Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mixtape Review: The Latin Marksman 2

Mixtape Review
                                                Nino Bless- Latin Marksman 2: R.O.A.M.

Artist: Nino Bless
Year: 2012
Rating: 8/10


    It's been three long years since Nino released the first  Latin Marksman and fans have been patiently waiting for the sequel. Despite all of the delays it's finally here and it's every bit as impressive as everyone was anticipating. The sound quality is as amazing as all of his releases which is something other mixtape rappers should learn from; just because you're releasing a free download doesn't mean you can skimp on the sound quality! Top notch lyrics as always which you come to expect with Bless, solid production and he even shows that he's not afraid to step out of his comfort zone in a few songs experimenting with a few new songs and features. The mixtape has Nino's usual features of guys like Grafh, Joell Ortiz, and Scram Jones but he even adds some new faces that you may have heard of if you pay attention to rap battles such as Soul Khan and Ness Lee. The most interesting feature comes from Cambatta who spits something that sounds more like a poetry than a rap verse on "Bonfire".

    With the first song "No Love" Nino addresses the Slaughterhouse situation hoping to answer the question he gets asked the most ("Why you not in Slaughterhouse?!) and silence critics claiming that he's "bitter" about not being included in the group. He also mentions the rape of his sister and other things going on in his life showing that his attention is not just focused on the group but on more important things. The next few songs from "They Calling"(feat Ness Lee) to "Sad Song"  aren't exactly what you would expect him to rap on but he branches off into new territory perfectly. With the exception of "Sad Song" and "Going Snooki", which is the same beat of Trina feat. Ludacris' "B Alright", that entire set of songs were produced by Nemesis who I have a sneaking suspicion that Nino will be working with again soon.

    The mixtape wouldn't be a true sequel without recurring elements from the first Latin Marksman. On LM Nino released a song titled "Fuck the Rap Gam" where he critized the hip-hop blogs for the content they post on their websites and how they manage the websites and on LM2 there is a song of the same light titled "MID (Music Is Dead) which is leagues above "Fuck The Rap Game". His flow and delivery cleaner, the beat is better, it's just all around a better song with a similar message which isn't to say that "Fuck The Rap Game" is a bad song or that doesn't have it's good qualities, it just isn't as enjoyable as MID. Nino's posse cut this time around is "Black Suits Fill The Room" featuring Joell Ortiz, Scram Jones, and Grafh. The beat is great and it has Biggie sample which makes any song feel epic, but sadly it falls short of Nino's last works of "3rd Degree", "Four In The Clip", and "Slaughterhouse" from his last projects. The new mixtape still has Nino's classic freestyles that his previous works had. This time around Nino has Get Ready 1-2 and his War
Machine freestyles which are all just full of quotables. Take "Get Ready" for example. When Nino isn't doing a barrage of punchlines every bar he's using wordplay with the hip-hop websites reminiscent of what he did with rapper's names on "Namedropping" from Untold Scriptures (which we're still waiting for part 2 of). Nino raises the bar for what you can do with a rhyme scheme on War Machine creating new rhymes with "multisyllabic" longer than I've heard anybody do showing rappers that if you can't keep a rhyme scheme going for at least for bars you're lazy and should be ashamed to call yourself a rapper.

        The bonus tracks are all great, though a tad dated. All three of them were leaked years ago, evident by the "D.O.A.(Death Of Autotune)" reference on "Whatcha Know About Me". He makes a joke and a punchline about DOA being late, while ironically mentioning the song on a 2012 but by it merely being a bonus track it doesn't matter as much. It's a great song none the less so it's inclusion is welcomed. The standout track out of the bonus songs is "God'll Cut You Down" no question which to this day is a top 5 Nino Bless song.

 All in all R.O.A.M. is a solid release. It stayed consistent quality wise with Nino's previous works while staying fresh and innovative. Nino's already high level of skill has increased over the years which bodes well for his album "A Bitch Named Karma" dropping later this year. If this mixtape is any indication of what's coming from Nino 2012 could potentially belong to Nino Bless.



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