Words About Music
Lil Ugly Mane “Three Sided Tape Volume One”
“Undertaker throwing Mankind off the top of the Hell In The Cell ’98 is Lil Ugly Mane. When you turn off your downstairs lights and run upstairs because you think something is chasing you, it’s Lil Ugly Mane.” At least that’s what it says on Lil Ugly Mane’s last.fm description. Truthfully, not much is really known about the rapper who goes by Lil Ugly Mane. But I’ll do my best to explain.
Lil Ugly Mane is basically the opposite of Lil B. They both came up in the Age of Internet Rap, but they both have two very different approaches to hip-hop. Lil B is much more positive and prolific (even going so far as to release one mixtape per month) and raps mostly over trap-flavored beats, with some notable exceptions. Lil Ugly Mane really only has one or two proper mixtapes, and they’re both extremely dark, angry, yet phenomenal. Now unfortunately, Lil Ugly Mane recently made the announcement that he will only release one more proper mixtape. When that mixtape is coming out, we’re not really sure. But first he’s releasing a series of mixtapes of unreleased songs and beats, the first of which just recently arrived. And it’s as incredible as one could hope from three tracks (17, 18, and 24 minutes in length) that feature some of Ugly Mane’s finest unreleased work.
“You see me in ya hood, I’m up to no good/got that SK bangin’, yeah I wish a hater would” is just one of the infectiously catchy choruses from the mini-songs that are included in these extra-long tracks (which are aptly titled “SIDE ONE,” “SIDE TWO,” and “SIDE THREE”), and it’s also one of the many complete bangers that is found here. Don’t be distracted by the dark bangers though, because there’s also some very relaxing and beautifully constructed beats as well, proving that Ugly Mane is as great a producer as he is a lyricist and rapper. This album and Ugly Mane’s music are not for everybody, but he’s definitely one of the most slept on rappers around, and if I were you I’d listen to his stuff (especially his magnum opus “Mista Thug Isolation”) before he says sayonara.
“Three Sided Tape Volume One” is also chock full of strange, glitchy electronica tracks that remind me somewhat of The Avalanches or even DJ Shadow, making Ugly Mane one of the most truly versatile figures in hip-hop. I only wish that he would finally drop another proper mixtape, just because I love seeing a bunch of regularly titled and regular-length tracks in my iTunes library. As great as this mixtape is, it only makes me yearn further for a proper release from Lil Ugly Mane, and I can only imagine what he does when sits down to write new material instead of arranging his older stuff into very long songs.
Don’t get me wrong, Lil Ugly Mane is as great as ever on these songs. “Three Sided Tape Volume One” is truly fascinating and a great way to introduce someone to Lil Ugly Mane and his aesthetic. Again, I’m just excited to hear new stuff from the guy. The world needs more lugubrious hip-hop, and Ugly Mane is the one true missing link between Aesop Rock and Waka Flocka Flame that could bring together hip-hop fans from all walks of life. Either way, I’m glad he is still releasing tunes and I can’t wait to hear the next project he releases.
SCORE – 8.6
FAVORITE TRACKS – All of them I guess