Mixtape Review | The Progressive Era – PEEP: The aPROcalypse

This mixtape was released on December 21st in 2012. I was planning to check out the earlier stuff from Joey Bada$$ & Capital STEEZ before I got to this one, but it was requested by a very good friend of mine, so I figured that I should go ahead and get it out of the way first. This was released three days before Capital STEEZ took his own life on December 24th. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard a verse from him, so this’ll be my first introduction to his music. I think the only members of Pro Era whose music I’ve ever actually heard are Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, Dessy Hinds, Dirty Sanchez, Chuck Strangers, and Dyemond Lewis—yes, I know he’s not in Pro Era anymore. I’m a big fan of Joey Bada$$, and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the other members’ work. I’m pretty goddamn excited for this. I’ll hopefully review some solo Pro Era projects eventually. Anyway, I’m expecting this to be really dope.

Track 1: Like Water (Performed by Capital STEEZ) Feat. Joey Bada$$ & CJ Fly [Prod. Statik Selektah]

Alright, here we go. Yes. STEEZ is goin’ in now. Wow. It’s impossible to not be depressed while listening to STEEZ’s music. He killed the first verse. This is making me sad. His verse was so good tho. This beat from Statik Selektah is great. I really don’t think Statik Selektah gets the credit he deserves. He’s one of the most consistent producers out right now. Joey’s goin’ in now. He did a great job too. “Your third eye closed if Steve Jobs made you purchase a third iPhone.” Why is this making me so sad? Even the laid back, relaxing production from Statik Selektah sounds kinda sad. Damn. CJ Fly really killed this shit. I’ve always thought that he was a good MC, but I wasn’t expecting him to rap that well for some reason. This song is fucking awesome. I don’t really see what’s not to like about this track. Each verse was fantastic, and the beat from Statik Selektah was dope af. Obviously if you only like shit you can dance too you won’t like this. I fucking love this song tho. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 2: Run Or Fly (Performed by Joey Bada$$) Feat. Dirty Sanchez, CJ Fly & Capital STEEZ [Prod. Lee Bannon]

I’m sorry, but Dirty Sanchez is a terrible Rap name. I don’t know what the hell he was thinking when decided that he was gonna call himself that. If one of my homies told me that his stage name was gonna be Dirty Sanchez, I wouldn’t let him be in my group. He’s seriously limiting his success by calling himself that. If somebody asks me who I’m listening to, I’m not gonna wanna have to say “Dirty Sanchez.” Anyway, the song’s starting now. Oh shit. This beat is dope af. Joey did his thing on the first verse. The hook is nothing special. Goddamn. Dirty Sanchez fucking killed that second verse. His flow could’ve been a little better, but the rhyme schemes he was using were dope af. “Come sip that Ciroc with us; no facade / I talk to myself, word to God / Put your hands together, no applause / Fuck the law / Digress and fall / Progress, evolve / Fuck the rest of y’all.” CJ Fly killed it. STEEZ’s verse was dope. I really fuck with this song. The hook kinda holds it back, but other than that this is another great song. This is dope. 4/5

Track 3: Wrecord Out (Performed by Nyck Caution) Feat. Joey Bada$$ & CJ Fly [Prod. Chuck Strangers]

This beat is pretty good. The first verse from Nyck Caution was dope. CJ did a really good job with the second verse. He’s really standing out a lot on this tape. I don’t remember thinking he was this good when I heard Thee Way Eye See It; maybe I should go back and review that tape again. It was one of the first reviews I ever wrote, and I took it down ’cause my reviews were awful back then. The same thing happened with B4.Da.$$. I remember liking both of those projects tho. This sample that Chuck looped for the hook is very underwhelming. Goddamn. Joey Bada$$ fuckin’ snapped on that final verse. The rhyme schemes he was using were crazy. He killed that shit. His verse was dope af. I really WANT to say that this song is dope af, but it didn’t really stand out that much until I got to Joey’s verse. It’s a very good song tho. I fuck with this one. This is dope. 4/5

Track 4: F A Rap Critic (Performed by Chuck Strangers) Feat. Kirk Knight & Joey Bada$$ [Prod. Statik Selektah]

