Figgy Baby | Mixed Race Mix Tape

 
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Family Average: 4/7

Figgy Baby is a rapper, performer, and community builder that comes to the family from the place they call Los Angeles. On his latest album “Mixed-Race Mixtape” Figgy tackles a few heavy topics like struggling with your identity and masculinity. Was the family moved by his thoughts and ideas?

Listen along on Spotify and read on to find out:

 
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This is one cohesive album. It is a real look into his life, subconscious, memories, formation, struggles, and it is so incredibly honest.

“Come from the same pair of shoes all year.” That line like many others on this album tells an entire story and facet of his life without coming out and saying it. True poetry.

My friend and I have a theory that whenever an artist writes a song about their mama it’s always a great one. There's “Dear Mama” by Tupac “Hey Mama” by Kanye and “I’ll Be There” by Mac Miller among many others. Figgy Baby's “Mamas” can be added to that list. It’s just genuinely good and it sounds like he's smiling the whole time he's singing it.

“Tongue Tied” is a creative and again incredibly honest account of his frustrations with his native language: Spanish. “Tryna find my accent, like where the hell it went?” He has grown up surrounded by it, he can understand it, pronounce it and speak it, but not as easily as he’d like to. Not as easily as English. It’s like he has two first languages but none at the same time. How can someone fathom that? Listen to this song, actually this whole album, and you will be placed into that world.
Also, the frustrations with having a resource right there in his father yet it was never capitalized on, “all you had to do was speak to me.”“Shortcut” is an insightful internal monologue about an all too common interaction between a minority and the police. I feel like many can relate and many more should listen.

All of the mezclas are yes. Musically pleasing, the talking with the baseline. But most importantly what that voice of Brotha Jorrell is saying. It’s profound and not in your face, just plainly spoken, calmly and thought out.  Mezcla III especially with the analysis of the ever so familiar question “where are you from” and what thinking produces the urge to ask that question and why. The songs following all of the mezclas are all powerful and made even more so by the mezcla it follows.

I’ve been giving a lot of my words to the lyrics but the music also impressed me. It reminds me of Noname. The perfect music to go with a poet. Simple drums with the keyboard, just smooth and jazzy.

“Goodbye to Begin With” is another great track, all around, it is just full, complete.

This album was like a search for his identity out loud in song and story.
“I’m still learning to live.”

6/7

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I must be one of the “momma’s” Referenced in the opening track, because this album is for me baby! I have said this so many times it has basically become my catch phrase, but here it goes. I am a drummer in my spare time between work and blobbing, as a skin smacker this album has heaps of delicious bumps and beats for me to zone out to. It is also a perk that the fellas voice at the forefront pairs well with the tapping. This album is a prime example of when less is more. I am a fan of loud crushing distortion, and all that, but there is some nuance and skill that you just don’t get unless its done with real live acoustic instruments. Here is to dreaming how nice it would be to catch this act live.

5/7

 
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I’m on the fence about this one. It’s a really emotive and well-produced album, but I’m just not head over heels for it. I found a lot of the tracks to sound too similar -- perhaps because of repeated instrumentation. Nevertheless, Figgy Baby’s delivery is fluid -- almost like spoken word -- and the lyrics are genuine. The guy is trading in emotion and the heart behind it is palpable. It seems to draw some heavy inspiration from latin and jazz influences, and the layered instrumentals augment rather than overshadow the lyrics. A difficult feat! I’m also always floored by anyone who can make a record sound organic, improvised, or like a live performance. All in all, a little unvaried, but a cool listen.

4/7

 
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This album started strong spewing some prolific jargon of a prelude which lead into the first real song which made me really happy. Who doesn't like a Rhodes piano? And who doesn't LOVE that grooving bass line? I loved the first track not because of the backing but also Lyrically it was very strong. Sadly it seemed that while the lyrics continued to BANG through the album I felt that the melodies and the backing lacked heavily which tainted the meanings. The prolific interludes almost felt funny and somewhat phony as time went on and the album became more and more monotonous. Drums were great but somewhat oddly mastered? The snare went BOOM on some parts and the hi-hats made Fletcher Munson roll in his grave. The tone color became bland all tracks began to feel the same and the interludes couldn't even offer me salvation. But who couldn't love that Rhodes and bass?

3/7

 
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This album struck me as a very different take on Rap. Instead of the Bass driving the music, it was instead driven by a sharp drum beat and the keyboard and even at times the Saxophone.  It was almost like background music meets Rap. The lyrics seem very autobiographical on most tracks. "Hey Dad" and "Mama" painted very specific pictures of the parents, describing everything about them from how they'd react to situations to the type of clothes they'd wear. "Missing a Beat" was definitely poetic and had a somewhat different feel then the other songs. I liked many of these aspects of the album but then after a while of listening it became more and more of the same thing. I give this a

4/7

 
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Not a fan of Rap, no not a fan at all.  I don’t get it, I can’t hear it, I guess I never will understand this genre, but then again, my Dad said the same thing about the Rolling Stones and I hear them loud and clear, and enjoyed every single album they released. So I gave Figgy Baby another listen and I was surprised to hear jazz type saxophone and piano, the songs were kinda of catchy. The track that spoke to me was "Hey Dad" but maybe the title was calling me. I must admit that as I  ran through the different tracks i got bored, it all sounded exactly the same to me. There were some high points in this album but the monotony out weighted the positive. As I often to say less is more, i think that if Figgy had eliminated some of the songs, the album would benefit.

2/7

 
Sean Maldjian