Hip-hop legends Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip recently treated longtime hip-hop fans to quite the delightful treat with their mixtape The Abstract And The Dragon, where the past, present and future all collide into one classic piece of work for each respective audience.
Both artists take on alter ego personalities throughout the work—Q-Tip as The Abstract and Busta as The Dragon. The Abstract And The Dragon serves multiple functions for the aging MCs who show that time does not diminish the quality of their rhymes. Skits throughout this 28-track piece of art give insight to the logic behind some of the motivations that inspired these artists to release such an epic mixtape.
This work acts as a profile for the experienced spitters, hosting a few hits that each artist has released over the years in collaboration with one another (even including some classic A Tribe Called Quest material) and some new material from both Q and Busta.
If that wasn’t enough, some of the classics hosted on The Abstract are remixed with newer hip-hop artists, showcasing how these artists can still hang with the younger rappers of today and arguably even push them to their full potential, as artists like Lil Wayne noticeably step up their lyrical game to keep up with these unbeatable rhymers.
Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip also take time to vent about the current climate of the hip-hop game today. Both artists have built careers around simple beats and clever, thought-provoking lyrics to highlight racial conflicts surrounding the genre in its early years. They say nobody can do things with hip-hop like the old days and nobody can carry the torch they still hold.
While some may not agree with these claims, this album does host a variety of smooth, simple, jazzy and straight up soulful beats with lyrical flows seldom seen in hip-hop today. This sonic blend shows that no amount of technological innovations within the genre can match the dynamics of a simple beat with powerful wordplay.
The Abstract And The Dragon acts as a time capsule that has been unburied for older hip-hop fans who remember the past voices of the genre, but it also shows fans the timelessness and skill of these MCs. Hip-hop fans of all kinds will love it.
Tyga: Well Done 4
Tyga may regularly receive harsh criticism for his degrading and misogynistic lyrics, but he sure can work a beat and make a catchy hook.
The Young Money signee recently released the fourth installment of his Well Done mixtape series, which like the others has been well-received by the public. What has made Tyga and his work stand out among the redundant works of some his fellow Young Money artists is the combination of sick beats, features from other big name artists and clever wordplay. His fast flow is a bit to take in at times, so listeners will have to rewind at times to absorb all of the ad-libs and metaphors that are abundant in his work.
The use of sampling from other artists allows Tyga to showcase his versatility in how he hops on other tracks and kills it. The sample that stands out most is Pusha T’s “Numbers on the Boards;” Tyga approaches the obtuse beat with a flow and tenacity that few other artists can mimic.
The only thing that lacks in this mixtape is lyrical content. However, if the listener comes in with the mindset that no new ground will be broken in a lyrical sense (other than some amusing ad-libs and some thought-provoking metaphors and imagery) then this mixtape is a grand success in other categories.
This mixtape is best for the weekends, with some playlist-worthy songs sprinkled throughout and a vibe conducive to getting up and going wild.
Well Done 4 doles out Tyga and his often repetitive content in a good dose to listeners. The intertwining of dope beats, solo content and a stacked list of guest appearances makes the shallow lyrical content bearable.