Hailing from New Jersey Retro I$ Awesome, returns with his sophomore EP Cuban Linx. Retro gives you the Southern Trap meets old school New York vibe on his EP. That’s a good and a bad thing. The good thing is that he is versatile. The bad thing is that on an EP, it sounds compressed. However, even though the songs don’t quite flow together, Cuban Linx is a pretty decent EP. If Retro would’ve split the EP into two then it would’ve been great.
Cuban Linx starts off with “Levitate”(produced by RicandThaddeus) which puts you in the mind of Meek Mill/Rick Ross. This song is quite dope and the beat goes. “Insane”(produced by Klaus Prime) sounds like it belongs on a Migos mixtape. It’s the usual braggadocio song over a dope beat. Now Retro switches it up with “Snake Eyes” (produced by Zoe), and turns into a New York storyteller. If you close your eyes and listen to this track, you would think it’s 1994. The title track “Cuban Linx” is next and was previously reviewed here. Up next is “Selfie” (produced by Retro I$ Awesome) and I automatically started singing Juvenile’s “Back That Thang Up.” I’m really not a fan of songs about popular trends. And even though this song is short, it’s still meh. Retro makes up for it though with “40oz Bounce” (produced by Luke White). Retro is at his best with that sped up flow. He keeps the sped up flow going on “Savages” (produced by MJ Nichols) but not for long, which is a bummer. However, the production makes up for the downer.
“Problems Wit Us” (produced by C. Justice) is the poor man’s “The Language” by Drake. If you can look past that, “Problems Wit Us” is actually really good. It’s more relatable than Drake’s cut. “I’m A Gawd” (produced by RicandThaddeus) is just Retro proving that he actually has skills. This song should’ve came after “Levitate.” “Ambition$” (produced by Retro I$ Awesome) is a perfect example of the fact that Southern Trap and old school New York Hip-Hop can coexist on a track. It’s for the folks who like their lyrical rappers over Trap beats. “I Can’t Tell (Remix)” F/ ShaqIsDope (produced by Kelly Portis), gives you 1996 New York. It’s a great track, it just doesn’t belong on this EP. The last track “Outro” (produced by Luke White), just like the previous song is a great New York style throwback record that shouldn’t be on this EP.
Cuban Linx is a pretty good EP, that’s for sure. But listening to this EP all the way through, you would believe that it’s a record label’s mixtape. You know those ‘SuchandSuch Records Presents: Our Artists’ mixtapes. Retro does a great job of blending his two polar opposite styles to make a great song on occasion. However, for the most part the styles didn’t blend well. Separately, they are great. Together, not so much. The project is still a worthy add to your iTunes library though. The songs might not sync together but Retro is awesome and that’s all that matters. -Pooh Bailey