For track six, Trev brings in another fellow Squizzy Gang and recurring collaborator Jimmie Murphy. You’d be forgiven for expecting a soulful chorus from B.More but instead he shows off he can also hold his own when it comes to rapping much like he did on “Cain And Abel”, one of my favourite collaborations between the pair (listen here). In my interview with Trev he defended his lack of MME features because he felt like “all the features on the project were actually perfect fits” and “Eat” and “For My N!ggas” definitely back Trev’s words up. Trev summed this track up perfectly with “you’re too hooked to press next”, but I think there’s going to be some arguments as to who had the best verse when the tape drops because Jimmie takes his contribution to another level.
With a third track in a row of collaborations which also featured on the original “Heights” tape, Adam Duncan delivers a captivating chorus for “Red Cup Blues” which was released as a single prior to the mixtapes release. The best way to describe this is a cross-over track which coolly combines Mood Muzik with club-hop to deliver a radio-friendly sounding song with credible lyricism. As cringe-worthy as it is, I’m going to flip the lyrics of the chorus and admit this track was probably the track which made me realise, “I really feel like” Trev is “the best, no I’m not confused”. Eminem and Joe Budden’s next projects have to be beyond perfect to restake their claims as my favourite artists, because once you add this track to the likes of “Dear Ma” and “Pride”, Trev has something for everyone, and I love it all.
I haven’t mentioned any other producers for preceding tracks yet, but Zero’s production for “Find My Way” is a stand out. That’s not to say it isn’t any better than any other beats on “Heights 2” because it is no better nor is it any worse, its purely because its different and caught me off guard. I’m sure fans of Trev will understand why once they hear the track. One of the greatest pleasures in hearing mixtapes is that I always find a new talent, and in “Heights 2” that new talent comes in the form of Sasha Gomez who sings superbly on the song. Trev raps two verses of pure gold. Stand out production, stand out chorus and stand out verses all accumulate to easily a stand out song of the tape.
Track nine is “Untitled” and I’m not entirely sure why. In hindsight, I wish I had have asked Trev why in our interview but maybe he’ll comment below to give us insight. The actual track is the first in five tracks which are featureless, and Trev flexes his vocal chords once more and yet again he manages to pull it off. This is definitely ‘lover Trev’ coming out for a song for the lady fans of the Colorado emcee, and yet as a man I love it. Those who follow my Instagram will notice I have recently picked up cycling as a hobby and this song was perfect to listen to while I was cycling around Newcastle’s seaside because of the relaxing vibes. Although most Trev’s tracks are thought provoking and take your full concentration, this is one of those gems where he manages to pull off a new style. Perfect for listening to with an ice cold drink in your hand I imagine.
Never has an artist ripped their heart out of their chest and packed into a song this good since Eminem released “Difficult” or Joe Budden released “Mood Muzik 4.5”. If “I Would Have Told Her” doesn’t pull at your tear ducts and heart strings then you musn’t have a heart. Trev epitomises mood music in this track as he gives us an account of what he would have told his daughter if had of known “the last time, was the last time” he would see her and it is genuinely touching how much love he has for his children. Move over Joe, we have a new ‘mood God’ if “I Would Have Told Her” is any indication of what is to come from the future. Nothing will ever top “Dear Ma” for me, but if I had a daughter, I can imagine I’d align with this track just as much. (Check out www.milehimusic.com for a full in depth single review of this track)
Adam Duncan returns to chorus duties with a Justin Timberlake-esque vocal sound on “Sing To ‘Em“. The juxtaposition of this track with “I Would Have Told Her” is quite awkward and disorientating as they are polar opposites but aside from that, I have no complaints. Trev, consistent as ever, delivers a great set of verses which are arguably the most intelligent of the mixtape laden with a plethora of metaphors, similes and clever word play. At first I didn’t love the contrast of Trev’s verses with Duncan’s hooks but it grew on me after a couple of listens and has began to sound natural, it’ll be interesting to see if any one else has the same first impression. “Went from the dopest in cyphers, to the dopest of writers, so don’t ask why I’m killing shit just look at my priors” is one of my personal favourites, although it isn’t nearly as intelligent as some of the other bars, it is delivered terrifically.
