Album Review | CRIMEAPPLE & DJ Muggs – Cartagena

This album was released on September 24th this year. CRIMEAPPLE & DJ Muggs released one of the better albums of 2019 with Medallo, so I was pretty excited when I saw that they were dropping this sequel. I haven’t heard any of the singles from this project, so I’m going into it blind. However, based on the material I’ve heard from them in the past, I’m expecting this to be one of the better albums of the year.

There aren’t any tracks that I don’t like on this album, so I’ll write about the full thing in the proper order of the tracklist. The project opens up with Grey Skies.

The beat from DJ Muggs is definitely my favorite aspect of the song. The instrumental is actually really pretty in my opinion. There’s virtually no percussion, which is cool. The rapping from CRIMEAPPLE is pretty much what I expected, which is probably a good thing.

I'm poppin' bottles, but not to drown my sorrows; nah, I came to celebrate
The anecdotes I put in the note gave hope to my homie and his cellmate
Next time I see him, I'ma give him a loaf
Not 'cause I owe him, he just held up his end of the oath
And his baby mother ain't been pickin' up the phone
Shit's cold, you probably get the chills just imaginin'
Me, I had balance, I went to college and had krills in the cabinet

Overall, I think the song is pretty dope. It didn’t impress me that much on my first listen, but it grew on me as I came back to it. The following track is even better though. It’s called Bathtubs Full of Veuve, and it’s got a really hard instrumental. My face scrunched up the first time I heard it. It sounds like something Conway the Machine would rhyme over. I love how dusty the percussion sounds, and CRIMEAPPLE killed it. The first verse was already dope, but he really killed the second one in my opinion. It’s a bit easier to catch on to a consistent flow from him on this track since there’s actually percussion. His flow was a lot looser on the preceding track. Anyway, this is definitely one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. The production is awesome, the hook is solid, and both of the verses are great. The song is dope as hell. The following track is entitled Tony 2C, and it has another really nice beat.

It’s nowhere near as dark as the preceding instrumental, but it still has Muggs’ signature sound. Once again, I love how dusty the drums are. CRIMEAPPLE killed the first verse too.

I'm never losin' touch, we flew for a slew of bucks
Watchin' my paper turn purple and blue like somebody went and bruised it up
They be like, "Yo, CRIME cool as fuck"
I'm just doin' my due diligence
But if dude did it malicious then you know we gotta move him up
Where the gates pearly, cremate the wake early
Goin' ape for like 60 minutes straight, leavin' at 8:30 surely

I think this track has one of CRIMEAPPLE’s best rap performances on the whole album. He killed this shit. The song is really dope. The following track, Mermaids, has one of the album’s better instrumentals in my opinion. It’s a really lavish, melodic, piano-driven instrumental. I think it’s great. I appreciate the lack of percussion here too. I think that was the correct decision. The first verse from CRIME is pretty dope, and I really like the sung hook from Stove God Cook$. I expected him to just take care of the chorus, but he actually came through with a verse at the end of the song, which was a nice surprise. I mean, his verse isn’t amazing or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent. I think he sounds pretty great over this beat. CRIMEAPPLE had the better performance in my opinion, but they both did a good job. The song is really dope. The following track is called Papas.

The beat kinda sounds like something that JR Swiftz would make in my opinion. The first verse is nice, and same goes for the second one. The hook is kinda stupid to me to be honest. Not necessarily in a bad way though. It’s just kinda hard to take seriously for me for whatever reason. The potatoes line is just kinda silly to me.

Got the foreign outside with your shorty smokin' gas in it
Told her, "I'll be back; I'm about to get the bag"
If it's all about the chips, you know who got the potatoes
You know who got the potatoes, baby

This definitely isn’t a highlight for me on the album, but I did enjoy it to some extent. I think it’s a pretty good song. It’s followed by Cheap Work, which has another one of my favorite beats on the album.

I fucking love how dark and distorted the instrumental here sounds. It’s even better than that of Bathtubs Full of Veuve in my opinion. Muggs put his ass in this beat. It’s dope af. CRIMEAPPLE rapped really well here too, and I even like the hook. My favorite aspect of the song is definitely the production, but CRIME’s performance was more than sufficient. The song is dope as hell. Track 7 is called Designer Label, and it’s got another pretty dark instrumental. It’s not one of my favorite beats on the album, but I definitely like it to some extent. I think CRIMEAPPLE sounds pretty good over it. All of his verses on this track are really nice.

This is top tier talk, I'm good on the Smirnoff
You might see my twirl the barbecue sauce automobile off
Pushin' a buck somethin', your hon' suckin' on a studmuffin pecker
You know your bitch know the drill like BLACK+DECKER
I'm electric, got on the stage shittin' on skeptics
Septic, entertainer like Cedric
Behold the desert, I met your equity
Then ran his mans over in a Cherokee
I can hear the bones snap like celery
Crackin' up, some of y'all funny, I might fuck around and weep
Stop, drop a couple thousand on sheep just for the fleece
Lamb grease in my beard somewhere in Greece
All these unique freaks in the penthouse shakin' ass cheeks

The hook isn’t really anything special, but it serves its purpose well enough as a break between the verses. Overall, I think the song is pretty good. It’s not one of my favorites on the album, but I fuck with it. Reputation has a relatively lighthearted-sounding instrumental. It’s far less ominous than most of the other instrumentals. I fuck with it though. It’s pretty smooth. CRIMEAPPLE sounds great over it too. The first verse is great. I even like the melodic hook on this track. CRIMEAPPLE’s not gonna really impress anyone with his vocals, but it’s not like he was trying to sing his ass off like Donny Hathaway. The second verse is even better than the first one in my opinion.

