Milwaukee rapper T.One Guevara has been doing his thing for a few years now. He has three solid projects under his belt so far and a strong production team behind him. Earlier this month he released his fourth mixtape entitled Rebel In Disguise. The tape contains 17 tracks and features production from the homie Jay Regal. When asked to describe the tape, here is what Guevara had to say: “Basically on this tape I wanted to motivate people to think BIG, too many people settle for less. You have to want more. It’s a big world to be seen out there and a lot of things that we don’t think are possible to obtain. But it all starts with a dream and a plan! Rebel In Disguise – the title is really a salute to all the great protesters, freedom fighters, and activists. I share a lot of their beliefs and I wanted to show that to the world!” With that in mind, let’s dig into some tracks.
This is a Jay Regal produced cut. The production is choice. It kicks off with a clip from the classic film Superfly. From there it gives way to Jazz style instruments, a low bass, and an old school vibe. The hook is dope too. The delivery is done with personality and the lyrics are well put together. The hook provides concise examples of what the song’s theme is all about: “Park the Lex on the sand. Luxurious s–t. Got a pocket full of grands. Luxurious s–t. Spending cheese with the fam. Luxurious s–t. Yeah I’m the muthaf–king man. That’s luxurious s–t. Now all of my n—as we getting more. Luxurious s–t. People swear we celebrities every show. Luxurious s–t. Just salute to us n—a we getting dough. We buying out the stores and it don’t even matter. We ain’t broke no more.” The verses are good. T.One Guevara comes with a distinguishable flow, slick wordplay, and refreshing rhymes. He continues to paint a very vivid image of his definition of a lavish lifestyle for the listener. Overall, this track is a banger and a smart selection for placement at the beginning of the tape.
This is another Jay Regal number. So of course it opens with a unique clip. This clip comes from the legendary Bruce Lee. Following the quote, the production kicks completely in with: a slow tempo, a heavy tone, and a mellow vibe. It is a quality beat. The hook is fair. The delivery has a little too much going on. There are a few different styles used as well as some background sounds. One set style would have been sufficient and the background sounds could have been cut completely or made more subtle. The lyrics are fine. The verses are on point. Guevara retains his interesting flow and compliments it with strong creative rhymes. Peep it as he spits: “I’m a flow though. Far from a crash. Air bags move in slow mo. No I never lag. On this jet I’m moving fast past the competition. Ya’ll gotta chop and screw the track so ya’ll can comprehend it. Tell me what does that mean? Picture me all over ya flat screen Plasma. Breathing on the track with no asthma. I harass it, I attack it. Therefore got these n—as scared. So they ain’t dropping s–t unless they ask me.” Some skilled and aggressive spitting going on right there. In the end, this track is a hit. Needs a little polishing but it works.
This track was produced SickleCellz from NYC. The production is sharp. It contains a mid-tempo rhythm, a variety of musical elements, and a cool vibe. The hook is satisfactory. The delivery is lively and the lyrics are simple yet meaningful. The verses are excellent. T.One serves up a captivating flow, interesting wordplay, and impressive rhymes. The reason all of these elements stand out is because they are presented in the form of storytelling. Every good rapper should be able to create a story with their words. And that’s exactly what T.One Guevara does. He shares two tales about two common types of individuals: the stripper trying to pay for college and the hustler who gets caught up in the end. He dishes: “He wanted it all. No patience, little n—a was eager to ball. Turns out that the chic that he called his lover. Damn, found out she was undercover. Man, plus he had sex without a rubber. And now his daughter got a little brother. On the inside writing letters. You see why you don’t mix business with pleasure.” Smooth narrative and very wise timeless lesson at the end. All in all, this track is another hit and a favorite off of the tape.
SickleCellz handled the production on this cut as well. The production is adequate. The array of sounds used come together to create an intense vibe. The hook is alright. Again, there is a lot going on with the delivery. Just T.One rapping without all of the extra effects would have made it better. The lyrics are straightforward. There is only one verse here, as this is a fairly brief cut. The verse is up to par. Guevara has a clean flow with a serious tone and savvy honest rhymes. He hits the listener with a mixture of storytelling and reflecting about life. He holds nothing back as he unleashes on everything from scandalous churches to trifling mothers. Overall, this track is worth a listen. Guevara comes with a truth that needs to be heard on this one.
**My Two Cents: I love T.One Guevara’s style a lot. He reminds me a bit of Lupe Fiasco. Which is a compliment because Lupe is easily one of my faves. I think T.One Guevara did a respectable job with Rebel In Disguise. He chose producers that each had their own unique styles and was able to adjust his accordingly. And his content was top notch for the most part. Some of his hooks just need a little tweaking. As a whole, I’d say Rebel In Disguise is a concrete offering. It contains a lot of elements of pure genuine Hip-Hop which is a rare find these days. Readers can judge for themselves though by listening to the complete project over at Dat Piff. Then head on over to Twitter and show T.One Guevara some love. -MinM