Following on is “Timeless” and its the pure love song that the tape needed to round it off with each and every lyric a safe bet to be quoted on my twitter timeline when “Heights 2” is released. The singer on the hook is uncredited for a reason I can’t quite figure out as she definitely deserves a mention as her vocals are as talented as Trev’s lyricism. Two lines in particular stand out from the track. “SSA these niggas so ass backwards” draws a smile every time I hear it. Trev seriously knows how to manipulate his delivery to make the most impact with every syllable and its a dangerous part of his artistry arsenal which will make him the envy of all apparent competitors. “She never had a man who made her want to wait up, I never had a girl who made me wanna hurry home” however is ridiculously reminiscent of just about any Joe Budden song written during his relationship with Kaylin. Although it isn’t mine, I imagine this will be a number of peoples favourite song from “Heights 2”.
Penultimate track, “Talk My Shit” “isn’t personal, its more like to whomever it may concern” but whoever Trev had in mind while writing these bars has been well and truly ‘Ethered’. From undermining others’ fan bases to bragging how he’s “been fire” before the Budden cosign, “Talk My Shit” is 150 seconds of why Trev Rich is better than you. It’s convincing as hell too because every thing Trev says he backs up with a fierce flow, devastating delivery and lethal lyricism. I was heralding Drake’s “5AM In Toronto” as the 2013’s answer to Nas’ “Ether” but in comparison to “Talk My Shit”, “Sinatra lifestyle I’m just being Frank with you” sounds like a compliment to Chris Brown rather than a diss. Any remaining doubters of Trev Rich are put on warning with this track.
As far as album closers go, I can’t name many that come close to “Thank You“. When Trev released the track initially planned to be an introduction I played it so much my bedroom walls can probably reiterate every word. The line in the bridge “To you this is music, to me this is therapy” is one I have considered tattooing on my body and thats exactly what Trev’s music is, therapy. If you thought “Dreams” was a good outro from the original “Heights”, “Thank You” will blow you away.
Overall “Heights 2” has seriously challenged my belief that perfection is impossible and doesn’t exist. Not only is it a filler-less album something neither the original “Heights”, Joe Budden or Eminem (Both of which are my heroes) could boast, it has at least 10 tracks challenging for a place in my top 10 songs of all time. Truth be told, I think Budden made a mistake in cosigning Trev because he now has to step up his game for the next project he releases to keep up with the Colorado emcee. I can’t criticise anything on “Heights 2”. That being said, there are two things this mixtape is lacking which I can criticise. I know that a very high percentage of MME fans are desperate for a Joe Budden / Trev Rich collaboration so that track not featuring on this tape will come as a big disappointment although the features that are on the tape are brilliant. Secondly, “Heights” had “Dear Ma”, a track which Trev himself called “special” and I don’t think it’ll ever be topped by Trev or any other artist and “Heights 2” lacked that special song. “I Would Have Told Her” among others is a flawless track, but “Dear Ma” is on that other level.
Stand Out Song(s) – “Find My Way” / “I Would Have Told Her” / “Talk My Shit”
Mixtape Rating – 4.99/5
Follow @_TrevRich on Twitter for the link to the download the second it is released and for news on future releases. Follow myself (@MrHawthorn) for more of my opinions on Hip Hop, links to my blog articles and other relevant tweets relating to the Hip Hop industry. You can read my interview with Trev and a detailed single review of “I Would Have Told Her” at www.milehimusic.com.
Please leave a comment of what you think of my review, what song are you most looking forward to prior to the release? If you’re reading after listening to the tape, what do you agree or disagree with?