October 16, 2013 in Album Reviews, Editorials, Features, Music by

Don’t Spam Me, Bro: Mac Reviews Donté Thomas’ Mixtape, “C.O.L.O.R.S.”

So yesterday, my friend was on Facebook looking for local clothing designers. I jumped into the rather active comment stream to suggest a few burgeoning brands, and a few moments later I received a Facebook notification. I was expecting a “thank you” or “I’ll check them out” type of response; however, I instead received a link to some random rapper’s mixtape.

This is the type of thing I usually chuckle about, but this particular artist had done the same thing on the We Out Here Facebook after we’d dropped another artist’s link just the day before. So at this point, I’m looking at this guy like a spammer. The way I see things, dropping an unrelated ad in the middle of someone else’s productive conversation is disrespectful. I didn’t ask for a commercial break from what I was doing. My email address is not a secret. He might as well have tagged me in a picture of some discount Jordans.

But I still didn’t say anything; at least not until the owner of the thread did, and even then I tried to keep it cheeky. Interestingly, the spammer humbly apologized and removed the post. There was some discussion on helping the rapper get better promo but the rapper was resistant, insisting that he’d used conventional methods such as introductory emails to blogs and proper management with no response or results. By contrast, he says he does get responses from spamming, and added that his mixtape numbers were “exceptional”. I laughed and moved on, but just a few hours later, he responded to yet another WOHM post, asking how he could get on the site. I told him to send an email. Well he sent an email, so a response he shall get.

Donté Thomas is a 19 year old rapper hailing from Portland, OR. His new mixtape, C.O.L.O.R.S. (Courtesy of Love of Real Sound), dropped on HotNewHipHop.com on Monday the 14th and has 730 plays, 59 downloads and 6 likes as of this morning. There are also 311 FB “likes” and 36 tweets; however, most of the tweets came from Donté’s Twitter account.

In all honesty, the 20-track project is not bad. I let it play through for the most part without skipping ahead or going back to replay anything. Donté comes off as a cadence rapper, relying heavily on a consistent flow with occasional double times rather than powerful punchlines or dynamic switch ups. He does well creating scenes and expressing trains of thought but doesn’t really get into story-telling. As such, his youth is often expressed in the form of questions and a certain disregard for the answers that may already exist to them.

The selection of industry instrumentals to rap over was a bit underwhelming to me. He did well to pick beats that fit his preferred tempo, but that lent to a rather stiff feeling over a 20-track spread, with the exception of track 14 (Rap Like That) which offers a challenge.  The beats were soulful, and that’s cool, but the lack of bangers hurt. Tracks 2 (The Ride) and 20 (Word Is Bond) stood out to me lyrically. The album featured verses from YT, Chowder, G6 and Marki$ Apollo, fellow rappers with similar rap styles. 

Overall, the record was above average. I’d give it a “B-“. Thomas’s style sounds young and has a quality in his voice that reminds me of a less developed Cassow. I’d like to see him expand his style and rap on more dynamic beats. More than anything, I’d like to see him find better ways of promoting his music because he certainly has the potential to do something with his art and nobody is looking to work for a spammer.

Best of luck to the young fella!

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