Basile Benefit Bash with The True Believers, The Fortune Tellers, The Reverb Brothers, DJ Jon Mooneyham and more 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday VZD’s Restaurant & Club 4200 N. Western vzds.com 524-4203 $20 Friday, $10 Saturday
Philadelphia-hailing rapper Privaledge, who is known more locally for his
affiliation with Oklahoma City Thunder superstars Kevin Durant and James
Harden, released his new mixtape, JoeWorld, last week. The project, a free online release, does not disappoint.
Having listened to Priv’s first two projects, Itz a Privaledge and The Playbook, I could immediately tell from JoeWorld that he’s grown as an artist. He seems more mature and much more comfortable on each track. He is able to match his smooth, laid-back flow with each beat, regardless of the sound. His lyrical technique has never really been questionable, but he has undoubtedly improved in this area as well. It’s also more apparent this time around that he’s passionate about his music. Moreover, it’s clear that he’s done this before.
Priv is in good company on this project. The tape is hosted by DJ Skee and features the likes of Trina, Nipsey Hussle, Bun-B and even Durant. The project includes production from popular producer Boi-1da and Priv’s main producer and Oklahoma product, C.L. McCoy.
The tracks range from fun to honest and introspective. Tracks falling in the latter category are much stronger overall, but there’s nothing wrong with the fun ones, either. Throughout the mixtape, Priv raps about life, family, partying, success, haters and plenty more.
The opening track, “It’s Life,” is definitely one of the best. The song is about the struggles he faces as an up-and-coming rapper. This is one of the songs where Priv lets loose, honestly discussing his life as an artist. Also great is “Slums,” in which he speaks about growing up in a rough neighborhood in Philly. Both of these tracks feature smooth Boi-1da instrumentals, and great verses from Priv.
Among the fun songs are the obviously party-oriented “Sex & Weed” and the Durant-featured “Rolls Royce.” The former features a catchy yet superb beat from McCoy and is about simply having a good time. On the latter, Priv and KD rap back and forth with obvious chemistry over an upbeat instrumental provided by E. Jones. The lyrical contributions from both are pretty solid, and KD actually holds his own when paired with the Philly MC. Despite KD’s efforts, however, Priv commands the track.
While Privaledge might be known more for his ties with his NBA friends, he’s doing plenty on his own to build a reputation as a talented artist. The aforementioned tracks are only a small sample of what this tape has to offer. JoeWorld is a solid project from start to finish.