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Charli Baltimore, ‘Hard 2 Kill’ – Mixtape Review

Charli Baltimore
Charli Baltimore

If you think about it, rapper Charli Baltimore’s career has been pretty eventful to say the least. In the mid-’90s, the Philadelphia native met the Notorious B.I.G., became romantically involved with him and then got a deal with Lance “Un” Rivera’s record label, Untertainment. However, after a few noteworthy singles and guest appearances, she disappeared, only to return to the scene in 2008.

Now she’s back with her latest release ‘Hard 2 Kill,’ featuring Trick Trick, Cash Paid, L Streetz and others, and right off the bat, Baltimore shows that her flow has only improved over the years. You can hear this on the tape’s first two cuts ‘BMB’ and ’I Be.’

On the song ’1 Queen,’ Baltimore delivers an impressive lyrical performance over a catchy baseline and deep piano riff. Towards the song’s end, the music drops and Baltimore spits a cappella, but the punch lines she uses fail to hit as hard as they could.

But she redeems herself on the song ‘Rated M,’ where the producer mutes the entire track, giving it an underwater effect. Between Baltimore’s slow flow and the murky background music, the song is a complete winner.

And on the cut ‘Used 2,’ featuring the singer India, Baltimore suspends her tough exterior and pens rhymes about loss of love and regret. “Staring at our pictures / Wondering if there’s any way to fix us / Just trying to get through it / Can’t figure out where you and I blew it,” she raps.

But the lyrical intensity returns on ‘The 1,’ featuring Mel, where Baltimore does the tough-talk thing over a bouncing tuba sound. And although much of the tape works both sonically and lyrically, there are a few boring moments like on the song ‘Hunnids,’ where an uninventive hook is used.

Another misstep is the cut ‘Goodbye,’ because the beat selected sounds completely bland. But things balance out on the song ‘Queen 2 Be,’ where producers sample the song ‘She Is Your Queen,’ used in the movie ‘Coming to America.’ Baltimore’s tight delivery works extremely well over the track’s ascending strings and perfectly placed hand claps. It’s truly a dope song.

‘Hard 2 Kill’ scores points for its traditional throwback approach to East Coast gangster music, and there’s no doubt that Charlie Baltimore is far from a lyrical slouch. Plus, she gets points for effort because most of the songs don’t sound thrown together and you can tell the rapper has put in a fair amount of work in each cut.

Rating:

mixtape

Listen to Charli Baltimore’s ‘Hard 2 Kill’ Mixtape

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