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Still Unsigned...The Mixtape

Da Brakes

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Wow this was nice! I loved every track on there...I'm going to put this on rotation for a while.

Stand out tracks...

Back Then...Dope rhymes to classic beat

Feel like quitting...Just awesome.

The beatbox track....Inventive beat...had me bobbing my head without even realizing.

The acapella track...some dope rhymes

32 bars...It was really dope to hear Ace's complex rhyming over something bouncy.

Open You Eyes....The best track in the mixtape!

Good job man!

Thanks man!

By the way The Beatbox Track was done completely by mouth. No computer arranging, no nothing! That guy is a genius!

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Its great brakes, i like "wannabe" too, at first i wasnt sure, but its so infectious. i love "feel like quittin" too. You've used some brillient samples and you've got better lyrically too, it really frustrates me whe listening to things like "feel like quittin" and "open your eyes" coz u havnt made it yet and all these crap rappers have..

Kontempt is hilarious and is that Loretta call real? woooooooooooaaaaaaaaahhh Loretta left a voice mail for a stranger.

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For those who have yet to download the mixtape this is a review done by Fuq! I think he did a great job!

1. Intro – In comes a true intro as to what Brakes cd is suppose to do to you.

2. What’s Happening – Brakes tells new listeners what he’s done, and reminds his old listeners what he’s been through. The chorus is honest. The verses are honest. The song is honest. “It’s all happening, slowly but surely/ Give it a couple a years, I’ll have all of you adoring me/”. The production is genius. Definitely a track that can persuade new fans.

3. Lyrical Fitness – In a quick summary, Brakes shows you why if the tongue was anything like our abdomen, he’d have an extreme six pack. In comparison to him, “You tryna spit flow, you can just about dribble.” The song is intense. Brakes delivery is aggressive and smooth at the same time.

4. The DJ Track – So Brakes takes us back and rips it over a DJ Jazzy Jeff production. This would be impressive as a live song. I imagine actually meeting Jeff, he got some type of permission to do this, or just influenced enough to use it. Brakes values his influences, although I imagine he scored big points with the JJFP forum, which his sound has been frequent at in recent years.

5. I Make This Look Good Skit – I instantly knew what this was going to be. It was taken from the movie “Men In Black”. I listened to what was said even more then when I’d usually watch this movie. Perhaps a deeper reference to an emcee? I wish it was worked to say something other than “We are the Men In Black”. But hey, who else would’ve done such a thing? It’s just a shame they didn’t do it first, isn’t it? I thought this was a very smart usage by Da Brakes.

6. Wannabe – This has been a favorite of quite a bit of people. And I’d like to include myself in that pile. Following the Brakes ever so often, I wondered if Brakes could bring a more diverse flow than what he has, or we pretty much got what we were gonna get. This track answered my question. Very impressive.

7. Back Then – Now he used an excerpt from ‘The Jacksons: The American Dream” (the VH1 special that’s frequented from time to time) “A Touch of Jazz” is one of my favorite beats to go over, but I’ve personally never recorded anything to it. I just love listening to it. You’ve got to truly bring it, and Brakes has done so. More points to JJFP fans alike.

8. The Beatbox Track – The opening was decent. But right away, I think this track will be a skip over by most people. It’s too much commotion for the average ear, but Brakes flow is top notch. It’s like going hundreds of miles per hours like they do in Nascar, yet the track is more than just a one way circle.

9. Open Your Eyes – I wondered about Brakes content too, and this track answered it for me. He loves hip hop, and rightfully stands for it. There are in fact negative things in hip hop, and Brakes wants you to see it with this track. A good vibe was brought by everything in the song.

10. Da Ace Voicemail – Da Ace, a Texas emcee, offering words of encouragement. These two, are a nice combination. Hence the next track.

11. 32 Bars – A track that could be a car thumper. It reminds me of Nas’s “U Know My Style”. Both of them are impressive. I like being able to laugh at lines. And I’ll note one when Ace said “Only time they’ve been locked up, is when they were stuffed in their locker.” Very smart punchlines throughout the record.

12. Duane ‘The Brain’ Voicemail – One of Brakes buddies offering words of advice

13. Ode To Katie – This track became an instant favorite for me. “I’m yours for four seasons/ Sittin’ there chillin, I smile for no reason.” It’s quite smooth and a bit different from the usual love songs, unless this was like 91-94. Thanks for bring back a good vibe Brakes!

14. Mic Rider – Remember Busta Rhymes “Knight Rider”? Well, Brakes produced up something similar, quite the same. A nice one to kick in the car.

15. The Acapella Track – Very nice delivery. Perhaps, the DJs that enjoy this one, will remix it.

16. Unknown Caller Voicemail – If this is in fact real, I feel sorry for the girl, but she said she loved his mixtape. So I don’t think she minded. I hope she didn’t.

17. Feel Like Quitting – With thousands of emcees trying to make it in the game, who hasn’t felt like this? When you’re honest, and expressing with your true skill level, you won’t go wrong with me. If I don’t like your sound personally, I can at least feel it to the point to give you respect for what you’ve done. But I like the Brakes sound, so he doesn’t have to worry.

18. KonTempt Voicemail Skit – Just an short entertainment usuage of Brakes track titles. haha

19. KonTempt “What Is Hip Hop” – I loved this beat. It’s got that mix of something Wu-Tang did when they came out, and that West Coast vibe of a “killer”. This was a nice bonus, but I wonder how open listeners will be. The chorus is really cool. That’s enough to hook people in.

Overall Summary – There was things I liked and didn’t like. I liked Brakes choice of production. When I asked him about this mixtape, he told me it wasn’t going to be like the typical mixtape. And he was right, but at the same time, I thought it was. This is not for bad reasons though. I mean in the sense of the hunger for what he wants out the game. I wouldn’t deem this a classic, even for what it is. But I will say, it’s a good experience to see what’s the next moves he wants to make after he looks over the result of Still Unsigned’s feedback. The cd is only 40 mins. It would’ve been nice to include songs from his previous releases, but that’s why they got promoted differently. But he could have at least included some snippets maybe. Brakes work ethic, I’m sure is very well in hand, but there are a lot of other artists that hit it so much harder. But you know the saying, “Quality is better than quantity.” It’s just a shame that the artists that tend to “hustle harder” than Da Brakes are making lackluster material. But even he should know, there are some artists that aren’t like that. Da Brakes has been putting together a nice catalog for himself and finding his audience. Hopefully, he finds the success he’s looking for. Until then, he’s Still Unsigned.

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The Mixtape is impressive Brakes, I love listening to it, Open Your Eyes is my favoirite track, I do like wannabe but I tend to turn over to Open Your Eyes and Feeling Like Quitting, Great Job man, glad its actually done haha, Good work

I rate it 8.5/10.

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Lets hope so!

By the way, here's the final tracklisting:

1. Intro

2. What’s Happening?

3. Lyrical Fitness

4. The DJ Track [feat DJ Jazzy Jeff]

5. “I Make This Look Good” [sKIT]

6. Wannabe

7. Back Then

8. The Beatbox Track [feat Faith SFX]

9. Open Your Eyes [feat Lady C]

10. Da Ace Voicemail [sKIT]

11. 32 Bars [feat Da Ace]

12. Duane ‘The Brain’ Voicemail [sKIT]

13. Ode To Katie

14. Mic Rider

15. The Acapella Track

16. Unknown Caller Voicemail [sKIT]

17. Feel Like Quitting

18. Kon-Tempt Voicemail [sKIT]

19. **BONUS TRACK**- What Is Hip Hop?

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