Over the past 20 years, the Bay has produced some of hip hop's most consistent artists. Names like E-40, Too $hort and Yukmouth have helped put NorCal on the map. With Maxwell Park, Bobby Brackins is looking to prove that he can continue charting progress, drawing from the "Hyphy" sound that originated in the Bay, but also representing LA (where Brackins currently resides) and mixing in that ratchet-rap sound that's taking over national airwaves.
The 24-year-old opens Mawell Park by showing his ability to control tempo on the Nic Nac produced "Open Yo Legs," a song that's fairly self-explanatory. Though the subject matter is nothing innovative, Bobby gives the listener a sample of what's in store with a delivery that's reminiscent of a younger Lil Wayne.
On "Jungle Fever" Bobby plays on the 1991 Spike Lee classic, but with a twist: "White Benz on black rims" and "black and white diamonds." He later shows that he knows how to make a radio song with "Rari," which features Ray J on the hook. Brackins himself doesn't sing, but like fellow Angeleno Ty$, he can change pitch mid-flow like a singer would do.
On "Pearl," the braided MC gives the down south fans something to ride out to with the Trev Case-produced banger. "You ain't never met a n---a like me before/Don't need security I just go where the people go," boasts Brackins.
Case also laced the track for "Symphony," which offers an appropriate change of pace for the rapper, whose rhymes are complimented perfectly by Forest Lipton's sultry vocals.
Elsewhere, Brackins gets some help from Bay area legend E-40 (who kills it for his part) on "Famous," as well as a dope verse from Kreayshawn on "ESO."
Though at times Maxwell Park seems a bit redundant, with most of the songs focusing on typical Top 40 hip hop subject matter — money, cars and women — Brackins shows flashes of brilliance and even proves that he knows how to make songs that will get played in clubs. And despite filler like the generic "Kindergarten" and "Doin' Too Much," Brackins puts together a solid mixtape that could rival a number of this year's studio albums.
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(Photo: Tycoon Status)