Words About Music
DJ Mustard “10 Summers”
Mustard on that beat, hoe. One of the most inescapable hip-hop producers of the past few years is Los Angeles’ DJ Mustard. You may not know the name quite yet, but you’ve definitely heard his sound. He’s produced radio hits like Tyga’s “Rack City,” 2 Chainz’ “I’m Different,” and YG’s “My Nigga.” He’s becoming so big actually, that several producers are beginning to copy the “Mustard sound.” Ever heard the song “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea? Definite Mustard ripoff. DJ Mustard’s production calls back to the early-to-mid ’90s Compton sound. His tracks aren’t incredibly hype and they usually include some low bass synth riffs and high-pitched keyboard riffs. Reminds me of mid-’90s Dr. Dre production in a way. It stands in direct contrast to the trap-style production that’s also pretty big right now. DJ Mustard’s songs are relaxed and simple, but he’s got a sound all his own. The ’90s LA sound is coming back in a big way and Mustard is who you can thank for that.
“10 Summers” is Mustard’s first full-length album. Appropriately, it features ten full songs with two interludes. Unfortunately, the year’s party record comes at the end of the summer when everyone is going back to school and the weather is starting to cool down. “10 Summers” would probably be a much more successful and timely record if it came out in June or July, but with Mustard dominating the radio it doesn’t matter too much. Besides, it’s not the release date that matters, it’s the content. And, well, the content isn’t too mind-blowing either.
For people who are familiar with what DJ Mustard does and what his beats sound like, this album will bring exactly zero surprises. The songs on “10 Summers” sound like the deep cuts on an album that doesn’t have a catchy single. Eventually they all sort of blend together. As talented as Mustard is, he’s not super versatile. He doesn’t bring (and probably doesn’t try or need to bring) a ton of variety to the table. You’ve got a lot of stock verses and choruses from people like YG, Lil Wayne, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, Ty Dolla $ign; pretty much a ton of people you’ve stopped caring about. Again, I usually like DJ Mustard’s production, but his style isn’t enough to sustain an entire album’s worth of tracks. It gets to the point where the only time you know that a new song has begun is when you hear his “Mustard on that beat, hoe” signature.
There are some high points on this album, though. There’s tracks that I think are funny or fun or memorable. “Giuseppe” is a pretty great track I could see getting some airplay on the radio or maybe in a club (even though 2 Chainz sounds eerily similar to RiFF RAFF on the track). I think my favorite is “4 Digits,” though, which refers to an untrustworthy girlfriend trying to figure out the PIN to her boyfriend’s smartphone so she can find out if he’s cheating. The “She about to lock my phone, tryna unlock my phone” hook is especially great. If you have a sense of humor and enjoy fun music, there’s songs on “10 Summers” that will definitely satisfy your hunger. And even if Lil Boosie’s contribution to “Face Down” is annoying (she like her ass… tooted up?), that track is pretty good, too. Overall, “10 Summers” isn’t a total failure. There’s some good songs on here, but ultimately it’s pretty hit or miss for an album where a lot of the songs sound incredibly similar.
SCORE – 5.9
FAVORITE TRACKS – Ghetto Tales (feat. Jay 305 and Tee Cee), Throw Your Hood Up (feat. Dom Kennedy, Royce, and RJ), Giuseppe (feat. 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, and Yo Gotti), Face Down (feat. Lil Wayne, Big Sean, YG, and Lil Boosie), Down on Me (feat. 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign), 4 Digits (feat. Fabolous and Eric Bellinger)