Friday, December 9, 2016

Shaun Twice's "Power Up"

Four years after blessing us with his mixtape in the form of "Arts And Crafts", the homie Shaun Twice has returned with another offering, "Power Up." Now, loyal readers of mine know that I don't review mixtapes, however, in certain cases (even if they may be rare, lol), I make exceptions. Not only is Shaun a long time friend and a fellow representative of Petersburg, VA, but even if that weren't the case, he would still get my continued support for trying to come up in an ever changing hip hop world. So without further delay, let's dive right on in with "Power Up!"

Release date: November 21, 2016

1. "March 3rd"

Man, talk about an opener that sets such a hardcore tone for this mixtape. The opinionated, aggressive Pieces himself goes in on this fast paced, thumping track. "I don't care who the fuck you is, you ain't me though", I like that line right there. Very good start, showing us "what true power really is."
*4 out of 5*

2. "Power Up"

Shaun not only challenges other MCs to step their game up, he also flexes his own lyrical prowess over some dope production. I obviously haven't got to the rest of the mixtape, but if it were up to me, I'd have this particular song on the radio as we speak. 
*4 out of 5*

3. "Y.B.G."

This is such an ill, apply titled song right here, equipped with equally ill lines such as "light this bitch up like a chain smoker", plus "having to push the envelope and go postal" on the competition. Dope stuff here with Shaun really coming through on the mic, showcasing his "young, black and gifted" talents.
*4 out of 5*

4. "#FWM"

Shaun is bout his business here. It does have somewhat of a laid back sound, but he still comes hard throughout. My ONLY issue is that 1 minute or so could've been shaved off or that 1 minute could've been used to let the beat ride out once he finished with the verses.
*3.5 out of 5*

5. "Not Like That"

"This is not a vacation, this is work!"

Shaun attempts to separate/distinguish himself from the competition (he ain't "sounding like no nursery rhyme") and he largely succeeds with highly good lyrics and working the thumping production with relative ease. I was waiting for him to come with a "double time flow" at some point during the song, and even though I didn't get that, it's still pretty good.
*4 out of 5*

6. "The Cockade City"

Shaun takes his time discussing the trials and tribulations of present day life and I feel that's the absolute best way to describe this song. He also comes with a strong focus on the aspects of parenting these days and the way it can affect the younger generation based on the environment(s). Definitely the deepest song on this mixtape and I have no problem going the full monty on this one.
*5 out of 5*

7. "Respect"

2:58 is all the time Shaun needed to lyrically go in and command/demand respect on all levels. Forget about Baby's "put some respeck on it" grips (I know that's a bit old, lol), this is how it's supposed to be done.
*4 out of 5*

8. "Truth Be Told"

One look at this title, you would think it would be something deep (or close to it) like "The Cockade City." Unfortunately that's not what we get here. It's decent, nothing more.
*3 out of 5*

9. "Maholo"

Can I say I'm not surprised that a joint for the ladies is on this mixtape, lol? I can be critical of such songs at times on this blog, which is another story, but in the case of this one from Shaun, I'll say this is WAY too smooth for the fellas and it's strictly a joint the ladies would love, no question.
*3 out of 5*

10. "86 Regal"

To those readers this who represent the 804 such as myself and Shaun, I'm sure this one will take you back to the "good 'ol times", even if you weren't present. As you know, I tend to love songs that reflect on the past, talking about memories and how GOOD things used to be (in this case, the 1990s) and I love this one. The laid back vibe present is the icing on this VA cake. Nostalgically (did I just make up that word, lol), it's a sure fire "5 out of 5", the song is itself is about a "4 out of 5", so I'll just split that and give it a "4.5 out of 5."

11. "That Name"

This certainly was the opposite of "Maholo", whereas that one was solely for the ladies, this one here is not just something the ladies should here (and basically adhere to, lol), but it's something the fellas can rock to as well.
*3 out of 5*

12. "Mental Ventilation"

Shaun goes the introspective route here, which is another thing I like a lot when it comes to the music, plus the title all but ensures effective use of the power of the mind, in terms of the MC and the listener, as well as allowing yourself time to just step back and breathe every once in a while. VERY good song.
*4 out of 5*

13. "Tenfold"

The mixtape closes on a rather deep note. I could sum this up by saying this one needs to be heard to be appreciated (I mean that is the case), but it's a little more than that, respectively. With a big heart for the opposite/fairer sex, Shaun cautions young women of certain choices they (may) tend to make, mainly because there's MUCH more to life than sex, money and the like. (A note to the young ladies under 21: Just because you turn 18 does not give you the green light to act wild and lack total respect for yourself and others. Embrace who you are and all that you can be in today's society without disgracing yourself in the process.)
*4.5 out of 5*

Shaun Twice came through with a highly entertaining, 4 star mixtape. Lyrically, he's as sharp as ever, hell, I would say he's stepped things up a lot since the "Arts And Crafts" mixtape and it's clear to me he's striving not only for greatness, but also ready to make his mark in hip hop on a local and nationwide level. I like the production a lot too and even though it does come with the (expected) sound circa 2016, it fit him well across the board and he works every beat with an edge and flair, along with precise timing. I honestly predict that he will be the next star representing Petersburg, VA on the hip hop scene (the talent and drive is there). You have my full recommendation for this mixtape (links will be provided below along with his contact information) and Shaun, great job man!

Be sure to check his other two mixtapes:

Contact Info
Shaun Twice (Facebook)
shaun_twice (Twitter)

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