All the signs I listened and watched
I just had a mission to cop
A couple of acres later while you was pinchin' the crops
You livin' or not? Your pockets was thin, but now we all up in syndication
I'm eatin', dog; it's green in the walls, there ain't no insolation
Egg shell in the spaceship that I rest my ass upon
I used to be a vagabond, but nowadays I got Cattelan

I think the song is really dope overall. I love the beat, and CRIMEAPPLE rapped over it really well. The following track is entitled Some More Paper, and it’s even better to me. I love how hard-hitting the production here is, and CRIMEAPPLE killed it.

Gotta be wary of these dusty fucks when your shit got more clarity
Spin your Camry like Sean Hannity, candidly
Y'all panickin', I'm workin' on my tan, swimmin' with manatees
Out in Cape Cod for a lime rickey, lettin' a couple dimes lick me
Your shit iffy, who really got it litty city to city?
This little Brazilian bitch with me probably run the itty bitty titty committee
I had dirty fifties when Diddy was droppin' Biggie duets
Bart Simpson on my chest with Ms. Piggy inside of the Lex'
In 2020, all I really see is three sixes and police killings
An orange pedophile on TV trippin'

The hook is kinda stupid, but it serves its purpose well enough. I honestly think the second verse is even better than the first one. I love how aggressively he was rhyming here. The song is super dope. The following track, Kleenex, has one of my favorite beats on the whole album. It’s got a really prominent electric guitar loop with minimal percussion. It’s a relatively slow paced instrumental. Once again, CRIMEAPPLE rapped really well here.

My sweater knitted, and it's fittin' me snug
Once upon a time I had a bundle tucked, now people givin' me drugs
Shit, I hardly do 'em
I know that that shit could lead to ruin, and I'm bein' prudent
I'm more or less addicted to gettin' pussy and makin' this music

I like that line about how God’s gonna need some Kleenex when CRIME dies. That was hard. The whole song is really dope. The production is top notch, and CRIME’s rapping is great. Track 11 is entitled Swish, and it’s got another really great instrumental. Honestly, I like it even more than the preceding beat. This track has one of CRIMEAPPLE’s catchiest flows on the album too.

Sellin' candy in the lobby
Two-steppin' on a nazi
Made manteca do pilates
Even family came to copy
I link with Muggs, it's catastrophic
I turn my pain into a profit
Turnt the Camry to a Mazi
Met your bitch and caught a body
Makin' sure the top is sloppy
While I'm bumpin' Pavarotti
You could call me CRIME or call me papi
Turn your strip to Nagasaki
Summer time, we ride Ducatis
Sometimes I'm geekin' off the molly

I appreciate how he switched up his flow for the second verse. I even like the hook on this track. There’s really nothing in particular about this track that I don’t like. I think the whole thing is dope. The penultimate track is called Peligrosisimo, and it’s got another one of my favorite beats on the project.

Once again, the production is very dark here. This song stands out a lot because it’s performed almost entirely in Spanish. Obviously, since I don’t speak Spanish, I couldn’t understand most of what was being said, but I could still hear that he was rhyming really well. I feel like this track has one of his most impressive displays of breath control too. His flow was really nice, especially on that first verse. I can’t really appreciate the song lyrically, but the shit just sounds really good. It’s a dope track. The closing song is entitled Fly Shit, and it’s got another fantastic instrumental. The first verse from CRIMEAPPLE is really nice too. The song also features an artist named rlx, whom I’d never heard of before. To be honest, his verse didn’t really impress me that much, but it wasn’t bad. It’s kind of an underwhelming way to end the album, but overall the song is still really dope. I fuck with it.

This is a great album. I don’t think it’s as dope as Medallo, but I wouldn’t say that I’m disappointed at all. I’m definitely satisfied with this project. With that said, I definitely noticed that I was more impressed by DJ Muggs than CRIMEAPPLE for the most part. The rapping was good, but it didn’t blow me away. I remember being pretty amazed by CRIME’s performances on Medallo, and I just wasn’t quite as impressed this time around. I feel like if the beats weren’t as good as they are, I probably wouldn’t enjoy this album very much. However, I definitely think CRIMEAPPLE was a lot better than the features who appeared here. Not that they were bad. Anyway, I don’t wanna come off too critical here because I think this is a really quality project. There’s not a single song here that I don’t like. I’m mainly impressed by DJ Muggs’ production, but CRIME did his thing here too. The album’s dope. Check it out.

Favorite Song: Cheap Work
Least Favorite Song: Papas


Grade: B+

One comment

  1. If you’re looking for more of crime’s material you should check out his collab with big ghost from a couple years ago, aguardiente. Very stellar imho

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