Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t P. Diddy’s new band. Far from it. The Money Making Jam Boys is composed of Black Thought (frontman of The Roots), Dice R.A.W., S.T.S, Truck North, and P.O.R.N. A mix of overground and underground rappers who rip it up over 16 tracks on this free mixtape. Opening up with a spot on Denzel Washington impersonation (by whom I’m assuming is Jay Pharaoh) the tone is set for an album that is a friendly competition amongst the rappers and a fun jam session for the listener.
“The Prestige: Jam Boy Magic” is a clear sign of two things: 1) the return of old school, boom bap, rap of the 90s, and 2) the signaling of a new era in free high quality mixtapes. Between this, the recent B.o.B. “No Genre”, and Game’s double-album “Purp & Patron” and “Purp & Patron: The Hangover,” these mixtapes could pass as fully-produced LPs. What was once a relic of the days when mixtapes were a proving ground for unsigned talent has become a required marketing tool for established artists to maintain a steady presence in the age of the internet. Whatever it is, it’s still amazing music to my ears.