While browsing through social media outlets today I noticed TuGun Cannon had a new mixtape that just released. I thought to myself I have to check that out later and kept scrolling. Then I see another person post it, then another. So I cleared my schedule and decided if these people are speaking highly of it I had to check out what the fuss was about.
I grabbed my headphones and an energy drink to prepare myself to soak in the music for the next hour. I turn on the first track “5.0 Intro” and immediately hear one of my favorite comedians Aziz Ansari. I like where this is going already. The beat comes in and has a bounce to it. “Last time your b*tch saw me she passed out from loss of breathe” he goes off on a braggadocios run of punch lines until he ends the opening song with a snippet from Menace II Society. It was solid way to start the tape. It didn’t fully draw me in yet, but it definitely made me want to listen more.
The next track is PWR featuring Nefertitti Avani which is over Jay-Zs Somewhereinamerica instrumental. One thing I will say is most artists fail at trying to recreate songs over a great artists beats such as Jay, Em, Biggie, Pac etc. but on this he really made it his own. I think the fact he didn’t try to do the usual flip of the chorus in the song helped him pull it off. Nef usually sings and she is good at it, but on this song she is actually rapping and quite well might I add. She’s very confident and comfortable on the beat.
As I continue through the tape I can appreciate TuGuns consistent delivery. He doesn’t sound like a local artist. TuGun plays with the flow on “Phuk with me” and goes into a smooth melodic club anthem called “I God It” that reminds me of something Future or Lil Wayne would do minus the autotune. It works though. No matter what flow or style he dives into his delivery is his rock.
“Laughin 2 The Bank” is a gutter track filled with punch lines by Cannon and featured artist Young Shank. “Bring the money back like the sh*t is recalled”; the chorus is definitely one of the strongest on the tape so far. TuGun and Darren Anthony do the Pound Cake beat justice on “Gettin 2 It” and the track over Bound 2 that follows is also a good showing. He has handpicked some of the doper recent beats to go in over up to this point.
“Smokin Wit My Lil Mama” really suited his style. It has a vague sample in the background on the beat as he paints a picture of his time spent with his female smoking partner.”David Blaine” is a very hungry, something out of nothing anthem. The bass bangs while he describes how he reached his lowest point, but kept working to the point where he is today.
I notice the mixtape is almost coming to close when “The Knowing” comes on. The chorus really resonates with me. It’s about loyalty or in this case the lack there of. “Ride for my n*ggas they live through these verses.. Die for nothing cuz that defeats the purpose” was one of the strongest bars on the project. You can really hear the hurt in his voice when he speaks on this track.
His songs “RSIEW” and “Sing about Me Cleveland” are both perspective pieces that speak on subjects varying from the justice system, social status, religion and more. The mixtape was filled with a lot of typical mixtape songs so it was good that he brought in these to make the project better rounded.
The last song on the tape is “No Apologies” is over Drakes instrumental for his recent song Furthest Thing. It definitely makes the tape ride out the right way. I take my headphones off and take the final sip of my Red Bull to begin gathering my thoughts on the tape as a whole.
TuGun is a solid artist. His delivery is definitely industry ready and his beat selection is great. Although, I would have liked to hear more original production I understand it is a mixtape and can still appreciate the instrumentals he chose to use. Lyrically he is good. At times his punch lines are things I’ve heard before or lack complexity, but he always manages to drop a gem or two on a song which I can appreciate. Overall I would say I recommend this tape. It’s a good listen and I didn’t find it being a chore to listen to like a lot of Ohio artists I check out. He had a nice selection of skits from fan favorite movies such as Paid In Full to add flavor in between songs as well. I actually enjoyed it front to back. “I God It” sounds like the obvious single off of the tape and will probably be in my rotation for a while. I give the TuGun Cannon effort a 8/10.
Download: TuGun Cannon – 5.0