Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Louie V Mob, Venus vs. Mars, #Wegotit4free, Chi Chi Monet

Review: Louie V Mob’s New World Order

Master P was once rich and famous enough to sign Snoop Dogg at the height of his Death Row commercial success, install a gold elevator in his estate, and perform at the VMAs. His brand was No Limit, an aggressively New Orleans-based and DIY label that transformed his family members into rap stars and rendered Mystikal safe enough for a Hugh Grant movie.

On December 17, 2003, the label filed for bankruptcy.

Here in D.C., Fat Trel has become D.C.’s most buzzed-about export since Wale, and as he preps his (increasingly high-stakes) solo material, one of his biggest challenges will be aligning himself with the right sounds and auteurs. The word in November that he’d joined Master P in an effort to revamp No Limit felt like an all-in bet placed on himself—a first-round draft pick signing with Cleveland. Two strong mixtapes already in can, the decision seems to be working, at least creatively: Better is the just-released New World Order mixtape that stars Master P, Fat Trel, and Atlanta’s Alley Boy as a freshly minted collective dubbed the Louie V Mob.

Though New World Order is definitely not carried on Master P's shoulders alone. On the mic, P is no P Diddy. He sounds like a hip-hop figurehead trying to work his way around the booth to joyless, forced results. P raps in simple bars, through howls, southern slang, and stacked vocal tracks like Tupac at his most morbid; in fact, P uses the opening lines of Pac's "Hail Mary" as a chorus. P's role seems to be that of an indignant neighborhood activist trying to rally his community back to a time when gangsters weren't breezily sliding around the block on skateboards. Young thugs today!

So in other words, this version of No Limit will sound like the old No Limit, only without Silkk the Shocker.

“Wood grain and all Louie,” raps Master P, “bitch nigga hate me because he see the jewelry.” His simplistic couplets do their job and don't offend—because you only have to hear them for one verse before his Louie V Mob henchmen step in to liven things up with better verses. Alley Boy is akin to, say, Meek Mill in Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group clique: the Joe Pesci pit bull that makes everything faster and double-timed. He gets excited about his jewels as well, rapping fresh and funny similes: "White and yellow diamonds looking like egg salad."

For his part, Trel is fantastic because the beats are all post-trap block knockers full of bounce and rattle. Whereas P and Alley Boy go unhinged and scream over the snares, Trel stays calm and collected. His flows can range from tongue-twisting gems that rhyme "jumping fences with dividends" with "popping Molly and Ritalin," to stoic warnings like “call me on my landline and you fuckin' with fed time." —Ramon Ramirez

Cosmic Duets

Valentine's Day has come and gone, and you might be either glad it's over or mad it's gone. Either way, DJ Jav and DJ Mim have got you covered. Out this week, their collaborative Venus vs. Mars mixtape combines hip-hop's notable—and not-so notable—duets into one set. Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey lead the tape with a sultry "I Know What You Want"; five songs later, Common and Jill Scott trade notes on the little-known "8 Minutes to Sunrise." Love Day or not, this tape flows. —Marcus J. Moore

Shots Fired

Nine-year-old DMV rapper Chi Chi Monet wants kids to avoid getting fat, which is an honorable goal. Her song "Move" contains the following McDonald's diss: "Grab a apple for a quick snack/Kick back and take a quick nap/Had to put that Big Mac down 'cause it was messin' up my sixpack." I don't know too many 9-year-olds who would mess with a Big Mac, especially when the 10-piece McNuggets are an option, but we'll grant her some artistic license. —Joe Warminsky

Byrd's Compilation

#Wegotit4free—an instrumental mixtape compiled by area publicist Angela Byrd and composed by DMV producers Product 8129—hit Twitter this week. This same production team will be working with Fat Trel, Black Cobain, Phil Da Phuture, Young Moe, and RatheMC on a larger compilation of original music, WETHEDMV. Via email, Byrd promises an April 23 release date. —RR

DMV Reads

R&B croon king Raheem DeVaughn drops a love song [Arts Desk]

2Chainz arrested in Maryland [Daily Dot]

Hardcore punk and generally dope label Cricket Cemetery to re-release X.O.’s The Takeover 2 on vinyl [Arts Desk]

Moore on RDGLDGRN’s Red Gold Green EP [Arts Desk]

Moore talks to RDGLDGRN [MTV Hive]

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