(Photo: Board of Administration)
Since he signed to Maybach Music Group in late 2013, Fat Trel's stock has gone up. The DMV rapper sits more comfortably in mellowed-out moods — even when the beat hits hard — for his latest mixtape, Gleesh.
The Sex, Drugs, Money, Guns follow-up features the same fight-night beats that have helped make MMG the force it is today. Like before, one of Trel's greatest strengths is his ability to tailor his flows to match different tempos. Trel may be signed to a major label, but he still keeps it street on songs like the mixtape's opening track, "Datz Kool," which started out with Trel rapping, "F*** police, I smoke like I ride and I ride like a G/ And if I'm in the Chi, I'ma ride to the D with a 9 on my side."
He's a lyrical heavyweight as well on "That Street" and the Rich Hil-assisted boss anthem "Treez Liquor," the latter of which features Trel at his fiery best, speeding up, while revealing some of his more remorseful thoughts. "Drinking and smoking/ These pistols I'm totin' will have your a** sleep on the pavement./ F*** her for three hours, I'm out and about on the daily/ My mama be trippin', my chopper be kickin', I know she regret that she made me/ I trap with my thugs, just doing my drugs/ And these are the things that I love," rapped Trel.
Trel's new "bawse," Rick Ross, made a cameo on the Young Chop-produced "Shoot" remix showing the duo's instant chemistry. And fellow MMG/DMV rhymer Wale came through on the fairly stripped down "In My Bag." To his credit, Trel was never outdone on a track.
Being from where some of the locals call the "midieast," his sound reps for the East and bangs like the South, as does his bars. Songs like "Walkin' Thru My Hood," "How You Feel" and "What We Doing" combine melodic undertones with hard-hitting bass and feverish snare. Trap music fans will feel at home here.
But it is Gleesh's finale track, "Rest in Peace," that is one of the most important tracks for Trel — a rare showing of his raw and emotional side. Whereas much of the tape is simply another good effort for him — a filler of street tales, women and substance-laced party nights, his usual lane — this one, perhaps, is a glimpse of what's to come once he gets his mind in album mode.
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