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MDR was last featured on the site back in 2015. Since that time, he has added to his catalog as well as added some new players to the business aspect of his team. All great moves for the talented Massachusetts native. His latest musical offering is also a good look. It’s a mixtape entitled Speak First with a total of nine noteworthy tracks. The Illixer dug into the tape and came up with a couple of selections that especially stand out to the ear. Discover what tunes those are and more after the break.

“Speak First”

This is the very first song on the project and it also happens to be the title track. The production here is awesome. The rhythmic foundation, chilling background elements, mid-tempo pacing, and reflective vibe mesh flawlessly together. There is no hook on this cut. That doesn’t take away from the record but some sort of break would’ve been nice. MDR gives the listener an ear full thus it would be helpful to have a chance to absorb his words here and there. The uninterrupted verse is slick though. MDR contributes a gripping flow, inventive wordplay, and premium rhymes. He talks vividly about life and his musical journey. A highlight from his musings includes: “Major keys to success are things I hardly tell. Pass ’em to my team and then I keep a couple to myself. There is a secret to this game and people wonder how. Ain’t no Harry Potter. So nobody in my chamber now. Eyes closed to the people trying to steer me wrong. My team is always moving. You should probably stay where you belong. (…) Jump aboard the train or get left inside a path of dust.” Those are some very lit bars right there. Overall, this is banging opener for the tape.
“I Know”
The production here is winning. It’s reminiscent of the Trap beats that are currently so popular. The hard hitting bass, trendy supporting details, infectious gait, and fierce vibe are of a top tier quality. The hook is legit. The delivery is daunting and the lyrics are sick. The verses are killer. MDR blasts the ears with a beasty flow, cutting wordplay, and nervy rhymes. He puts his haters on front street and doesn’t hesitate to tell it like it is. A handful of rewind worthy lines are: “Saying my music is hot when you see me but behind my back you just hide behind TVs. Dislike my vids when we drop ’em and s–t. See you claiming we fail but we claiming we lit. Know you’re a fake, man I know you’re a lame. Trying to hit me in person like we are the same. You know I don’t play it. I’m destined for greatness. Don’t come to the show when we really have made it. I know!” Those lines right there make for a fire way to end the single. As a whole, this is another hit and a site favorite for sure.
 “Actin Up”
The production here is favorable. The eclectic infrastructure, complimentary musical ingredients, quirky rhythm, and neutral vibe pair up charmingly. The hook is a gem as well. The vocals are unique in style and the lyrics are engaging. The verses are good. MDR utilizes a clean cut flow, polished wordplay, and expressive rhymes. He shares a couple of scenarios that are sure to pique and maintain the listener’s interest. An excerpt from his tales includes: “So can’t you really see it baby? I’m a f–king star. I bought the cheapest drinks. And that’s a rental car. I’m on the road so all my funds (…) get from bar to bar. I’m traveling the cities. Get excited when I see the stars. And home is just a place that I don’t ever go. I’m kinda OZ, there ain’t no yellow bricks up in my road. There’s no direction, except the one I make and where it goes. This ain’t the life that I was given. Just the one I chose.” One has to appreciate the quick-wit and honesty within those lines right there. All in all, this is a pretty adequate number.
**My Two Cents: MDR has grown leaps & bounds from the last time he was on the site. Speak First is a great mixtape. The production is mint from beginning to end. And the content is laced with the more businesslike approach that I mentioned works so well for MDR in the previous post. These three songs were my personal faves but all nine tracks truly hold their own. Readers will not be disappointed if they give this one a spin. I suggest checking it out asap. -MinM