For the third installment of his Sizzerb mixtape series, Serbian-born artist Sin recruited mixtape circuit legend DJ Kurupt to host the festivities. “Opium Garden”, as the third volume is titled, is a consistent listen, with Sin’s intensity leading the musical charge. Sin’s voice resembles the Boston, Massachusetts emcee Esoteric, maintaining an even flow for his battle rhymes over a wide range of beats. Out of the mixtape’s 30 tracks (inclusive of an intro, two outros, and several interludes), my favorites were the jams with creative production touches. For instance, “Bang Bang” carefully incorporates a sample from the Sonny Bono-penned, Nancy Sinatra-sung “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”—remember that song from the Kill Bill movie and soundtrack? Another example is “Defense”, which carries its pep rally theme so well it’ll make you think there’s a whole crowd of people in your headphones kicking the bleachers in “We Will Rock You” style. Also noteworthy are the songs employing vocalists on the hooks, as in the regretful “If I Could Go Back”. The major complaint would be the constant guest activity (especially on the longwinded “I’m the Truth” featuring Young Jeezy, Sam Scarfo, Lil’ Weavah, Smitty, Agallah, Acafool, DK and Mike Knox), although guest spots are to be expected in mixtape culture and in rap music as a genre. Problem is, once Sin gets his flow going, you hate it when his verses are over.
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