Something to Lose. The Arkansas-rep dives deep into what is now considered an underbelly to the world - defacing lies, handling poverty, running the streets, and the urban household. Does he manage to keep the audience's attention? Is he as lyrical as his heavy messages? Does the production complement? Let's find out. *in my Mr. Owl voice*
Fortunately, this should not be treated as the latest flavor-of-the-week mixtapes that have come from the forefront of today's hiphop community. However, this does come off as a rant album initially. The opening lines to "Introvention" - which are "You ain't gotta listen / I ain't come for that / It's been a long walk, and I ain't running back / I'm simply taking back the innocence you stole from us / Too many broken dreams, I just don't give a fuck" - are indeed echoed throughout the entire mixtape, but this was the least tasteful, though it was an attention-getter.
His delivery and content keeps the project from getting the "x" box clicked because both are emotional and provocative. It's organic, raw - not a line goes by after the intro that seems like a cliche' socially conscious rap record - with Goines' Southern flare and intelligent lyricism. For the content, imagine the intelligent ghetto tales from Nas mixed with early Outkast and their Dirty South delivery sprinkled with Kanye's emo ways toward love (so mash a little 808s and Heartbreaks, Aquemini and The N-word album together). Though this may seem like it leaves little room for something unheard of, Goines still adds his own twist to this project that is seen on Leaders Are Real People Too. The most noted feature was the poem laid down in "Wake Up" (and as much as I'd love to say who it is, there's no direct credit for it...).
The majority of the production, noting "Wasted Truth," "Fed Up," "Running," and "This Is It," carries out the theme Goines delivers to his audience. The production gets equally emotional, and maybe not as grand as it tried to be (imagine the underlying theme of White Men Can't Jump), but considering his indie route the overall project was executed well. The songs have their catchy moments, like the drip-drops in "We Made You," but overall it's full of militaristic beats tied with a wide variety of looped samples.
All-in-all, Goines has somehow successfully tied himself to the name people could closely associate him with - yep, Donald Goines, penman of Whoreson, Black Girl Lost, Daddy Cool, and so on - which in comparison to the other Goines (Donny Goines), I'd say the man behind Something To Lose has the upper hand for his honesty, intelligent yet street content and this project that carries a fistful of substance. Although this project seems a little rant-ish, there's no reason why Something To Lose deserves to be in the running for best mixtape of 2011.
Star's Grade: A-