heavily here, focused on making the kind of street material that should make him a memorable fixture in the same realm as J-Dawg, sans the yelping voice that feels like the most threatening yet inspiring sermon ever. Dante Higgins shows up here, same for DoubleBe, KAB Tha Don and ShoStoppa, whose own solo project is rather anticipated in its own right.

He can rap, which he proved when he showed out at Kickback Sundays and his dominance was vouched for by Lil Keke, of all people. On cuts like "Break Bread" (feat. Higgins) and the all-out Headwreckas cut "SDBD," KDOGG focuses on solely being himself: scary and direct. He can't leave the nicknames alone with the opener "Mic Tyson 3" and closer "Penzel Washington 3," callbacks to previous output, but at least he knows who he is behind the mike: Houston's version of Marshawn Lynch. Download Here

Story continues on the next page.

Mr. 16, Abraham Lincoln Honest Abe may have never been a Headwrecka, but at least that ever-expanding collective can boast of having artists who flat-out love to rap. If DoubleBe is eccentric; Doughbeezy the everyman who happens to pack enough weed rhymes to feel like a hyper version of Devin the Dude (and, to a national extent, early Ludacris); and the muscular tandem of KDOGG and KAB Tha Don specialists in eating slim, space-eating frames; then Mr. 16 is the most straight-lined of the bunch.

Track for track, Abraham Lincoln finds Mr. 16 not necessarily as imposing as KAB or as quirky as DoubleBe, but as he cranks out bar after bar about success, vices and anything in between, it's all him. Of course it falls into that common first mixtape issue of being overly bloated and so wired to pulling off every album feat (hard track, girl track, posse cut) that it loses its footing here and there. But, there are moments where 16 absolutely rounds into form when placed right next to the likes of Doughbeezy on "Let Me Get Back To Grindin" & "Ain't Givin' It Up" with Dante Higgins. He's needling us to accept the fact that the Headwreckas are more than a one-man band with a wild cast of characters with different personalities and traits. And sooner or later he'll prove it true. Download Here


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