The three-headed Halifax/Toronto-based music monster called Let's Go To War have been bubbling and buzzing pretty heavily for most of 2008, priming themselves to explode as a future pop phenomenon in 2009.
They link new age dancefloor devotions to the dirty side of the digital domain, with intentions to break every rule you know about merging musical worlds. Lots of producers/pseudo-rappers are trying to do similar things, but not everyone has been as successful, artistically or commercially, and with good reason. Let's Go To War, and their upstart label Last Gang, have struck gold due to their airtight songwriting, infectious melody energy and engaging live shows. Touring with M.I.A., receiving a glowing Junior Sanchez endorsement, having the debaucherous Life We Live single being nominated for Top 5 Track/Video of the Year by BlogTO.com, and the accolades and appreciation of a variety of tastemakers, celebrity fans and the general public seems to guarantee success for the lads, whenever they finish making the highly-anticipated album...
So what's this mixtape about? It's their first full-length release project, and the first taste of what we might expect from the 2009 debut LP. A sweetly schizophrenic selection of Jay-Z Black Album snippets, techno-flanges delays distortions and echoes galore, a massacred Lil Wayne A Milli moment, psycho-delically sliced-up re-sequences of their own singles such as Burn Down The Discoand Internet Pornstar, plus re-thinks of M.O.P., John Legend and Young Jeezy hits. Basicallyk, all kinds of indescribable stuff you certainly wouldn't think of hearing until you allow Let's Go To War take you to their imaginary home planet of Crunkville.
Curtis Jackson essentially redefined the mixtape when he used them for hi-jacked promotional vehicles for his hubristic hate campaign to conquer capitalism with rap. But Let's Go To War have truly taken it to the proverbial next level with their head-spinning concoctions here.
For example: dutty gutter Yardie patois twisted up inside some Bollywood-ish bhangra beatdown, morphing into the street anthem It's Nothing before flying through a digital wormhole and emerging with Busta Rhymes's Dangerous vocals strapped to its back, thrashing with intense ferocity. Brilliantly, the Yay Area Ballatician and living legend E-40 also gets injected into the mélange, as LGTW they mosey their way towards ecstacy with crispy electric ideas weaving through wickedly wobbling low-end theories that resolve each new diversion and excursion with satisfying slickness. And what would a 20-year-encompassing supersonic sample tornado be without a sampling of Bitch Iz A Bitch-era Ice Cube? Cake, meet icing.
There are a few poor choices on this mixtape, however, including the meh-inspiring vocals of Timbaland. And, sure, they gave necessary new life to Jay-Z's Dope Boy Fresh, but personally, considering how well they upgraded John Legend's Green Light, I don't think Jay-Z's similarly-aged single is worthy of inclusion here (even though LGTW creatively pitch-shift it all over the place and give it more life than its anemic and lifeless looping deserves). Thankfully, they kidnap the other Kanye West-produced late summer superstar collision, Swagger Like Us and freak it a bit, before performing some more sample surgery on T.I. trill talk.
Download the Let's Go To War mixtape here: