Ode To Illmatic
It takes a brave man to do what Fashawn has done on Ode To Illmatic. The Fresno MC has taken beats from Nas’ seminal 1994 album and states in his introduction aimed to “pay homage to one of the greatest MCs in our generation” rather than bite the album. As great as his debut album Boy Meets World was, he could easily have fallen flat on his face by trying this, but, to his eternal credit, he makes a great job of it.
It can be quite hard to pinpoint why Fashawn is so good. His voice doesn’t have that distinctive twang of a Lil Wayne or Blueprint, he doesn’t try and be a punchline rapper nor does he aim to impress with verbal gymnastics. But when going in over these classic beats, he just seems to fit perfectly into the music. CA State Of Mind, his own take on NY State Of Mind and The World Is Yours highlights his ability over Premo and Pete Rock production and sets the benchmark for the rest of the mixtape.
The proof of his ability is that this mixtape doesn’t make the listener want to turn it off and put on the original. In fact, it makes the listener ride Fashawn’s version out and then play the original because it has come as a reminder of what a brilliant album it is. He even brings in Talib Kweli for a little cameo, replacing AZ on Life’s A Bitch. Fashawn doesn’t just hold his own, he takes another step up on the hip hop pedestal. All this fun for free? Baller. You can grab the entire thing, absolutely free, here.
Check out CA State Of Mind below for a taster while the mixtape is downloading.