Mashmode Vol. 1
An album by ButtaBall
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to “Mashmode Vol. 1” by ButtaBall
The way an album and myself cross paths can sometimes be interesting, and this is no exception. Tony Reaper, an artist who had his “Vendetta” album reviewed at The Write Reviews about six months ago, messaged me via social media to introduce me to an artist from Oklahoma who goes by the name of ButtaBall. In fact, Tony Reaper covered the fee that jumped ButtaBall ahead of the other fifty-three albums that are on The Write Reviews’ track by track breakdown list, landing ButtaBall with the second review to be posted in The Write Reviews’ second year. Without further delay, here is the review of ButtaBall’s “Mashmode Vol. 1”.
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1- 10 Bandz Freestyle
From the moment I first heard the instrumental ButtaBall uses to open his mixtape, I have enjoyed it. Even with all of the artists using it for mixtapes, I haven’t grown tired of it. ButtaBall comes onto the track with an impressively smooth flow and an engaging microphone presence that will grab the attention of the audience. There’s no hook here, just bar after bar of aggressiveness from ButtaBall as he seems to target rappers in general and anyone not with his team or who stands in his way. If you’re a fan of gun bars and hustle music, this will be right up your alley. Everyone else will still find entertainment and clever lines with a banging instrumental. From a super fan of hip hop point of view, the only complaints could be how often this beat has been used and wanting to hear ButtaBall branch out with some of his wordplay and punchlines. Still, “10 Bandz Fresstyle” starts Mashmode Vol. 1 off with a Featured Track.
Another great instrumental selection, dark and heavy bass with looming piano keys create a horror movie feel. ButtaBall still handles a superb flow of words and presence with his voice. The first verse includes a few metaphors with some witty lines. The hook fits the beat well, and builds a hype mood as you continue to listen to it. The second verse has more of a punchline approach with a thug mentality. The hook bring the track to an end, and I add another to the Featured Tracks list.
3- One Of Us feat. Von B
I’m not as much a fan of the music for “One Of Us” as I am of the last two tracks, but the bass grouped with the highs still puts off a vibe that could see people bouncing along with the beat. The hook comes through the speakers almost immediately, and quickly tires out the phrase “one of us”. A few switch ups wouldn’t hurt to help keep people locked in and focused on what would be said next. Von B has the first verse, spitting his lyrics in cadence with the beat in a timely fashion and presenting confidence behind his words. His content doesn’t really get deep lyrically and it’s mostly a lot of bragging. The hook comes through the speakers again before ButtaBall gets on the microphone. ButtaBall brings more of a lyrical edge with his verse than Von B., but stays with the same content heard on the previous two songs. Not a bad addition to the mixtape, but “One Of Us” doesn’t have the same effect as the earlier tracks had on me.
4- Mashmode Freestyle
Another great instrumental choice, I really like the entire feel of this beat. Lyrically, this is ButtaBall’s best set of bars at this point of the album. He still centers his bars around the streets with most of the lines, but he reaches out with his vocabulary and hits harder with some of his punchlines. This is likely to get people going, no doubt about it. Definitely slides into a slot with the Featured Tracks.
5- My 2-3 Zone
“My 2-3 Zone” features bumping bass with a dab of intensity and different rhythms for an emcee to vibe with, and ButtaBall doesn’t hesitate to swing for the fences by delivering a hustle track that can be played in the club as well. The verses doesn’t deviate from that content ButtaBall has put out there for there so far on “Mashmode Vol. 1”. The hook is very catchy, definitely adding to the mood the instrumental has created for the audience. The second verse picks up exactly where the first left off. ButtaBall does produce a lot of charisma with his voice when he delivers his lyrics. After another round of the hook, ButtaBall bring a third verse that isn’t quite as hard as the other verses on the track. “My 2-3 Zone” has its appeal for a certain crowd, and the content of every verse is becoming a little redundant.
6- Keep Me Active
And just as I say something about becoming a little redundant, ButtaBall switches up everything over an instrumental with bass and a lighter mood than the audience has heard so far on Mashmode Vol. 1. ButtaBall gets some assitance from autotune and changes from his aggressive approach to a more relaxed flow to his lyrics. Most of the focus on “Keep Me Active” is on ButtaBall’ s life reflections and thoughts while smoking some tree. There is a hook on this track, which is likely to bounce around in your head for awhile, but I wouldn’t say this is a full track. This has more of an interlude feel to it, and comes at a really good place on the album. “Keep Me Active” may not be a Featured Track, but it is definitely a welcomed addition.
