I downloaded Narcoworld, the new mixtape from Dro Fe, on a whim, having never heard of the rapper before. Later, I did my homework; hailing from South Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Dro Fe has been active for a few years now, releasing NarcoWave 2 at the end of last year and followed that up in June of this year with NarcoWave 3. That project sported strong production, handled mostly by Sonny Digital. It also featured the song “Re Up,” containing what is now a valuable guest spot from 21 Savage.
On Narcoworld, Dro maintains the themes of his previous bodies of work, rapping about drug dealing, evading authorities, and violent gang activity. He flexes his street cred on “Trap School,” offering tutelage to his less-skilled rivals over a beat that sounds like the backing music from the cult initiation scenes in Captain Murphy‘s Duality. That song also benefits from a well-placed Que feature, garnering some buzz since it dropped in August.
Dro’s deep, raspy voice is easy to appreciate, a cross between Bun B and Jeezy. His cadence and intonation makes even the repetitive choruses of “Downfall” and “Money Bag” enjoyable. “A Mill Ago,” featuring Dice Soho, is exemplary of the trap style showcased on this mixtape. The dark themes of “Merked” are easy to appreciate because due to Dro’s compelling narrative style.
“Snakes Eyes” may be my favorite offering, with its unlikely pair of features coming from Le$ (Jet Life’s up-and-coming Houston spitter) and Left Brain (Odd Future beatsmith, formerly 1/2 of MellowHype with Hodgy Beats). Le$’s opening verse exclusively contains hot bars, along with references to the rapper’s favorite foods (“steak with the shrimp every time we get paid / surf and the turf couldn’t ride my wave,” with a possible hat-tip to Max B at the end). Left Brain sounds great on the chorus; I’ve always appreciated his rapping, including the verse he delivers on “Oldie,” and it’s a thrill to have new music from him.
For me, Narcoworld was a pleasant introduction to Dro Fe, and I plan to keep him on my radar as I suspect he’ll only get bigger and better. Switching up his song structure and using more dynamic flows would be a plus, but this mixtape has legs despite that. Download it here.