On the very first track of his new mixtape, Sugar Tongue Slim a.k.a. STS flows like Em and Jay and Kanye, all at the same time. Aptly named after Jay-Z’s “birth” track on the classic Black Album, “Dec 5” is an inspirational, powerful, and hilarious track that says, “I’m here! Now pay attention!” He also talks back to Jay-Z on “F*** a Hook” (which recalls another Jay song, “No Hook”) on which he speaks directly to a sample—which is both funny and brilliant. The entire album borrows heavily from Jay-Z’s mythology and album catalog, in flow, in theme, and in samples and content. He even calls himself “the new Vito.” Hovito better watch his back.
For the rest of the tape, STS brings a unique flow mixing styles from the upper and lower states (he hails from Philly and Atlanta) that is constantly innovative. You never where he’s going from song to song—hell, from verse to verse even. This is easily the most versatile new rapper I’ve heard this year.
Also featuring verses from Black Thought, Truck North, Cassidy, and Dice Raw; samples from a wide variety of sources (well used and well-placed) including Hova, Sade, Young Money, and La Roux (on the amazing “In for the Kill”); and production from Don Cannon, Focus, Emile, and Sean C & LV. From Tapemasters Inc.
If this isn’t the best mixtape I’ve heard this year, it’s damn close.