CHH’s own king of the trap recently dropped a free mixtape, Heavy Is The Head. Thi’sl’s previous album, Fallen King, was very successful considering the fact he is an independent artist. Now he’s been busy with his new mixtape a year later. If the album art is any indication, then this will be a good one! With a mixtape there is a risk of quantity over quality though. Heavy Is The Head has some really dope tracks, and in some ways Thi’sl manages to remain consistent and break away from that trend. Let’s dive in to the highlights.
Note: Thi’sl has released two different versions of the mixtape. There is a free version (that you can download HERE) and an iTunes version that features two exclusive tracks. The free version has a few speaking tracks that are not included in the iTunes version. This review is of the iTunes version of the mixtape.
Right away Thi’sl pushes his intense trap style with “The Come Up” and “The Delay”. He never has had the smoothest or quickest delivery, but Thi’sl’s ability to work with the production makes him the solid artist that he is. “The Come Up” is a perfect example of this. The production is on point with a dope beat, and the refrain is very well done. His delivery is some of the best in the project, but the production is what makes the track. In “The Delay” the terrific production continues. Just enough bass to complement the track and a solid beat save the sub-par delivery. The result of this combination is another pretty good track that just seems to be missing that extra factor.
The shortest track on the mixtape also happens to be my personal favorite. “Flex (Drop 40)” (feat. Dee-1) has a great hook plus top tier production. Thi’sl’s delivery is much better, and his vocals work perfectly with the beat. The intensity he usually pushes is different than Dee-1’s, but Dee-1 delivers a solid verse to make the track even better. Good luck getting this one out of your head!
After the trap-focused triplet to start the mixtape, Thi’sl lightens things up with “Cadillac Riding” (feat. Bhird). Don’t worry, backing off a little for him means the intensity is still there. Bhird’s refrain helps set a different feel for the track though. Thi’sl continues his commonly used theme of grinding hard to get out of struggles in the past. He was focused originally on money, but it’s different now.
Now, when Thi’sl really lightens the beat with “It’s All Good”, it doesn’t seem to click. His louder, intense style doesn’t mesh with the softer production. He sounds like he’s yelling. This may just mean the mixing and mastering could have been done better on the track, but for Thi’sl it may be best that he sticks with his style. I wasn’t a huge fan of KB going a little more pop-ish with a few songs, and Thi’sl doesn’t have the voice for it.
The first of the two exclusive tracks, “Dreamers” (feat. Tone Jonez), makes the purchase worth it. Tone Jonez delivers a solid refrain with a softer beat similar to “It’s All Good”. The difference is that Thi’sl manages to work better with a beat that has the stronger bass, working much better with his delivery. Even with the beat backs off for his second verse the bass is still there, but his delivery also is much better. He softens his voice, making it sound so much better. The track continues the theme, and Thi’sl tells a story of a dreamer who is struggling to find hope, “Her life is try’na choke her dreams out, but she’s gonna fight through everything and make her dreams count, fly baby don’t you see the wings, and God gave you ’em so you can chase them dreams”. The message, refrain, delivery, and production coming together make this track an amazing one.
The “Brother” and “Lean On Me” (both feat. Courtney Orlando) combo was a little disappointing. First, Thi’sl doesn’t even appear on “Brother”. Second, the Courtney Orlando singing really is the highlight of “Lean On Me”, while Thi’sl has solid lyrics, but at moments he suffers from the same vocal problem that he had in “It’s All Good”. Still, it’s not a bad track. The potential was there to make it even better, but the refrain and overall delivery is good enough to overcome the few weaker spots.
The final song I’d like to highlight is the second exclusive track, “Kingdom Come”. With this one, Thi’sl finishes the mixtape off with some serious intensity. This track is a serious pump up, and it makes me sad that it’s the last one in the project. The strong bass and heavier beat push Thi’sl’s intense style, and the combination is fantastic. It’s a great ending to the mixtape, and Thi’sl finishes with some solid lines, “Like my Savior, I was built for the struggle, I was built for the struggle, and the rain, ’cause troubles are coming, as long as we live on this Earth that’s a promise, but this Earth not my home, one day I’m gon’ open my eyes and see my Savior on throne, and my troubles all gone, Amen”.
Thi’sl continues to live up to his rep as a truly intense trap rapper. Heavy Is The Head won’t break any records, but it is a solid mixtape in its own right. Thi’sl is very consistent throughout the mixtape despite the occasional weak spot. Production is definitely the strongest point in the mixtape, and Thi’sl works extremely well with the more intense beats. There are a few awesome tracks and many good ones on this mixtape. I definitely recommend purchasing Heavy Is The Head to get “Dreamers” and “Kingdom Come” as well as the rest of this very solid mixtape.
Heavy Is The Head is available for sale on iTunes and other digital retailers.