DMV rappers Zachary and Marc Bravo have decided to join forces as "The Scumbag Boyz" and release the fairly anticipated mixtape "The Black Bathing Ape". The title combines both of their last solo mixtapes, Zachary's being "The Bape Tape" and Marc Bravo's being "The Black Tape". I found myself not enjoying either at all so I wasn't too excited for this release. The only excitement I had came from Zachary's previously released track "New 9ine" which makes an appearance on this project. Putting the OGK diss aside it did pique my interest and created a fair amount of buzz for the tape.
The project started off fairly strong with the mixtape titled track. The production here fits Zachary's off the wall delivery and energy packed ad-libs. The chorus was also very well done, catchy and kept my attention as a projects first track should do. Then comes Marc Bravo. The track went from excitement to a sluggish annoyance. Usually opposites attract and do well together, but this was an occurring theme on this project that I believe played a big part in its downfall.
The production on this tape is better than each of their past works. The Scumbag Boyz are a duo that wants to come off as wild, entertaining and different, at least that's the way I see it. So of course they would want the production to set the stage for them to evoke that impression onto the listener. But with the lack of versatility, creative wordplay, and ear fruitful flows they fell short of that.
On the track "Aquarium" Zachary was still sticking to this loud and obnoxious delivery. His verse was battling against the smooth, low based instrumental. This instrumental did not fit, it was almost as though he rapped over a different beat but at last-minute threw it on here. Lines like "my dick got the features of jesus" made his verse nearly unbearable. The catchy chorus here did help me reach Marc Bravo's verse, his verse was a bit easier to listen to because his style was more suited for this type of beat. Though I still found the track to not fit the projects mood.
Most of the tracks on this project include both rappers; however, I found their solo tracks were where they performed better. Together it was too many uninteresting lines, together they came off as limited. Both rappers seemed to have different ideas of where they wanted a track to go. The chemistry was just not there, and right after their solo tracks finished perhaps the best example of the lack of chemistry came with "Black Roses". Marc Bravo's worst verse on the tape, perhaps ever, was on this track. His flow here was beyond amateur, and struggled throughout his verse to stay on beat. He is monotone when he raps and I believe that is his biggest issue. I don't look for a verse full of creative wordplay or lyricism from either of them but on this verse he failed at all aspects. There's no cohesiveness in his verse and when Zachary's verse comes there no cohesiveness on this track. His verse sounds as though it was for an entirely different song, it's also hard to get a feel for what his verse is even about.
My favorite instrumental appears on "High Raps", the old school feel made me curious. I lost this curiosity after the Zachary said "make a piece of bacon in the oven throw some weed on it". I found myself wondering whether the verses on this track were serious. In fact, this thought appeared while I was listening to most of the tracks. If they were to be taken sarcastically I still couldn't find anything attractive about the majority of this project. The second to last song "Gold Medals" was also another track that did not fit, the verses were lackluster. Quality wise it was produced at a lower level than the rest of this project.
When the last track came I was restless. I wanted it to end. Thankfully, the last song was "New 9ine". It started to pump life back into this project...but then it ended. Putting this track last may not have been the best choice seeing as though it is the best track on the mixtape and was the only track that I saw creating hype around the project.
Overall I wouldn't say this mixtape let me down, because honestly I wasn't expecting much. The tracks "New 9ine" and "The Black Bathing Ape" are where I felt their sound prospered at and should they decide to stay a group I would like to see them go more in that direction. With that said, I must say as solo artist they create better music. As a duo, chemistry is incredibly important without it you can't make great music and that was where the main issue on this project rested.
Check the mixtape out for yourself and let us know what you think.
Favorite tracks: The Bathing Ape, New 9ine
Least favorite tracks: Gold medals, Black Roses, Left Field