Mixtape Monday: Kirko Bangz's Progression IV, etc.


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X, The Houston Museum of Natural Science
Want to play a quick six degrees of separation? X (real name Jonathon Jackson) went to North Shore High School with Kirko Bangz. His story, however, feels absolutely nothing like Bangz's come-up: Jackson's tale involves suicide attempts, homelessness, drug addiction, born with Black Panther blood in him and salvation through music.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science dresses itself up in moody piano chords, vocal samples and straightforward storytelling, like an eyewitness account of the ills not only of Houston but what Jackson has faced. Equipped with a voice that teeters on Raekwon (minus the Shaolin mythology), X only lightens up on "Amoir Noir," where he travels through needing wine to chase the stress away through a double-time flow and Spanish strings. Download here.


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DJ Chose, Surveillance
We'll play Ratchet Advocate here and tell you that DJ Chose's Surveillance mixtape details everything about Texas Club Music you need to know in less than 60 minutes. It differs from the Bay Area/West Coast ratchet sound thanks to its reliance on drums, sexual conquest (and banality), but shares the similarity of simplicity leading to amazing results. You don't need a giant think-piece on the matter, just know that Chose's work ethic rotates in one frame: hard-hitting braggadocio with nary a care for anything else.

There's some Migos-couplet flow ("Bored") tossed in between the absolute synth monster "3rd Level" and "My Season," which pays tribute to E.S.G.'s "Swang & Bang." Don't know how often Chose leaned towards Atlanta -- there are plenty of Future-isms here, chorus-wise -- but it makes for a pretty decent marriage of the two levels of Southern ratchet. Download here.


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