Scram Jones is on the verge of becoming the next big producer in the streets. Even if you are not familiar with the name, you are certain to have heard his work on the Terror Squads "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah", Jae Millz "No, No, No" or Tragedy Khadafi's "Still Reportin". With his official mixtape release "Loose Cannons", Scram Jones looks to continue his path to super stardom by showcasing his triple threat skills of DJing, producing and emceeing. However, his debut release suffers from a common problem in today's mixtape market, disappointing guest performances.
As is the case with most mixtapes, "Loose Cannons" has its moments but remains highly inconsistent. Production wise Scram holds his own, but the overload of New York mixtape emcees featured on the album is hard to take in. Swigga, who sounds similar to Cage, runs off his generic shoot 'em up lyrics on "4 Shots", which is just one of the many bland freestyle tracks on the album. Producer Megahertz also gets on the mic for a freestyle attempt, which is just more proof why he should stay behind the boards. Jae Hood's lyrical blunders on his track is another case of a wasted beat, but then again, it seems Scram has an arsenal of dope beats just waiting.
However, there are a few occasions when Scram's production ends up going off the deep end. A prime example is his solo joint "64 Bits", as Scram's video game inspired keyboard beat is a definite step in the wrong direction. Lyrically Scram needs to improve as well, with his erratic hit or miss punch lines and metaphors. "They call me Harry Houdini with a bag of zucchini". Thankfully, Scram redeems himself on his other solo attempts "12 Years Ago" and "Panic Room", which features an eerie horror flick inspired beat that will make the hair on your arms stand up.
While the sloppy freestyle tracks take away from the overall vibe, the highlights of the "Loose Cannons Mixtape" are easy to point out. Tragedy Khadafi does the damn thing on his freestyle attempt, delivering his usual brand of intelligent street lyrics. "Crimes I commit make the state write new laws, cause all I need is a fifth and I'll fight for cause…Shake your hand now, but I'll clap you later, especially if your mouth move and you loose with data". Scram's dark alley production on Sean Price's "Remember Me" is another standout effort, as is the heavy bassline on "Class Of Sizzurp" featuring Jim Jones, Nore, Nature & Cardan. Surprisingly, one of the albums best tracks is Drag-On and Contraband's hard-hitting street anthem "Lay Down Your Gunz". Scram's sick vocal sample and screeching backdrop is just more proof of why many are calling him the next Alchemist.
Even though "Loose Cannons" may not be put together very well, in the end Scram is still able to shine on the production side. While the album will do little to keep you coming back for more, it does a solid job at introducing Scram to the Hip Hop audience who is not already familiar with his music. And if things keep going the way they are for Scram, in two or three years he will be known as one of Hip Hop's best producers, guaranteed.