This beat is dope af. The Method Man sample Statik Selektah used for the hook is pretty dope. The first verse from Chuck Strangers wasn’t bad. Kirk did his thing on the second verse. Joey’s verse was pretty good. I don’t really have much to say about this one. They weren’t really dissing their critics that much aside from the hook, and a few lines here and there. That’s not really a problem for me tho. I fuck with the song. It doesn’t really stand out as one of the better tracks, but I enjoyed it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 5: The Renaissance (Performed by A La $ole) Feat. Joey Bada$$ [Prod. Tre Eiht Special]

I don’t know if I’ve ever heard any music from A La $ole. I can’t remember if I’ve ever heard him on a feature or anything. I probably have. The only thing I know about him is that he changed his stage name to Aaron Rose recently. Okay, this song is starting now. Damn. His flow on this first verse is dope af. Wow. He fuckin’ killed that shit. Oh shit, I remember now; he was on Seek Well by CJ Fly, as well as Sol Luna by Joey Bada$$. Speaking of Joey Bada$$, he killed the second verse. I think I liked Aaron’s verse better tho. It might have something to do with me not knowing what to expect from him. I didn’t know he was gonna be flowin’ like that. He killed this shit. Joey did too. The beat was nothing special, but it wasn’t bad. I fuck with this one. This is dope. 4/5

Track 6: Florists (Performed by Kirk Knight) [Prod. Kirk Knight]

Oh FUCK yes. I love this minimalistic beat. It’s pretty much just percussion. There’s a sample that loops, but it plays a pretty small role. It’s dope af. A lot of people probably don’t like it since it’s so simplistic tho. I can definitely understand that. It doesn’t exactly sound like it was difficult to make. This is just one long ass verse from Kirk Knight over a very simplistic beat. I could definitely understand why some people might not really fuck with this. The verse he spit wasn’t even that great lyrically. His flow and rhymes patterns were cool tho. I personally enjoyed it. It’s definitely not the most memorable track—it’s actually the opposite of that if I’m being completely honest—but I enjoyed it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 7: Interlude 47 (Performed by Capital STEEZ) Feat. Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly & Kirk Knight [Prod. Statik Selektah]

This beat is dope. The first verse from STEEZ wasn’t bad. This isn’t really my kinda song. My problem is more so with the content than the actual bars. It’s pretty much a love song. I’m not really sure why this was labeled as an interlude. Joey’s verse was cool. CJ did his thing. Kirk’s verse was dope. Yeah, this is probably a good song objectively, but this just isn’t for me. I don’t really find this entertaining. It’s definitely not bad, but I just don’t really like it. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 8: Resurrection Of Real (Performed by A La $ole) Feat. Nyck Caution [Prod. Tre Eiht Special]

This beat is cool. Aaron Rose’s flow on the first verse is dope af. His verse was great. I just listened to the whole song. It’s dope. Nothing about it really stands out tho. It’s just more of the same. It’s not really different from any other track on this tape. Nyck’s verse was dope. I’m hoping that they switch it up soon. This would be cool if the production was better. The beats haven’t even been bad, but if they’re gonna be doing the same thing over and over again like this, the only thing that’s gonna really push it to the next level is great production. I fuck with this song tho. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 9: Vinyls (Performed by Dessy Hinds) Feat. Capital STEEZ & Nyck Caution [Prod. The Entre Producers]

FINALLY; it’s been a LONG ass time since I’ve heard any shit from Dessy Hinds. He’s always been one of my favorite members of Pro Era. His voice is really distinctive. Hopefully he’ll drop his debut solo project sometime soon. This song is starting now. This beat isn’t bad. The first verse from Dessy was great. STEEZ killed his verse. Nyck’s verse was dope. His voice provided a nice contrast from STEEZ’s. This is another good song. There’s not really much to say about this track. They don’t really do anything different. It’s dope tho. I fuck with this one. 4/5

Track 10: School High (Performed by Joey Bada$$) Feat. Dyemond Lewis, Kirk Knight & Nyck Caution [Prod. brandUn DeShay]

