Since Harlem rapper Vado made the switch from Cam'ron's crew to join DJ Khaled's We the Best imprint, he's been pretty productive. And the most recent sign of this productivity is his latest mixtape, 'Slime Flu 4,' which has an array of features like Pusha T, French Montana and Jadakiss just for starters.

On tracks like 'American Gangster,' produced by Butter Beats and Mr. Authentic, Vado crafts dark drug dealer tales over equally dark string sounds. And on 'The Town,' featuring Maino and Lloyd Banks, producers Cardiak and Critical Tracks do an impressive job of creating probably the most head-nodding track on the tape.

See, what makes 'Slime Flu 4' work on both a street and commercial level is its overall sound, not just its beats and lyrics separately. Because an album or mixtape can have good lyrics and good music, but if the two aren't blended together properly, the project suffers.

But on 'Slime Flu 4,' the producers make the tracks flow nicely; where at times it sounds like the whole mixtape was produced by just one person. Another reason the mixtape works is because Vado spits well-written rhymes and uses good wordplay. Plus, he displays some of that fast-talking uptown wit that a lot of Harlem rappers seem to have.

"Pardon my n---- my money been long / Red carpet my n---- a hundred men strong... Every blunt is a godfather we keep a pound / What's the numbers, ain't Bob Barker then bring it down," he raps on 'Pardon Me' featuring Curren$y and Smoke DZA.

On the song 'God Hour,' another track produced by Cardiak, Vado uses a southern-style flow, choosing to rap double-time over a haunting voice sample. And on 'Kopy,' Pusha T shows just why his solo album is so highly anticipated. Especially with visual lines like "All I know about is getting money until the sun come up / Dominicano with a calculator when they see my face I watch them all run up," spits Pusha.

However, there are a few missteps on 'Slime Flu 4,' like on the cut 'Boy,' featuring Uncle Murda, who recently changed his name to Uncle M for business purposes. The song doesn't necessarily add anything to the mixtape in terms of quality and it kind of slows down the project's overall momentum. And the same thing could be said about 'My Condolences.'

Overall, Vado has put together a strong mixtape, which should put him even closer to being one of rap's bigwigs. And by joining DJ Khaled's musical collective, the Harlem rapper has placed himself in fine position to lift his music and brand to higher levels. Now we'll see if he's able to follow through with a strong album.



Listen to Vado's 'Slime Flu 4' Mixtape

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