No. 2 Slaine – The Devil Never Dies Mixtape (2010)
Album: Devil Never Dies Mixtape
1. The Religion (prod. Silvamore)
2. My Girl, My Wife, My Mother My Bitch (prod. LuBalz)
3. The Deadzone (prod. Stoupe, cuts by Reel Drama)
4. Black and Blue Flag ft. Jaysaun (prod. Silvamore)
5. Thru The Rain ft. Blacastan (prod. Silvamore)
6. Off The Sidewalk ft. Cyrus Deshield (prod. Falside)
7. Going Down ft. Jaysaun (prod. Silvamore)
8. The Worst (prod. Statik Selektah)
9. Old English II ft. Esoteric (prod. Esoteric)
10. Burn ft. Amadeus & Chilla Jones (prod. Sicknature)
11. Envy ft. Termanology (prod. Moss)
12. It Ain’t Happenin ft. Amadeus & Blacastan (prod. Falside)
13. It’s Too Late ft. Amadeus (prod. Double Chamberz)
14. Science Of the Trife ft. Ill Bill & Q-Unique (prod. C. Lance)
15. Settin’ It Off ft. Reks, Jaysaun & Steven King (prod. Statik Selektah)
16. Trail Of Blood (prod. Statik Selektah)
18. Mind Of A Criminal (Remix) (prod. LuBalz)
Slaine was sure to be excited about the release of his debut album, A World Without Skies. Then came word that he needed to pay for sample clearance and the project would not release on the anticipated date in October. But rather than sulk over spilled milk, Slaine went right back to the lab and put together the mixtape, The Devil Never Dies for his fans. This wasn’t just slapped together. It couldn’t have been. I do know that Slaine, according to his Twitter account and the Outro of this mixtape, was hitting the studio for all night sessions trying to get this mixtape completed. Not only did he succeed in completing the project, but he earns our #2 spot for Mixtape of the Year.
How did he pull it off? Slaine is a bad man and a talented artist, that’s how. He has always had all the tools to be considered one of the dopest emcees in the game, and The Devil Never Dies just proves that point. This mixtape abounds in dope wordplay and self-deprecating rhymes.
On Black & Blue Flag, Slaine’s Special Teamz partner, Jaysaun drops some bars over some Silvamore production. This track is hot. Silvamore has some organ sample on here that sounds like it belongs in the Phantom Of The Opera. He also utilizes some eerie choir vocal that completes the mystique of the track. Jaysaun and Slaine waste no time hammering their words into the listner’s ears. Check this lyrical snippet from Slaine’s verse:
I’m a cold blooded soldier, don’t think I can’t bleed, slide with the avalanche, dance with the stampede, they say I ain’t have a chance, no it can’t be, isn’t it something how I’m bunching up your panties…
The sickness really is just getting started at this point because this type of flow and these dark beats are relentless. For instance, Falside (one of my favorite producers) gives Slaine a dope track to body on the joint, Off The Sidewalk. It’s a little bit smoother than what I am used to hearing Slaine flow over in part to the dope hook provided by Cyrus DeShield. But Slaine makes this beat his own. He tells you he is releasing “a ruthless product”. It’s Slaine’s “take no shit” attitude that dominates not only this track but the entire mixtape. You get the sense that you do not want to get in the way of Slaine’s dreams and objectives.
The last track of the mixtape is one of the most intense criminal narratives I have heard in a long time. LuBalz is responsible for the dope production on the Mind Of A Criminal Remix. Orchestra strings and synth lead the way for Slaine to narrate this story. Slaine gives you a look at the criminal mentality through rhyme. He details the criminal life of Ronnie. The story is centered around the robbery of a pharmacy so that Ronnie can score some pills to sell on the street. In my mind, Slaine’s delivery of the story is just as good if not better than any other attempt that’s been done in the last ten years.
This mixtape is raw boom bap. The beats all knock hard. Slaine’s lyrics are intelligent, self-confident, self-loathing, and belligerent all at the same time. He makes no apologies for who he is as a person. We, on the other hand, will applaud him for his efforts. His skill and ability on microphones is severely under-valued. He is amazing with his word play. He is bringing the sound of the streets into your living rooms. There are so many dope tracks on this release that it’s hard to count. You must download this if you have not already done so. And when February 2011 comes around we must all do the right thing and purchase A World With No Skies and reward a talented man who puts his life to music.