The sound of hip-hop in 2014 is the rubbery, skeletal pulses of L.A. producer DJ Mustard, who will have scored about half a dozen Hot 100 hits before summer's end. Rather than coast on his formula, though, Mustard spends much of his debut album making hard-hitting, old-school West Coast hip-hop. Famous friends (Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz) and emerging MCs stop by for songs that suggest modern versions of Eazy-E's "Boyz-n-the-Hood" ("Ghetto Tales") and Too $hort's freaky storytelling ("Face Down"). The final stretch of tracks are Mustard-as-usual – perfectly fine, but they make a brave album a little more safe.
From The Archives Issue 1217: September 11, 2014