Corty B is a rapper hailing from Rap Genius (surprise surprise!), and requested for me to review his most recent project, “Playing For Keeps”. Overall, the project sounded clean, but Corty B needs to find something that makes him unique and stand out from the crowd. Let’s begin.
Track 1) Welcome
Overall, this wasn’t a terrible track. I liked the various metaphors Corty used throughout the song. The rhyme schemes and flow that Corty used weren’t that bad, but weren’t amazing either at the same time. The piano production of the track is nice though. If I had to complain about one thing, it would be the title and purpose of the track…it seems a bit corny for me to write a song about starting a mixtape. It worked though.
Track 2) Chill
Like the previous track, “Chill” was braggadocious, which isn't terrible, but is a much played out subject matter. I preferred this beat and flow. Even though some of Corty’s rhyme schemes were weak, others were stronger than anything on the previous track.
On the contrary, there are a couple of things that I didn’t enjoy about this track. For instance, I felt like some of the lyrics were corny (“Just a nerd, I should be rapping in Klingon”), and I actually found him lying in the track (he claims he doesn’t have a manager when he really does). This was a nice track overall though.
Track 3) Bars feat. Asce Blayze
To sum it up, this track is an intense, fast-paced, and energetic banger. Both artists delivered nice verses, even though a lot of the rhyme schemes the artists used were mediocre (especially the guest feature). I really liked the mixing and mastering in this though.
However, once again, this is a braggadocious track, which is starting to become an overused subject matter. It also is kind of annoying, because Corty B is a bit too cocky for somebody who only has a limited fan base.
Track 4) Gangsta
I hate to break it to you, but this may be one of the most fake rap songs I have ever heard. Apparently the self-titled nerd deals drugs now? I have a feeling Corty just wanted to hop on to gangster rap bandwagon on this track, even though he may not have been talking truth.
On the bright side, this may be some of the best mixing and mastering on the mixtape so far. I really like the uses of panning. The production was decent but not anything special. In addition, it is a break from the braggadocious rap.
Track 5) Danger feat. Anna Oakley
First of all, I do have to say that this beat was pretty awesome…it got me moving around. I like its many layers and its trap influences. Moreover, I absolutely loved the mixing and mastering on this…especially the use of the panning feature. Corty B delivered one of his best verses so far even though some of the bars he spit felt filler (he said something about science being his favorite subject or something like that).
In my opinion, Anna Oakley, the guest feature, brought this track to a whole ‘nother level. Her fast-paced flow was impressive and aggressive without being overwhelming at the same time. Even though her lyrics weren’t that much better than Corty, I still think she renegaded him hard on this track. Oakley definitely allowed the track to stand out from the others on this tape.
Track 6) Higher
This could have easily been one of the best tracks on the mixtape just based on the first 40 seconds of the song. I really thought Corty B would make use out of the cool “Higher than the ceiling” concept. However, I was disappointed to find that he basically rapped for three minutes about smoking weed.
Just like “Gangsta”, I just have a feeling that this song isn’t exactly true. Can you picture a science loving nerd smoking marijuana? I certainly can’t. The flow in this track wasn’t anything special, and I didn’t really enjoy the mixing and mastering as much as a lot of the other tracks on the mixtape.
The aspect of the track that displeased me the most was what I stated earlier: the fact that Corty B could have made a very clever song out of the beat and hook, and basically ruined it by dropping cringe-worthy bars. That never is a good sign. At least the production wasn’t decent on this track, with a woozy and intriguing baseline.
Track 7) Crazy feat. Crown
Honestly, I liked the change of the subject matter of this track as this was a love song as opposed to the braggadocious and “gangster” raps. On the contrary, simply put, this track bored the living shit out of me for a variety of reasons.
For a start, even though Crown is a decent singer, his verse lasted way too long, in my opinion (his part had a total duration of about 2 and a half minutes). In addition, his vocals were a bit too quiet compared to the beat, and it threw me off a little.
