The Grind Family Mixtape Vol. 1      
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written by Low Key    
Indiana may not be known for its vibrant Hip Hop scene, but The Grind Family is looking to change all of that. Consisting of Mr. C.O.B., Soope and Phil-Mo, The Grind Family has been making some big moves in the Hip Hop industry. Their last release charted on Billboard's top 100 Hip Hop albums without any distribution, which certainly got the attention from a variety of record labels. Now that seven major labels have approached the group, The Grind Family is looking to create an even bigger buzz with their latest mixtape release.

While The Grind Family maybe the Midwest's hottest underground group, their style certainly does not resemble your typical Midwest sound. All three emcee's posses a unique blend of southern swagger and New York City bred lyricism. Mr. C.O.B., Soope & Phil-Mo are all heavily influenced by your typical NYC punch lines and metaphors style of rhyming. A perfect example of this is "Living It", a three-minute lyrical clinic put on by Phil-Mo. The cocky young emcee literally blacks out on the track's haunting production, as he makes a good impression with his slick flow and nice wordplay.

The group's first single "Happy (Better Dayz)" is another song that exemplifies the group's talent. The track features nice vocal sample, which is similar to the soulful blueprint Kanye West has laid down over the years. However, The Grind Family's own effort should not be overlooked, as the trio raps about the reality of living in the hood. "U Neva Knew" is a similar effort, as the heartfelt track delves into the turmoil one faces growing up in the ghetto.

While The Grind Family is able to show their talents through their original material, unfortunately the same cannot be said for the groups jacking for beats efforts on the album. Like most mixtapes these days, The Grind Family copies the blueprint for making mixtapes by jacking the usual assortment of beats that every other artist seems to use. The jacking of Nas' "Made You Look", Kanye West's "Two Words" & G-Unit's "G'd Up" have all been done time after and time, and their renditions on this mixtape are no different. While G-Unit put such beat jacking on the map two years ago, this formula is all but played out now. Unfortunately The Grind Family fall into this trap, making a variety of lukewarm efforts that end up sounding like every other jacking for beat attempt out there.

While "The Grind Family Mixtape Vol. 1" suffers from an overload of weak freestyle attempts, the group's original material is enough to convince you that these guys have talent. They may not be pushing the boundaries of creativity, but they certainly display some lyrical talent and potential. With record labels already beating their doors down, do not be surprised if The Grind Family is the next big thing to come out of the Midwest's underground scene.

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