Album Reviews: Slink Proper “FREE SLINK PROPER 2”
Written by Mike Dreams (Michael A. Hannah)
Overall, the mixtape was very solid to be a release from an unsigned, young hip hop aritst. Aside from some heavy improvement on engineering and mixing qualities, the tracks and lyrical content itself can definitely give you a feel of what Slink Proper, the M.C, the man and the visionary, is about.
The synth oriented beat gets you interested as it comes in. Slink Proper takes no hesitation in coming with lyrics. You can openly hear the mix of the vocals is a tad under quality. On the ladder side, the lyrical content is pretty clear and straight forward about running towards goals. The delivery undeniably resembles the bonus track from Lupe Fiasco’s “The Cool”, Blackout, which also carried a similar synth style beat. Overall, the track was a semi-solid way to begin the mixtape.
Once again, the production on this song will definitely clobber and capture you first. The lyrics and delivery on the song are equally satisfying. Slink takes a couple shots at the government in an a la “Gangsta rap made me do it”, with lines such as “Embarrassing our race? Who started this slavery thing in the first place”. The first verse definitely defends hip hop from being blamed for every single tragic thing that happens in America. Punch lines have definitely showed up with abundance on the second verse. I would give the “dime a dozen” chorus a 3/5, just for the simple fact it’s been done before, and wasn’t delivered too well here.
River of Thought
You enter an entirely different dimension with this joint. The amped up production and hype vocals leave and in comes the melodic guitar and hi-pitched vocal samples, giving it a semi-soulful and mid-90s track feel. The lyrical content that Slink explores on this track lets you almost look into his soul as a person and his personal ideas and struggles that reflect any aspiring hip hop artists’ feelings while trying to make it in the game. The soulful and not too complicated vocals from vocalist Kenny D. were also a nice touch. Aside from mix quality issues, River of Thought served to be a solid, shop-worthy track that should turn the heads of many conscious and street heads alike.
Flip A Bad To Good
Who can deny a catchy, Al Green sample flipped perfectly? No one! The production on “Flip a Bad to Good” immediately a ear catcher. This track sticks out on the mixtape as one of the best. If mixtapes had singles, this would be the one to drop. Slink keeps the lyrics somewhat uplifting, directed to people like him trying to make it, telling them to flip negatives to positives. His flow comes off inquisitively confidence, rather than cocky, which makes the track have a very sincere feel to it.
Unlike some of the previous tracks, this track does not clobber you immediately. Also, unlike the previous track, the flow comes very cocky, yet down to business and honest. It’s basically a statement that “I’m the hottest, so come prove me wrong”. Overall, the song is solid, but definitely not a standout track. The delivery stays pretty simple, along with the okay production.
Here comes the catchy hook, mellow reminiscent track that get you the top of the charts and massive airplay during the summer. The mix could’ve been better, but the production and rap flow, as well as the hook from the unidentified vocalist is definitely a solid, simple track that easily can become somebody’s “jam”. This is another track where Slink shows his real human side, talking about real life events, such as a friend committing suicide and teenage life’s fun and depressing events.
Once the song comes on, you can see why this already received Top 40 Radio Station play. The production is very solid and the sample is flipped very diversely, and it catches you off guard as it drops in transition from the intro. Holla easily depicts Slink’s unique lyricism, delivery, humor and confidence all in one. Blend that with the tracks easy to remember catchy hook and you’ve got a recipe for success. His delivery switches within the verses gives the track a nice feel for the fact it’s not a straightforward monotonous technique, as previous tracks such as “Ambition” exhibited.
Once again, Slink brings a different feel on the track, showing diversity within the mixtape. “Uh Oooooh” is the classic story of loving a woman, but simply growing tired of her bickering and ways. The track definitely reminds me of a type of track Fabalous would make, just with more skills and catchy lyricism. This definitely is a track that could potentially could get some Top 40 Radio Play.
This is the type of joint that, with a good music video accompaniment from a skilled producer, wins you a Grammy for song of the year. The title says it all, because the joint is definitely on that movie tip! Slink gets his sing-song like slow, storytelling flow on for this joint. The production, with it’s high pitched vocal and piano samples from “Clear the Area” by Imogen Heap
makes the track super addictive for any music lover in general, but definitely the East Coast heads.
This track is actually one of my least favorite on the mixtape. I feel that the production and delivery of the entire track is unappealing, starting with the chorus. By looking at Slink’s other tracks and then this one, it sounds very amateur and locally unsigned. Now, note the fact that Slink is locally unsigned, the aim is to make joints that will get the attention of someone to make you major, without conforming integrity. This track just doesn’t do it for me. The piano loop in the background gets sort of annoying, the mix might make you want to immediately switch up. I would sum this up as a “hit or miss” or “love or hate’ type track. You are either going to feel or not. It definitely reminds me of some underground Chicago jukin/footworking music, which once again has a bittersweet appreciation.
The production on “Screaming” definitely once again easily makes the track radio ready. I will say on this track, the mix/engineering needs a lot more work. Both the singing and rap vocals are drowned out by the music and for the most part makes hearing the actually lyrics and point of the song undoable. With a better mix, this could be a recipe for a single success. The singing vocals upon the track essentially was rudimentary and didn’t improve the track at all.
The soulful piano/organ roll gets you interested right away. The loud hook chanting gives the track a cheesy feel. Slink compensates a bit with the flow, but it’s nothing really special. He does switch it up a bit here and there, which will keep you attentive for a while. Overall, No Captain is not a standout track on “Free Slink Proper Pt. 2”
The production on this track will have you going back to track 1 to see it’s the same beat. LOL. Then you’ll realize it’s not, and you’ll return to “Hate You” to hear Slink Proper’s clever approach to rap as if he was one of his haters on the first verse. The delivery doesn’t leave by verse 2, but the song begins to drop in energy. Once again, I would say that this is not a standout track, in comparison to some of the previous hits.
After Lyfe (Bonus)
After Lyfe’s production and flow comes off very old school, chill, with a mid 90s feel to it. Slink keeps an eclectic delivery on this, as he gets real sincere. Slink touches on the topics of spirituality and where we go after we decease. The singing hook and vocals on the track seem really off key and kilter to me, which heavily takes away from the track. It’s a solid track for it’s production, lyrics and Slink’s sincerity, almost reminding you of his flow on one of the previous tracks “River of Thought”.
In my opinion, you’re aren’t an official M.C until you freestyle over Jay-Z’s vintage Reasonable Doubt classic instrumental “Dead Presidents” Out of some of the top M.Cs I’ve heard do it, from Jay, to Lil Wayne, Currency and Lupe Fiasco, Slink definitely held his own. He adapted the old school Iceberg Slim delivery for the track like many can’t help to do when they begin rapping on the track. Punchlines and wordplay stood out very well here, including the ever so clever “You remind me of a can of pop, you not a liter (leader)”.