Cyhi the Prynce, ‘Ivy League: Kick Back’ – Mixtape Review
The thing about Cyhi the Prynce is that his projects never sound the same, which can be perceived as either a good or bad thing. With the recent release of his fifth mixtape, 'Ivy League: Kick Back,' the Atlanta emcee takes the idea of experimentation even further as he touches on every topic from weed indulgence to heavy-bottomed girls to his past street life.
The content is all over the place but the G.O.O.D. Music signee manages to maintain a certain status even while in the mishmash. Cyhi can actually rap. Some of the best attributes about 'Kick Back' are the subtle references made to his city. On 'Nothing Else to Do,' he spits over a sample from the Ghost Town DJs' My Boo.' The hook on 'Favorite Things' pays homage to certain A-Town staples without becoming a caricature of what out-of-towners believe Atlanta is.
There's a good number of featured artists on 'Kick Back' including Big K.R.I.T., Childish Gambino, Yelawolf and 2 Chainz, among others. On 'Mary Jane,' Jet Life's Smoke DZA joins the ode to good green but the Prynce does pretty well on his own, effectively filling the first two verses with sharp metaphorical references:
"My partner asked me ,'Could I hit her?' so I let him smash / Now every time he ask to hit her / I say, 'Where the cash?'/ She a ho but I love her like my bottom bitch / She even helped me get the money I bought my Monte Carlo with... When she was running with the trappers she called herself Shareefa / When she started dating rappers she changed her name to Keisha...," he rhymes.
The features and production from people like Lex Luger and Beat Billionaire are all icing on the cake, but Cyhi is capable of shining on his own merit. Another jewel on 'Kick Back' is the introspective 'Favorite Things,' where Cyhi takes listeners on an audio road trip, revisiting his life before that pivotal meeting with Yeezy.
Over an ominous beat created by the Audibles, the rapper talks about long nights spent making the wrong decisions for the love of money and all the perks that come along with having a stack of it. The hook is almost eerie in its delivery, borrowing from Julie Andrew's 'My Favorite Things.' Cyhi's list is infinitely darker, and there's no mention of warm apple strudels: "Pistols and robberies and strippers from Follies / A few bricks from Papi / Lambos and Rarris / Chevys and Caddys and Cutlass Supremes / These are a few of our favorite things..."
Cyhi seems to falter when he does the tracks that are expected of rappers. This happens a few too many times on 'Kick Back.' 'Freak Bitch' is one of the more uninspired tracks on the tape. The production by newcomer Superman Beats is solid enough but the topic of discussion is the same as always and even Cyhi seems bored by it. He raps, "Come back to my room and ride me like a dirt bike / Until you feel seasick / I like your dress but I wanna see what's under it / Baby girl I'm getting dough, deep dish..."
It's clear that Cyhi the Prynce has matured since his debut three years ago. If 'Kick Back' is any indication, he'll continue to flourish in the next three as long as he progressively finds new ways to talk about the same things everyone can relate to while kicking back.
Listen to Cyhi the Prynce's 'Ivy League: Kick Back' Mixtape
Watch Cyhi the Prynce's 'Far Removed' Video