The second part from the producer’s bag of tricks, THREE SIDED TAPE VOLUME TWO is a continuation of the three-part series from Shawn Kemp, better known formally as Lil Ugly Mane. The part rapper, producer, engineer, and three-parts hydra from tha other side. Manipulating even more of his own sounds to fit this strange entrée of special blends and spices.
As the Richmond, Virginian native moves from chopped samples into guest verses, then into what can only be described as harsh noise with gentle overtones. The entire project of THREE SIDED TAPE VOLUME TWO sparks emotion and floods frames from the first moments it is laid on the slab. With “2007” as the opening handshake that transforms the mood from broken glass to self-inflicted jabs; each step from Lil Ugly Mane is almost blind luck. The producer here has skill, as the moniker that he has released music under, Shawn Kemp is the closest thing to an underground, well, Shawn Kemp. The six-time NBA All-Star had no problem making the game his own, in a similar way that Lil Ugly Mane produces a unique vision from each track.
Even if that vision is scattered and switches every moment, there are ideas of complete thought. When tracks hit with SIDE 3, each piece on that side is concurrent and flows into each other. Hearing the fog settle with “COMPLIMENTS IN A GRAVEYARD” which then leads into “FLOSS THRU YA TOWN,” the smiles erupt. The production is outstanding a real staple of how creation within these mp3s is everlasting. Lil Ugly Mane manages to shatter backboards with 808 patterns and form an offensive style from producing. He can play the background but is better as a centerfold star of his own sound that both punches and kicks the way to the middle of the paint.
As an active shooter on “BELT WATER” which is instantly a motivating drive as the repeating chimes decay under this sample that describes, “Shawn Kemp can make us better.” While other samples protrude to illustrate different sides, “Shawn’s got a lot of issues” that tap into this psychosis where mind games are the key factor here. Each sample builds up Lil Ugly Mane’s work until it hits a boiling point and the rapid-fire snare cracks feed the ball right back into the 808s. Each movement here is less chaotic and more as if it was a machine built to destroy on the track.
While it is a “Collection of unreleased songs and instrumentals from the past couple few years,” Lil Ugly Mane still even nearly six-years after the initial release can break through that wall of sound. Each passing on THREE SIDED TAPE VOLUME TWO makes for more and more appreciative works that eventually leads into one final moment of desperation. With THREE SIDED TAPE VOLUME THREE closer than ever now, each step felt functional and necessary beyond natural ability.