The Blue M&M Vol II (King Size) is the latest in a recent slew of mixtape sequels to hit the internet over the past two weeks. It’s common for rappers to drop installments in different series, but lately we’ve seen Juicy J’s Blue Dream and Lean 2, Cyhi the Prynce’s Black History Project 2, Chevy Woods’ Gangland 3, Hodgy Beats’ Dena Tape 2 and SD’s Life of a Savage 4 in such rapid succession it’s been hard to keep up.
PeeWee Longway’s name has appeared in my articles and reviews from time to time, mostly because of his proximity to Gucci Mane and Brick Squad at large. Longway’s first mixtape, Money, Pounds, Ammunition, was a collaboration with Gucci Mane; the title’s abbreviation now refers to Longway’s rap group, also consisting of MPA Duke, MPA Shitro, MPA Shitty, MPA 5th Roc, MPA Wicced and MPA Spud (according to Wikipedia). After a limited release of his debut solo mixtape Running Around the Lobby, Longway gained more attention in 2014 with the release of The Blue M&M.
Buoyed by numerous Migos guest verses and timely trap production (along with the A$AP Rocky featuring “Servin’ Lean (Remix)“), The Blue M&M brought Longway’s music to a wider audience; shortly afterwards, The White Album was released. Part of Gucci Mane’s World War 3D series, The White Album was a PeeWee Longway project that seemed more like a collection of bonus tracks than anything else (despite some enjoyable cuts like “Brand New“). Longway was heavily featured on Brick Factory Vol. 2 and Brick Factory Vol. 3. He’s also hit regular guest spots on various other mixtapes over the past few months, such as on the new Gucci Mane EP Views From Zone 6.
For such a low-profile rapper, Longway has certainly kept busy. This is his most eagerly awaited but also most enigmatic offering to date. “Deja Vu” is a song which comes halfway through the album, and it represents the peculiar forces at work on King Size. There are bizarre samples, curious vocal techniques and deconstructed trap beats. Often this mixtape bears the standards of modern trap tapes: ad-libs, yowls, gun sounds and other guttural noises which I’d have trouble recreating.
Longway is a fat guy, but his voice is relatively high-pitched. I like when he closely follows a beat, dipping at the end of a bar and picking up at the beginning of the next. When he auto-tunes too much, I don’t enjoy it. Also, when he falls into a “Migos flow” and does a call-and-response between verses and ad-libs, I lose interest. One of my biggest problems with trap rap is when songs have more samples, sound effects, call tags, name drops, sound bites and pre-recorded add-ins than actual verses. One of the reasons “Servin’ Lean” was so successful is that there are actually lines with real rhymes, genuine flow and a cadence. Sadly, moments like that are rare on King Size.
I’m not a Young Thug fan, but it was nice to hear his voice on “Ready.” By that point in the mixtape I was becoming discouraged by the over production and lack of actual rapping. Thug spits serious bars here. I have to give him credit because his involvement with this song brings up the quality of the mixtape overall (he provides the chorus to “No Squares” as well, but that performance is more limited).
By the time the mixtape came to an end, I found myself staring at a tracklist that might as well have been blank. Where did the past hour go? The Blue M&M Vol II (King Size) had breezed over me like a gentle gust of braggadocio. Despite my initial hopefulness, this mixtape failed to meet my expectations. I appraise this as average and mundane, although I hope repeat listens will soften my heart. Download it here.