7- I Know BB
This beat makes me want to throw bows and get hype. ButtaBall wastes no times using his rough-edged, ready-to-brawl tone of voice to use the music to his advantage. Delivering bar after bar with more emotion than previous tracks that included similar content, ButtaBall is able to make me feel as if he is truly seeing the neighborhood around him as his younger self. His imagery and attention to specific details shines here because the audience can feel he is fully connected with his words. There isn’t really a hook, just a repeating sequence of names in shoutout fashion to slowly bring the track to a close, and adding more of a personal touch to the track. I feel “I Know BB” pushes itself in with the Featured Tracks by a hair.
I never would have guessed for a track with the title “Superman” to have a dark, almost scary, sound to the music. However, that is exactly what is found here and ButtaBall’s presence behind the microphone shows he is more than confident that he can make it work. ButtaBall brings some heavy gun bars, but the highlights of his bars are the vivid metaphors and how he smoothly switches between several different styles of delivery without a single kink to be found in his flow from beginning to end. There are enough punchlines here to leave the hook at home, which is exactly what ButtaBall decided to do. This may be a short track that isn’t in a typical song format, but the content and cleverness of ButtaBall’s lines can’t be ignored, which is why “Superman” lands among the Featured Tracks.
9- California Dreamin’ feat. Shake Fontane
The instrumental for “California Dreamin'” creates an opposite vibe than the tracks heard for a little more than half of the songs on the entire Mashmode Vol. 1 album, and there’s still a quarter of the mixtape left to listen to. ButtaBall capitalized on the track by using great description, his timely flow, and keeping his lines entertaining. The hook is definitely catchy, and old school hip hop fans will catch on right away with the borrowed phrase from LL Cool J. This entire track stays on point, and is another great performance from ButtaBall, regardless of branching out from his normal fortay. The Featured Tracks grow in number as “California Dreamin'” joins the mix.
10- Kash Flow
On “Kash Flow”, ButtaBall brings back the autotune for the hook, which opens the track for the audience and doesn’t take long for people to begin singing along with the words. Autotune is used for the verses as well, but isn’t mixed into the vocals as heavily as it is on the hook. As the title suggests, this song is strictly about grinding to succeed and making sure to continue to push for everything. The subject matter for “Kash Flow” has been used by nearly every hip hop artist who has ever lived. Many sound like all of the rest, never truly standing out againt the hundreds of other tracks with a similar topic. Only a few have been able to rise above the others over the years. Thankfully, ButtaBall is able to fall somewhere in between with “Kash Flow”.
11- Loyalty Promo
A much slower paced instrumental than most of the tracks ButtaBall has presented is used for “Loyalty Promo”. The music has a bit of a creepy vibe. ButtaBall jumps right into it, speaking about himself and wear his is from to give the audience an idea of what his next project, apparently titled “Loyalty”, will have included in its content. This is definitely a creative way to promote the next project, and I applaude ButtaBall for that, but it just doesn’t seem like quite enough to rank up with the Featured Tracks. Still, I enjoyed the writing and originality of “Loyalty Promo”.
12- Crosstown Choppa
Mashmode Vol. 1 comes to a close with “Crosstown Choppa”. ButtaBall does not cease to impress with his ability whenever he steps outside of his ‘comfort zone’. In “Crosstown Choppa”, the emcee gives the audience something he hasn’t produced anywhere previously on the album, and that’s rapid-fire double-time syllable spitting. Not only can ButtaBall spit lyrics quick, he also continues to have content that isn’t overly lyrical yet definitely entertaining while delivering words as if he were shooting them from an automatic weapon. Rather brief, “Crosstown Choppa” is a very solid choice as the ending to Mashmode Vol. 1.
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10 Bandz Freestyle, Bang, Mashmode Freestyle, I Know BB, Superman, and California Dreamin’.
The Write Up
Shortly after Mashmode Vol. 1 began playing, I was impressed with ButtaBall’s delivery, microphone presence, and the charisma that spilled over the audience from his voice. By the middle of Mashmode Vol. I, repetitive content centered around similar topics was beginning to cause ButtaBall to appear one dimensional with limited creativity as a writer. Much to the enjoyment of listeners, the remaining tracks of the Mashmode Vol. 1 mixtape actually proved that ButtaBall can step out of his comfort zone and still produce quality tracks that are entertaining with intriguing, interesting content. ButtaBall has a few areas he could improve upon to better his craft, mainly the different aspects of lyrics. Overall, as an artist, ButtaBall has nowhere to go but up, and I have no doubt that’s exactly where he will go. The Write Reviews will follow the progress of ButtaBall, and hopefully get a review for his upcoming “Loyalty” posted on the site for everyone!
(3.5 out of 5 stars)
The Write Reviews caught up with ButtaBall for an interview!
ButtaBall was selected for the Artist of the Month!
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