interview MITCHY SLICK - Urban Survival Syndrome | Review By: Phillyboy

Release Date : September 12 2006
Label : Angeles Records/Fontana
Rating: 4.5/5


Dub Quotable: Mitch has successfully crafted the best album coming out of the San Diego area since.....well since his own "Triggeration Station."

If every successful rapper has to have a background story, then Mitchy Slick has his work cut out for him. As member of one of San Diego's most notorious gangs, Mitch along with fellow Blood homebody Damu released a series of underground mix tapes that stirred up much controversy in the city.

While toeing the line between rappers, and still being heavily involved with the street life, Mitch watched many of his neighbors get killed or locked up. Looking for a better way out, Mitchy released Triggeration Station in 2001 originally as just something for the neighborhood. It was instantly heralded as an underground classic, and even sound-scanned 12,000 copies, denting the independent charts on billboard, and leading to appearances in The Source & XXL.

Already very well connected with many rappers up and down the coast-line, it wasn't until 2003 when superstar Xzibit took notice, and aligned himself with Mitchy, making him a member of his Strong Arm Steady crew along with Phil Da Agony & Krondon. For the first time in his life, Mitchy travelled to different countries, and was exposed to a whole new audience.

Urban Survival Syndrome is basically a consumption of what Mitch has experienced in the past couple years since X took him under his wing. He experienced the industry monster first hand, as it took him 5 years to release this album. ( The release date is scheduled for September 12th. ) What makes Mitchy Slick unique is that despite being a gangster rapper ( in every sense of the phrase ), he has always showed himself to be more concerned with the downward spiral his people were headed too. U.S.S. is a far more polished effort than Triggeration Station, with top-notch producers and well-known guest stars all over the album.

Mitch remains true to the Logan Block of the Lincoln Park housing projects where he was raised, but this time around, he's got more on his mind than just war with cross-town rivals. On "Amnesia", Mitch recounts how quickly friends will turn on you as soon as you get even a little bit of fame. "Lost with Out You" is a track reminiscing off all friends deceased and incarcerated, and Muggs provides him with a stellar, emotional track to enhance the mood. The title track follows this up, and ironically sends out threats to all rivals who have deaded his homies. His kill or be killed mindstate makes this song kind of a retro gangsta track, as Mitch takes it too levels most rappers simply won't do anymore. The spectacular album-closing "Back In the Ghetto", while despite a lackluster guest spot from C-Bo, shows off Mitchy at his most poignant, speaking on police brutality, unfair record label conditions, and stresses how easily his people are getting locked up. Mitch's anger comes through full force, and he spits the albums 2 most powerful verses.

Plenty of tracks on U.S.S. are reminiscent of Triggeration Station, as more than half the tracks deal with gang life, murder and of course "Drug Flippin." The 1st single from the album, also featuring a spectacular verse by Damu and requisite purposely low-budget video, was shot in area's where 2 murders occurred less than 2 weeks later. This is the life that they live, and they shouldn't be chastised for speaking on it. Mitchy, as well know for his gangster as he is his car collection follows up 01's "Bowtie Brigade", Mitch talks about the different ways people in this country flip their Chevy's on "Pimp Sumthin.'" On "Bass Chasers", he divulges into how a man's worth in a woman's eyes is sometimes defined by what he's driving.

As a gangster, Mitch is one of the most believable figures in the rap game, due to his rapid-fire rhymes and name dropping of deadly blocks in Diego. What sets him apart from your average banged-out, drug-dealer run of the mill rapper is his delivery. His powerful voice, calling to mind an agitated Eazy-E, is as brash, aggressive and in your face as anything you are going to get nowadays. While the production doesn't sound as authentic as Cricet's production on Triggeration..., Mitch enlists other high-price producers as well. Alchemist provides his trademark dark sound on "Making Your Money", which also features Xzibit. Jelly Roll laces "Pimp Something", Muggs gives "Lost without You" a dark vibe and Khalil helps out on "Ain't My Fault" and "Triumpent Gangstas" ( which also features possibly Krondon's best verse. ) Cricet, Steve Vicious & Ecay also drop beats.

While the album's consistent gangster themes can get a little stale at times, Mitchy keeps it versatile with his standout flow, enough to keep a track interesting by himself. The production is excellent, and most of the guest spots, especially WC, Krondon & Damu, help out very well. The only downside of the album is "Yeah Dat 06'", which in no way compares to the classic original, and is accompanied by a horrendous Jelly Roll beat. "Ain't My Fault" & "Triumpent G's" also can get tiring, but Mitch has successfully crafted the best album coming out of the San Diego area since, well since his own Triggeration Station.


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