Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mixtape Throwback: Gravy - Without A Doubt

Back in 2005, I was caught up in a swarm of mixtapes. I must have downloaded about 15 of them per week, minimum. At the time, mix-masters like DJ Green Lantern, DJ Mello, DJ Envy, Clinton Sparks, DJ Clue?, Sickamore, DJ Rukiz, P Cutta, DJ Whoo Kid, Big Mike, DJ Kay Slay, DJ Vlad, Tapemasters Inc., DJ Kochece, DJ Cinema, Lieutenant Dan, DJ Famous, DJ Beyond Rest, DJ Keyz, Cutmaster C (just to name a few lot) were killin' the mixtape game. And I had allllllll their shit. There were several on-the-rise artists who stuck out as well, namely Papoose, Saigon, J.R. Writer, The Game, Grafh, Maino, Remy Ma, Quan, Cashmere, Stat Quo and others. Ah, 2005 was a great year. There was so much potential. And hunger.

One of the mixtape emcees who made an impression on me was some big guy from Bed Stuy named Gravy. The Biggie comparisons were obvious, but in a year that shared the rise of Guerrilla Black, Gravy was brushed off by many. Or so it seemed. I always liked his style, and I had always hoped that Jay would sign him to Roc-A-Fella. How naïve was I? But there was this one mixtape that I really, really liked; I couldn't stop listening to it. Gravy's Without A Doubt was really enjoyable because it was simple yet conceptual: one mixtape, all old Jay and Biggie beats. What more could you ask for from a rising star from BK? Gravy rhymed over nearly every instrumental from Reasonable Doubt, as well as Volume One and Biggie's Ready to Die. After a while, I put the mixtape away (I burned it onto an MP3 CD-R) and assumed that Gravy would be the next big thing. That day never seemed like it would come... until rumors began to circulate that Gravy was being chosen to play Biggie himself in the upcoming bio-flick Notorious. While everyone was scratching their head and asking "who the fuck is Gravy", I was sayin' "yeah, yeah, this is great!" ... And the moment has arrived! Notorious is coming out soon and hoards of people are gonna watch it. And after they do, they're not only going to jump back into Biggie's catalog, they're gonna look for some of Gravy's music as well. That's what I think. So I decided to dig in my CD binders and look for that mixtape. ::flip, flip, flip:: Found it!

Enjoy this blast from the not-so-distant past: