Mixtape Review: Emilio Rojas, No Shame, No Regrets

Mixtape Review: Emilio Rojas, No Shame, No Regrets

Rochester Rapper makes boldly humble attempt at the mainstream.

Published June 13, 2013

(Photo: Courtesy of Emilio Rojas Music)

The road to success has been a long one for Venezuelan rapper Emilio Rojas. The Rochester, NY, native dropped out of college after making a name for himself on the local scene, and has continued to build a steady buzz over the years with his fiery delivery and unwavering confidence.

On his latest mixtape No Shame, No Regrets, Rojas showcases his raw lyrical ability and trademark delivery. Even when his words don't exactly rhyme, he makes it work, at least for the "digging in the crates" crowd because what's most interesting about his potential is the way he weaves in the politics of immigrant relations. These are the tracks that will define him when his pop music makes it to radio.

Good thing then that the tape opens with the title track, on which Emilio's flow crescendos introspectively from a planned meeting with Chris Lighty the day that he died to the boastful ("All my people gonna' see that I'm the best in my era/the best in this era/you d--k riders really that impressed with this era?/There hasn't been a classic album yet in this era/matter fact, I don't have any respect for this era)" to the more humble, there's "no stopping" him now.

Other peaks are offered via the Diplo-sounding "Lean On 'Em," which features Styles P, and "Seek You Out," which adds frequent Rojas collaborator Chris Webby.

By the end, Emilio has established himself as a a good example of how being a good rapper doesn't always translate to making good songs ("Shameless" had come off like a bland version of a Drake single, and the generic "Give the World" weighed his potential down). But it's clear that once he hooks his hook game up, the substance of the rest of his bars will really shine.

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Written by Jacob Rohn


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