In 2013, if you want to stand out as a rapper, you have to be able to do more than just rap. It may sound ironic but it's true. If you're able to put together a few verses and can achieve some decent wordplay, that's just the start, because a countless number of people can do the same -- so you'll have to bring something else to the table. And that's where ex-Dip Set member Hell Rell and his latest mixtape, 'The Meyer Lansky Project,' come in.

On the 11-song release, Hell Rell proves that he's not a bad rapper and can put together words and images fairly well, but that's all he proves. He doesn't tell the listener what makes him special or unique, he just raps.

A perfect example of this is on the song 'Dealership,' where Rell talks about getting money and heading to the car dealer, and he basically says you're not a real person if you can't do this frequently.

What makes the song boring to listen to is that the subject matter has been covered over and over, and Rell doesn't add anything new to the topic. He just recycles the same car references and money-getting-rhymes that have been used forever.

And on 'Real N----,' Rell seems like he wants to express how street he is instead of expressing how good he is at rapping, which is a common mistake for MCs who speak a lot about street life. Again, there's nothing that the East Coast native does that shows he's bad at putting together words, but there's nothing on the tape that draws you in or gives you a reason to listen to him over other rappers.

The producers on 'The Meyer Lansky Project' aren't listed, but musically, listeners should expect hard East Coast sounds, which work well against Rell's hardened delivery. The only features on the project are from the rappers T Ro and Lambo, but just like Rell, they seem to be more concerned with showing how street they are, instead of showing how skilled they are in the booth.

But there are a few good moments on the tape, like on the songs 'Black Mob' and 'Work Freestyle,' where it seems like the Bronx MC is most comfortable because he's spitting  about his day-to-day lifestyle and what he wants to accomplish in the future.

And on 'Rap N----s,' Rell uses a traditional southern flow that shows he can go off the script without losing intensity.

If you're a Hell Rell Fan and you already have his previous releases, there's no reason why you shouldn't get this one, because it's just more of what he typically does. New listeners will probably suffer though, because there just isn't anything that stands out about the project. It would be in Rell's best interest to bring something new to the rap table, especially if he wants to separate himself from every other rhymer who spits about the same stuff that he does.



More From