On the positive side, I personally find Corty’s verse better than the entire first half of the entire mixtape. I really liked the storytelling that he used within it, and it flowed nicely along the heavily-synthed production. Additionally, I felt like I could relate to it more than a lot of his other verses on the mixtape.
Track 8) HolUp feat. A-Fluent
I really liked the utilization of vocal sampling within the beat of the track. The drum pattern and bass were also nice. However, both artist’s verses weren’t mastered well…they were both somewhat quiet compared to the instrumental of the song.
Both of the verses in the track were pretty much what I expected: average. In addition, I frankly had no clue what the subject matter of this was even supposed to be in the first place. This sounded a bit cleaner than a lot of the songs on the mixtape though.
Track 9) You ft. AGenius
Overall, I liked the concept of this track (Corty B is empowering his lover throughout the course of the track). In addition, he drops some of the best verses on the mixtape both rhyme scheme and storytelling wise. The mixing/mastering and the guest feature also complemented the track. I wish it was about one verse shorter though…it would be more interesting then.
Track 10) Pure Poetry
I do have to admit….the first thirty seconds of the beat was beautiful as fuck. I was pretty turnt when the drum pattern came in, as this was one of my favorite beats on the mixtape. The filter used on Corty’s vocals was also pretty dope.
Even though I can certainly relate with the subject matter of being underrated, I wouldn’t say these are bars that will help Corty B claim that he works hard. There are just too many lyrics without deep meaning and too many one-syllabic rhymes in order for him to prove it. If he is going to call his music “pure poetry”, he better back it up with evidence.
Track 11) The Vent
The first verse of this track is easily among one of the best on the mixtape, to be honest. I like the personal aspect of it that Corty added to it. Moreover, the rhyme schemes changed up a bit more and he used some more dope wordplay. However, the lyrics pretty much went downhill from there. There were multiple opportunities when he could have made the lyrics better than they were.
I like the woozy aura of the beat…it almost gives off a vibe similar to Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools (Drank)”. It complemented B’s voice and mixing and mastering quite nicely.
Track 12) Outro
The first verse on this is probably the best on the entire mixtape. I loved the rhyme schemes, cold metaphors, wordplay, and flow that he used within it. However, he should have ended the song after that, as the beat got a bit boring after a while. This was a nice way to end the mixtape though.
Here are my three favorite tracks on the mixtape.
3) Pure Poetry
This track probably has the best beat on the entire mixtape…especially due to the 30-second intro. I really liked the first verse on here, even though it got a bit worse from there. It was pretty nice overall though…I liked the mixing and mastering in it too.
This fast-paced track was pretty epic, but it really picked up once Anna Oakley, the guest feature, delivered her fiery verse. Overall, I was just impressed by the energetic vibe of the track, and it is one that I can just listen to casually without analyzing the lyrics too deeply.
The first verse on this is by far the best on the mixtape, from its use of metaphors and wordplay, from its flow, to the rhyme schemes that Corty selected. Despite its long length, I found myself enjoying this track quite a bit.
Here are some suggestions I have for Corty.
Lyrics: This is easily the weakest aspect of the mixtape. For a start, use more multi-syllabic rhymes, internal rhymes, and use more wordplay. A lot of the lyrics didn’t go down deep at all and could have been written by pretty much anyone.
Flow: My suggestion for Corty B is to try and improve it. A lot of the times, his flow sounded drab and boring, and didn’t really keep my interest. Sometimes, rapping fast can help with flow, even though slow flow can work for others keep experimenting.
Production: This is easily my favorite part of the tape (besides the mixing and mastering). I would possibly try to go for more professional sounding beats, but I liked a lot the the beats that he used, despite the quality.
Overall: I loved the mixing and mastering on this tape. However, a lot of the subject matters were a bit played out, Corty’s delivery was only average, and he needs to find something that makes him a distinct artist. Why should I listen to you when I could listen to some one else?
That is all...stay tuned for more true music reviews!