The official “WeRThe229 Tour Mixtape” features headlining artists SwishaMan Slim, Phlame and Young Lino. (Special photo)
ALBANY — A cursory listen to the official “WeRThe229 Tour Mixtape,” which features an equal number of songs by tour headliners SwishaMan Slim, Phlame and Young Lino, offers a checklist of hard-knock-life rap topics: weed, women, guns, haters, more women, money and the come-up.
But buried in the good-time hip-hop from three of Southwest Georgia’s bright young stars are real-life lessons all too familiar to those from the 229. Nowhere is that stark reality more evident than in Phlame’s “Dear Streets,” which features a guest appearance by Quabo.
After a verbal tour featuring the often mean streets of his hometown, Albany’s Phlame plaintively notes he’s “Tryin’ to get up out these streets.”
SwishaMan Slim has perhaps the two best tracks on the mixtape — “That We,” which features a guest rap by Truth, and “Get ‘Em Swish” — but Lino and Phlame are equal to the standards set by their tourmate. The former’s “We Gone Get This Money,” “Pilot” and “Million Dollar” are among his most notable tracks, while the latter’s excellent “Wake & Bake,” which features a guest rap by SwishaMan, and “Ridin’” are among Phlame’s standouts.
In “Wake,” Phlame boasts “I know we goin’ down, but my stock steady risin’,” but later the song offers perhaps the album’s most poignant moment: “I come from a city where you try to come up, they bringin’ you down. And most of ‘em black … what a shame on my kind.”
The “WeRThe229” tour mixtape is meant to provide the backbeat to a house party, and it fills that bill. But listen deeper, and you realize these young artists have something to say.