Damn. I guess it’s been a really long time since I heard anything from brandUn DeShay as well. What’s he been up to? This song is starting now. Okay, I think they’re actually doing something different on this song. I mean, they’re actually talking about something specific instead of just rapping about random shit. I don’t really fuck with music about weed like that, but I think they’re doing this pretty well. Them talking about it at school definitely makes it more interesting. Joey did his thing on the first verse. Dyemond Lewis’ verse was alright. The hook’s nothing special, but it does it’s job. This beat from brandUn DeShay is great. Kirk Knight’s verse was cool. Nyck definitely had the best verse. This isn’t that great of a song, but it was refreshing to hear them actually stick to a concept and do something different. I fuck with this. This is dope. The music video was cool too. 4/5

Track 11: Overseas (Performed by Joey Bada$$) Feat. CJ Fly [Prod. Hans Solo & Jonas Crook]

This beat is dope af. Joey Bada$$ did his thing on the first verse I guess. The subject matter just isn’t really doin’ it for me. They’re rappin’ about girls again. CJ Fly’s verse was cool. I feel like this is probably a good song objectively, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I mean, I like the production, but other than that I’m just not really interested. This isn’t my cup of tea. It’s cool, but nah. I don’t think I’d ever have the desire to hear this shit again. It’s alright I guess. The music video was pretty underwhelming. 3/5

Track 12: Natural (Performed by Dessy Hinds) Feat. Nyck Caution [Prod. Marvel]

This beat is really dope. Dessy Hinds killed that first verse. The hook isn’t bad. It sounds like there was space for another verse, but it was just silence. I mean, you could hear the beat, but nobody was rapping or anything. What the hell? Dessy’s rapping again on the final verse… Is my version missing Nyck Caution’s verse? That’s weird as hell… Nyck Caution is nowhere to be found. Did I get a defective version of this mixtape or something? Was it like that for you guys? Is there a version where Nyck DOES have a verse? Dessy did his thing. I fuck with the song. I don’t even mind having that long ass space in the middle of the song where there’s nothing but silence. It’s just weird. Okay, apparently the SoundCloud version of the song has Nyck’s verse. I downloaded this shit from HotNewHipHop. Lemme check real quick… Yup, he’s on the SoundCloud version. I wonder why he’s not on any other versions. That’s weird. Anyway, I fuck with the song. I don’t really have any problems with it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 13: K.I.N.G.S. (Performed by Joey Bada$$) Feat. Capital STEEZ [Prod. Thelonious Martin]

This beat isn’t bad. Joey did his thing on the first verse. The hook is pretty goddamn awful. Joey’s singing, and it sounds absolutely terrible. It even sounds like the sound quality is kinda off. Maybe that’s just me. His voice just sounds kinda muffled. STEEZ sounds fine tho. His verse was dope. Jesus Christ. This hook from Joey Bada$$ is so fucking bad. I’d probably like this song if it weren’t for the hook. I can’t do this one tho. It’s not like the production and verses are so dope that I can look past the hook. I’m not really feelin’ this one. The only thing that holds it back is the hook tho. It’s not that bad of a song. I just can’t get behind that hook. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 14: Start To Finish (Performed by Joey Bada$$) Feat. Rokamouth [Prod. Chuck Strangers]

I’ve honestly never even heard of this Rokamouth guy. I thought I knew of all of the members, but I guess not. This beat is dope. Joey’s goin’ in on the first verse now. He did his thing. His verse wasn’t amazing or anything, but it wasn’t bad. Rokamouth’s verse was cool. He has kind of a high voice, but it doesn’t sound bad. His verse was dope. I don’t really have much to say about this track. It’s not really any different from the other ones. It doesn’t stand out very much. It’s not bad tho. This song is dope to me. 4/5

Track 15: Last Cypher (Performed by CJ Fly) Feat. Dyemond Lewis, A La $ole, Dessy Hinds, Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, Rokamouth, Joey Bada$$ & Capital STEEZ [Prod. brandUn Deshay]

