Arts Desk

It Takes a Village to Make a Mixtape

Javier Starks isn't a look-at-me rapper. He's nothing if not respectful, even referring to his male peers as "sir." And while Starks is energetic, he often keeps to himself in public, quietly reciting his own rhymes or studying the performances onstage.

Perhaps that humble demeanor made it easier to secure guest spots for his Faces of Change mixtape. Released yesterday, the massive collaborative project features a who's-who of local hip-hop and R&B artists (just look at the mixtape cover).

On the impressive "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," for instance, Starks trades bars with Gods'Illa over dusty drums and chopped piano chords. The bouncy "Fall Back" features two inspired verses from Phil Ade and RAtheMC, and the rock-tinged "Between Her" features MC Don Juan. Elsewhere, Starks and Mambo Sauce frontman Black Boo put their own verses atop Wale's "Pretty Girls," and Jay Mills guest stars on "Fancy," a remake of Drake's song of the same name.

Faces of Change is available for free. Go here to download it, or listen below.

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