Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Understudies "CC5: Collected Compliments"

Expanding the Backpack, 10/16/12

Not in the habit of sharing mixtapes on this blog, but this new 19 track collection of unreleased joints and loosies from Berkeley CA's Understudies Crew is surprisingly tight.  I've been watching these fellas grind in the Bay Area rap scene for a second now, and their hearts and heads are all in the right places when it comes to this hip hop shit.  "Collected Compliments" is the fifth and finest installment of their "CC" mixtape series, and features some of the best recorded Understudies stuff I've heard to date.  Core members of the crew such as Gee, Citizen, Sean E Depp and Manifest are all accounted for on the raps while production credits include the likes of Digital Martyrs, Myers, Cyberclops, and more.  Plenty of highlights to point out here, whether it's Poe effortlessly killing his verse on "Pressure Cooker" or Gee straight clownin' on fools on "Disclaimer."  Sean E Depp delivers one of his strongest songs with "Can I Help You?", flexing his calm flow over a smooth self-produced beat that perfectly compliments his style.  My favorite track on the album is probably Self Advocate's solo joint "The Tiller," a beautiful introspective number where Self flips some impressive styles for 6 minutes over a keyboard and guitar driven beat of his own crafting.  Hard to pick a proper "digital blog single" for this mix since a lot of the songs are short and unfinished, but "Without You" is a strong number by Gee and Foss that gives you a good sense of what this crew is like to listen to live.  Stream the song below and download the entire "CC5: Collected Compliments" mix legally for free HERE.  Also, be on the lookout for the long-belated official full-length Understudies album "One Night Only," which is dropping sooner than you think.

1. Kushy (Myers)
2. Blood, Sweat & Cheers (Gee, Manifest, Maintain)
3. Any Other Night (Foss & Fly Cobb)
4. Pressure Cooker (feat. ABNG) (Poe & Sean E Depp)
5. For The Moment (Gee, Foss, Manifest)
6. Disclaimer (Gee, Poe, JB Nimble)
7. Road Cats (Fly Cobb & Foss)
8. Gentlemen (Maintain & Myers)
9. Inhale (Remix) (Manifest & Foss)
10. Can I Help You? (Sean E Depp)
11. Kick Off (Manifest)
12. The Tiller (Self Advocate)
13. Without You (Gee & Foss)
14. Space Revisited, Part 2 (Foss)
15. Take'Em To Space (Sean E Depp & Poe)
16. Time Bomb Tickin' (Gee & Sean E Depp)
17. Cipe (Myers)
18. The Elders (Jazzmatazz) (Foss & Manifest)
19. One Night Only (Foss & Poe)

Download CC5 and visit the Understudies website

  The Understudies "Without You" (produced by Dakota) by elitwack

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