Just in case you’re wondering, the only reason I didn’t say that this song is “performed by Pro Era” is because it doesn’t have Chuck Strangers or Dirty Sanchez. Alright, it’s starting now. CJ killed the first verse. He really loves usin’ double entendres. Dyemond Lewis’ verse was dope. The third verse from Aaron Rose was great. The hook from CJ is cool. This beat from brandUn DeShay is dope af. Goddamn. Dessy Hinds killed that fourth verse. Nyck did his thing. Kirk’s verse was pretty good. Rokamouth’s verse was cool. Joey’s verse was great. STEEZ killed the last verse. Yeah this is great. This is definitely one of the best songs. It’s just cool to hear everyone spit a dope verse one after the other. It never gets old either; the song is eight and a half minutes, but it doesn’t feel like it’s too long. I just wanted to keep listening to hear who would have the best verse. I think the MCs who stood out the most on this track are CJ Fly—probably because he went first and does the hook—Dessy Hinds, and Capital STEEZ. I was actually kinda surprised by how good Kirk Knight’s verse was too. I don’t think he’s a bad MC, but I just wasn’t expecting his verse to be that good for some reason. Anyway, I really like this song. This one’s dope af to me. 5/5

Track 16: Bun N Cheese (Performed by CJ Fly) Feat. Kirk Knight, Capital STEEZ & Aaron Rose [Prod. Bruce LeeKix]

This is technically the first bonus track for this mixtape. Oh shitfuck. This beat is fuckin’ crazy. Kirk Knight’s verse at the beginning was cool. STEEZ killed the second verse. The hook from CJ Fly isn’t bad. Aaron’s verse was great. The way CJ came in right behind him was dope af. CJ fuckin’ killed that last verse. His fuckin’ flow was awesome. Goddamn. I really fuck with this song. It actually sounds different from the rest of the shit on this tape. It’s not the typical old school production that they usually rhyme over. I like that old school production, but it was kinda starting to get old. It’s nice to hear them try something new for once. Bruce LeeKix needs more placements. I haven’t seen his name in a long ass time. This shit is dope af. 5/5

Track 17: Lawns (Performed by Super Helpful) Feat. Joey Bada$$ [Prod. Lee Bannon]

Super Helpful is a Hip Hop group consisting of Chuck Strangers, Lee Bannon & Kwamé. I’ve never heard of Kwamé, but apparently he gained kind of a buzz in the late 80s and early 90s. The song is starting now. This beat is dope. The first verse from Chuck Strangers wasn’t bad. What the FUCK? Wow. I was NOT expecting the beat to switch up like that. The first part of the beat was super chill and smooth, but at one point Joey yelled “WOO HAH” just like Busta Rhymes, and the beat just went crazy. Well, I guess, this new beat’s not that crazy, but it’s a lot more uptempo than the first one. Oh. The old beat came back for Kwamé’s verse. His verse was alright I guess. It was really short. The beat switched up again after his verse ended. This new beat is dope as hell. The transition was just kinda jarring. I like this beat tho. I wish someone rapped over it. Whatever. I fuck with the song. I can see how a lot of people might not like it because the production sounds kinda disjointed, but I enjoyed it personally. None of the verses were that great, but they weren’t bad. I like the song. This is dope to me. 4/5

Final Thoughts:

This mixtape was great. I don’t think there are any bad songs on here. It’s clear that they played it safe with this tape, which is cool since it was one of their first projects, but it gets kinda old after a while especially when the tape is so long. I didn’t really hear any experimentation until I got to the bonus tracks. Hopefully if they ever come out with another group project it’s not just more of the same. Well, I can’t even really say that that would be a bad thing since I’m sure I’d enjoy it. I just think it would be better if they tried to branch out a little more. Aside from that, this mixtape is really dope. I don’t think there are any wack MCs in Pro Era. My favorite members are definitely Dessy Hinds, Capital STEEZ & CJ Fly. It sucks that Dyemond Lewis isn’t in the group anymore, and the whole situation with Capital STEEZ is depressing as hell, but Pro Era is still a great collective. I really like this mixtape. It’s dope.

Favorite Song: Like Water

Least Favorite Song: K.I.N.G.S.

Verdict:

80%

HOTTTTT

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