Words by Rohit S. Loomba (@poombster)
While Ronald McDonald, Wendy Thomas, and Colonel Sanders have been sitting on a beach somewhere counting their cash, Lefty aka Hamburger Helper has been hard at work in the studio. The result- a 5 track mixtape that goes as hard as anything released in the last year. And he’s not scared. He’s taking shots on this one with the title of his mixtape being Watch the Stove.
Production on the mixtape is on point throughout. DEQUEXATRON XOOO, Bobby Raps, and DJ Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip start the mixtape off with the sound of a stove firing up on “Feed the Streets”. This is followed by drill and trap inspired production effort with a lush, rolling drum line. Laid over this impressive drum line is a simple, bounce-inspiring melody. Retro Spectro keeps the street sound going on “Hamburger Helper”. There’s no relenting here as the drums stay deep and resounding here. On the standout “Crazy”. Ilwin and Realistic Productions use a vocal sample to drive their sonic effort. This is coupled with intermittent explosive bass drops and an effective use of high hats. GenReal slows things down on “Food For Your Soul” which relies on a guitar melody. The effort is very A-Tribe-Called-Quest-like. And last but not least @itsdandy who produces “In Love With the Glove”, another more mellow effort to end the mixtape. The production is well done throughout, crisp and on-point, providing Helper with the perfect music backdrops on which to paint his Hamburger Helper masterpieces.
Helper wastes no time getting right into it. On “Feed the Streets” Helper tells us what he’s been up to: “I been in the kitchen whippin’/ Whippin I’ve been chiefin’/ Mixin’ with my left hand/ Water whippin’ and I’m stirrin’/You want beef and I’ma serve it”. He’s been busy, he’s been doing it to feed the streets, and he’s not shy about it. Helper shares the results of his efforts too, ending the track sharing. “That’s why the streets show me love/Cause I’ve always been feedin’ em.” Helper brings one of the memorable hooks on “Hamburger Helper”. Trust me, this one will get stuck in your head: “Hamburger Helper eat it all and then we dip/It’s been on the stove so long might burn my lip”. This is only to be matched by a display of vocal dexterity as Helper opens the first verse with “Eenie meenie miney mo/Catch a tiger by the toe/We ain’t never letting go.” But Helper is no one-hit wonder when it comes to hooks, he clearly is one hell of a hook writer and that’s clear on “Crazy”. Helper cooks up another hook here that will get stuck in your head: “Some call me crazy, that might be true/Cause if you take my hamburger helper/ I don’t know what I might do.” Please don’t take his hamburger helper because if Helper is even half as hard as the records on WTS then you will be in major trouble. But it’s not all hard with Helper. He demonstrates his softer side on “Food For Your Soul”. Here Helper raps about coming home after a long day of work and appreciating everything he has instead of getting caught up with what he doesn’t have. Helper has depth and is versatile. Want a street record? He’s got it. Want a more introspective record? He’s got that too.
Easily one of the best mixtapes to come out in the recent months, WTS is going to be a mixtape to power the spring and summer. Rumor has it that Taco Bell Chihuahua felt that Helper took a few shots at him and will be taking a break from recording narcocorridos to respond to Helper. Apparently he’s even enlisted The Kool Aid Man to help bring it to Helper. We’ll have to watch how this unfolds.
5 (out of 5)