Choco Valens’ Debut Mixtape “Hollywood Burns” is a Solid Soundtrack for the Rebels (Mixtape Review)

Choco Valens is a 33 year old MC from Miami, Florida who came up in 2018 off his full-length debut Kill Politics. This was followed up with his sophomore effort The Night Before the Fight the next summer & then his 3rd full-length album Wolfenstein a couple years later. But as the 2-year anniversary of the latter approaches next month, Choco has seen fit to return in the form of his debut mixtape following the 2-year schedule set by his last 2 efforts.

“Broken Bones” kicks things off with a 3 minute spoken word piece until we get a jazzy boom bap beat & Choco dropping some hard battle bars during the 2 half whereas “No Mercy” perfectly lives up to it’s title to the murderous lyricism to the funereal production. “7 Chakras” comes through with one of my favorite performances on the tape with it’s intricate rhyme schemes & flow switch-ups over an Alchemist instrumental that has kinda sounds like it was originally made for Griselda, but then “Blood Sport” has a more occult atmosphere to it comparing the rap game to such.

Meanwhile on “Heart of Evil”, we have Choco returning to the boom bap spitting the wicked shit to my surprise & pulling it off wonderfully leading into “Mad Villain” comes through with a 7-minute tribute to the late MF DOOM that I think any hip hop head would come to appreciate. Especially with all the multiple beat-switches. Serum, Duivan, King Tetrus, 8ch20wins & Lejnd all come into the picture for the 7-minute posse cut “Born Killers” produced by DJ Pain 1 declaring themselves to be such prior to the bombastic “Rage” encouraging that now’s the time to riot.

Orion Brass tags along for the bluesy “No Days Off” as the 2 talk about having no time to rest while “Free Country” is a short but sweet boom bap joint produced by Evidence & it’s just incredible how much charisma Choco puts on display with his delivery. “Bad Guy” has a more luxurious approach to the instrumental continuing to belittle his competition while the song “Scarface” with Wolf-gang finds the pair jumping on top of some prominent hi-hats to talk about not giving a fuck. The penultimate track “Blue Print” is basically a freestyle over “U Don’t Know” by JAY-Z until “Miami Estate” is a triumphant closer à la Maybach Music Group letting y’all know where you can find him.

It most definitely feels more like a mixtape compared to Choco’s last 3 albums to me, but it’s still a dope way for dude to ring in the new year. It’s cool to hear him pay homage to some of his influences by jumping on top of beats that we’ve already heard before as well as simply hearing how much he’s evolved as an MC within the last 5 years from the flow switch-ups to the passionate execution in his delivery.

Score: 7/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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