Swift Tongues – The Last MC (mixtape)
Mixtapes have been an intricate part of Hip-Hop’s underground subculture for almost as long as the genre has been around. Seeing an artist get some serious buzz on that scene is often a good indicator of soon-coming commercial success. That was certainly the case for 50 Cent. Mixtapes are, essentially, the ear to the streets. For an old school New Yorker like myself, those streets are usually not in Seattle, so I popped in Swift Tongues The Last MC with less than great expectations.
First track was pleasantly strong and solid. Even the recording had a studio quality to it (something mixtapes generally aren’t concerned about). ST has a nice and smooth delivery, and doesn’t have to try too hard. My favorite one-liner comes from the hook where he calls himself “Davinci of the flow”. The beat is not overproduced (a pet peeve of mine for a lot of today’s music). Its production is a combination of sampled material and tight drum programming, with some sparse fx.
In classic mixtape fashion, many of the songs make use of beats from well-known Hip-Hop tracks like Jay Z’s “Run This Town” and B.o.B’s “Airplanes”, to name a few. On “B” he uses Eminem’s “Stan” instrumental to humorously talk about his deadly infatuation with Beyonce. In my opinion though, this was a poor choice of beats. It’s way too slow for ST, causing his flow to sound tired and strained. For Eminem, the slower the better, but that doesn’t work for most rappers, and it didn’t work here. ST seems to shine on more energetic tracks like “Stop Tellin’”. He sounds most in his element when he doesn’t have to hold back. The beat on this one is tough as hell. I’m not sure if it’s original or not, but either way, ST makes it his own.
At the end of it all, I like Swift Tongues: his ever-so subtle West Coast accent, his tone that has just the right amount of grit at the end of sentences, and his steady lyrical delivery. Is he the last mc? No, I don’t think so. He may, however, be the first in awhile to come from Seattle and pleasantly surprise the masses. Definitely one to watch out for.