2012 Summer Mixtape

All of the tracks in this tour-promotion mixtape from California hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics exist in one form or another on other releases so for diehard fans of the group there's no real surprises. Unfortunately, there's nothing groundbreaking in store for general fans of the genre either. Many of the 16 cuts are substandard boasting-and-toasting fodder, with lines like "I got it poppin' like bubble wrap" from Souls of Mischief's "Home Game" standing out as simply laughable. The seamless transition between songs—customary on mixtapes—is often poorly executed and noisy beats on cuts like "Bill Collectors" and "Every Detail" are downright irritating.

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The compilation is not without its gems. A-Plus spins a creative ode to touring life on "Road Trippin" that samples a Red Hot Chili Peppers song of the same name to create an easygoing beat, and Pep Love's affection for retro soul samples makes into perfect anthems for summer night cruises. It's a mixed-bag mixtape that doesn't capture the legendary crew at it's finest, but considering it's a free download, it's certainly worth a listen.

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