12. The Birthday Tape
(Maybach Music Group)
With the poetic and versatile Wale, the gangster and trap-rap specialists Meek Mill and Gunplay, the laid-back persona of Stalley and Rick Ross encompassing all the aforementioned facets all being on the same label, it was easy to see the challenge one would have figuring out where Rockie Fresh, the young artist from Chicago, would fit in the MMG mold. What may have begun as a slow start has certainly picked up speed in 2013, as immediately following Electric Highway was The Birthday Tape, an anecdote of sorts to Rockie Fresh’s debut MMG mixtape. What EH lacked in bravado and mainstream appeal, Birthday Tape took care of. With production from one-half of TNGHT (Lunice), and exploration of a sing-songy rap element that Rockie’s been polishing for some time now, The Birthday Tape, despite not being a full-length project, still leaves the listener with a lasting impression of Rick Ross’ youngest protégé.