DJ Mustard has made a quite a name for himself this past year, both as YG’s official DJ and for his West Coast production that has become the most popular mainstream sound as of late. Signed to Roc Nation, we started seeing press releases and behind the scene images for 10 Summers, his official debut, via social media all building anticipation for what was expected to be the perfect project to accompany the hot summer weather. As the beginning of August came and went, there were some questions surrounding the release and finally, Monday, August 11, the full album dropped for free through Google Play. He reasoned his decision by asserting how important it was for the album to be a summer soundtrack and that he was in such a successful position because of his loyal fans. This free treat is just a taste and has a time limit of two weeks before the album officially hits iTunes for sale.
The album is a compilation of every current mainstream rapper you can imagine. Guest appearances by Jeezy, Big Sean, Lil Wayne, Dom Kennedy, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, YG, Nipsey Hussle, Fabolous, Big Sean, Rick Ross and Yo Gotti layer DJ Mustard’s iconic West Coast sound. True to its title, this album is perfect summertime music, with powerful production and easy to digest lyrics. Some of the verses are basic to the point of garbage, but Mustard’s talent for production carries the project from start to finish.
The album begins with Nipsey Hussle’s distinct timbre: “If it ain’t a chevy don’t raise it up, and if it ain’t the kush don’t blaze it up.” The smooth production balances the toughness of Nipsey’s voice and matches the rhythmic hook. The next track flows in seamlessly, almost sounding like an extension of the first track “Low Low.” However, “Ghetto Tales” is one of the weakest of the album. The verses are unimaginative and are almost completely overpowered by the mediocre beat. Rather than suffering through Jay 305 and TeeCee’s bars, I recommend pressing “skip.”
“Throw Your Hood Up” makes up for the disappointment of the previous track as Dom Kennedy spits a premium verse that takes you straight to Cali. His slight laid-back flow is effortless and you can almost hear where he’s smiling at his own charm and humor. The chemistry between Dom and Mustard is undeniable and I’m hoping more collaborations from the two are in the works.
Big Sean, Lil Wayne, YG and Boosie Badazz appear on “Face Down” and it’s as catchy as it is lyrically dreadful. The chorus features Boosie’s nasal sounding flow, “She like her ass tooted up and her face down.” Each verse on the record is as worst as the last when you take away the production, but for some reason the pounding beat and almost annoyingly memorable hook makes the track work. I imagine “Face Down” will saturate the clubs along with similarly poor “Hot N**ga” and “No Flex Zone.”
Fabolous and Eric Bellinger come together for “4 Digits,” the most hilarious record on the album. “4 digits” stand for the pass code that unlocks someone’s phone and Eric Bellinger slows the hyped album down asserting “she will never get them 4 digits.” Fab comes with his straight Soul Tape flow inserting his common use of social media language and popular culture references. Mustard’s production is heavy on the kick and layered with Eric’s voice forming the perfect backdrop for “4 Digits.”
10 Summers is twelve tracks of DJ Mustard’s turn up production including two interludes with Tinashe and Ty Dolla $ign, which break up the club-like soundtrack nicely. Enlisting the heavy hitters to accompany his beats is enticing when you see the tracklisting, but if you’re looking for great lyricism, this isn’t the album for you. The focus is 100% on Mustard and his sound that at this point can be identified anywhere. I doubt this project will transcend 10 summers as Mustard hoped, but it’s definitely appropriate while the air is warm and the speakers are booming.