If you think Purple City, Dipset, or anyone affiliated with their camps gives two Byrd Gang whoop whoops about what you think of them, then you are dead wrong – literally, as the clique has been killing mixtape appearances for long enough to know a thing or two about verbal homicide.
Though fellow Dipset member Cam’ron launched the pretty-in-pink craze that had grown ass men parading around in pastels, Purple City’s Shiest Bub “The Emperor” takes full credit for painting New York City purple. And regardless of which Easter-colored outfit blankets the Harlem-bred groups better, Purple City and their first official mixtape, Road to Riches: The Best of the Purple City Mixtapes (Babygrande), are now officially Dipset’s latest proverbial guilty pleasure – or, at least, they should be.
Guided primarily by the chameleonic Un Kasa, whose vocal range varies from Onyx-like misguided anger on the lead single “Purple City Byrd Gang” to playeristic and bass-less on “Late Night,” Purple City follows down the road oft-traveled by fellow Dipsters. “Blow your brains all over a thousand islands, that’s a salad dressin’, from a silent weapon,” Un quips on the determined “Will Not Lose,” which about describes his lyrical boundaries and content in one fowl Byrd swoop. Though no genius with the words, his laughable lyrics at times team with an undeniable swagger to create a fashion statement almost as strong as the purple and pink team colors.
“It Ain’t Easy,” the electric guitar-aided creation of Purple City producer Agallah “The Don Bishop,” joins Ag with the always-smooth Shiest Bub, as the two Byrds kill one addictive tone with a sped-up sample nearly as charismatic as the crew themselves. And despite the further evidence that J.R. Writer squanders whatever potential he has left to fit into the Dip movement on “Me & U,” the Outkast-jacking chorus (check “Elevators) by Juelz Santana keeps it moving straight to the top.
Baltimore newcomer DK prematurely ranks himself on “A Part of History,” but when he spits, “Got an insurance policy for you dumb cats, when I resurrect like Com Sense, got cash when I come back,” and follows it up with a catchy must-have hook, it’s hard to question the Dipset eye for upcoming talent.
Blander efforts like the overanxious “Roll It Up, Light It Up,” the typical “Real N----s,” and the blasé Agallah effort “America Show” provide nothing but potholes in the Purple City roads – but with rib-ticklers like, “Show you how my marksmen do it, plus my chick straight gangsta like Martha Stewart” (“Real N----s”), they are at least good for a smile or two even when they go off-course.
Un Kasa, Shiest Bub, and Agallah may not strike gold at the end of their Road to Riches, but they are bound to paint a few signs purple on the way there. Now - can they get a whoop, whoop?