January 07, 2023

Black Milk & Bishop Lamont - Caltroit (2008) ☠

*This is the official retail release
Contains 18 tracks total. 
The first mixtape version was released in 2007 on CD-R 
containing 19 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A. 
Genre: Hip-Hop 
Label Number: MH003
☠: Selected by Lass
© 2008 Music House
Producer/MC Black Milk is quickly becoming Detroit's hottest export. His 2007 full-length, Popular Demand, was one of the best hip-hop albums of the year, and his mixtapes have been consistently impressive. The trend continues with Caltroit, a joint project between Black and Aftermath signee Bishop Lamont (though the Cali rapper's name does not show up on the cover of the commercial release, only on the DJ Warrior street release, which had appeared a couple of months earlier with a different track order and has some songs not included here). Black Milk does not produce every track on the album, and Bishop Lamont doesn't rhyme on every one, either, but that doesn't make Caltroit any less theirs. Black's beats tend more toward the slightly off, sparse Midwestern sound that artists like J Dilla helped shape, but he also incorporates a lot of the scraunchy synths the West Coast has been defined around. This lines up nicely with the work that L.A. producers and Dr. Dre affiliates DJ Khalil and Focus contribute, and in fact all the artists, MCs, and producers work very well together in combination here. Ras Kass and Royce da 5'9" both bring strong verses to "Go Hard," and Atlanta native Stat Quo (despite the title, Caltroit brings in East Coast -- Busta Rhymes, for example -- and Southern rappers, and is the better for it) sounds good with Lamont on "On Top Now," which also features a cameo appearance from Dre himself. Uncommon for a mixtape, none of the tracks are filler -- and none, except for the intro, are under three minutes -- and none of the MCs spit subpar bars. Even the songs that have the predilection for sounding overdone and trite ("Mouth Music," for example, which, to put delicately, is about receiving certain favors on the dancefloor) manage to come across as interesting and unique, helped along no doubt by the excellent production. Caltroit helps to put to rest any lingering geographic disputes, and proves that the best results often come from a group effort.

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 tags: black milk and bishop lamont, caltriot, 2008, flac,