Archive for the ‘Mixtape Reviews’ Category

XV Zero Heroes Mixtape Review

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Mixtape Reviews

Here is my review for what I feel is a completely underrated and unrecognized mixtape.

XV

Zero Heroes

Review

 

1. Wichita—4/5

2. Interlude

3. When We’re Done—3.5/5

4. Smallville—5/5

5. That’s Just Me—3.5/5

6. Awesome—4.5/5

7. Pictures on My Wall—5/5

8. Textbook Stuff—5/5

9. All for Me—4.5/5

10. UFC—4/5

11. Foreign Exchange Student—2.5/5

12. Swervin—2.5/5

13 Best Days of Our Lives—4/5

14. Interlude

15. The Last Heroes—4/5

 

 

Track Rating: 4/5

Intangibles: 4.2/5

OVERALL RATING: 4.1/5=82%

 

 

Track Overview

 

Wichita- If there’s one way to make sure you catch your listeners ear it’s making a Just Blaze produced track the first song on your mixtape. The instrumental is just so smooth and XV laces the beat with lyrics about his hometown. XV’s storytelling ability is the lyrical highlight of this nostalgic track. I especially enjoyed how the beat faded out and then returned, reminiscent of Common’s classic track “Resurrection”. 4/5

 

When We’re Done- I do like this track however I feel like the whole “reach for the stars” concept is a little worn out and unoriginal. The beat is a bit boring however XV saves the track with solid lyrics. 3.5/5

 

Smallville- Up next is one of the mixtape’s highlights. The J. Cole produced “Smallville” not only spotlights the young producer’s talent, but also XV’s lyrical prowess, ex: “Teachers thought I’d never come out of my shell and well, now I hop on beats and go pistachio”. 5/5

 

That’s Just Me- For me XV’s flow is the highlight of this braggadocios track. The beat is pretty dope, however I’m not a big fan of the hook, it gets a bit repetitive. XV does drop some witty bars though “I’m like prince Akeem I keep a semi with me”.  3.5/5

 

Awesome- This track had been around for a while before the tape dropped but that doesn’t make me love it any less. The beat is just so catchy and the hook is infectious. Also Pusha delivers a nice verse. 4.5/5

 

Pictures On My Wall- I can’t say enough about this song. It’s probably my favorite on the mixtape and one of my favorites of the entire year. Seven’s production is breathtaking, the Biggie sample is perfect, and XV paints a beautiful story of perseverance. The last verse of the song is one of my favorite in recent memory. 5/5

 

Textbook Stuff- I didn’t think it was possible to have so much greatness back to back in a mixtape. Seven once again crafts a wonderful beat with a great Imogen Heap sample and XV flows on it very well. However, the highlight of this track is easily Kendrick Lamar’s feature. This track was really what opened my eyes to Kendrick since Section .80 didn’t drop until July. He drops some insane lines “”I’m in the Back of a Black Buick finna Black out like February ain’t that’s how Blacks do it right?” 5/5

 

All for Me- This track strays away from the emotional tone put forth by the two previous songs. XV and Cyhi provide great verses about newfound fame. The only thing I’m not very fond of is the Vado feature. 4.5/5

 

UFC- Up next is the tape’s most ignorant track, but its still straight fire. The utilization of the doo-whop sample in the beat is just too dope. 4/5

 

Foreign Exchange Student- Now to my least favorite track on the tape. This song is just out of place. The Miami Horror beat is a little corny and XV seems to be trying his hardest to find the right pace for his flow throughout the entire first verse. I’m also not a big fan of XV talking through half of the song. 2.5/5

 

Swervin- This track is just boring. It sounds like Vizzy is doing his best Drizzy impression throughout all the verses. The concept is also a little unfulfilled and the drums get really annoying. 2.5/5

 

Best Days of Lives- Vizzy gets back on track with this one. His contemplative lyrics really fit the simple yet enticing beat and Donnis comes through with a great feature. 4/5

 

The Last Hero- Although I’ve never been a big Patrick Stump fan…nothing can keep me from loving the emotion XV comes with on the mixtape’s last track “Live from the dust of ground zero!” This track is XV’s exclamation to the hip-hop world that he is here to stay. 4/5

OVERVIEW

All in all this is absolutely one of the best mixtapes of 2011. XV seems to have it all. His lyrics are on point, his flow is dope, and most importantly he can craft a TERRIFIC song, something many young artists struggle with. The most disappointing part about this tape is the lack of recognition it has gained for the still somewhat unknown rapper. Vizzy has what it takes to garner mainstream success but unless he finds a way to produce some kind of hype, his debut album, The Kid With the Green Backpack, is going to go unseen by a wide audience much like Zero Heroes has. XV deserves success (He’s dropped 12 mixtapes!) and I sincerely hope people catch on and provide him with the backing he needs in order to drop an influential debut.

 

OVERALL RATING: 4.1/5