Howard Yardfest revisited: A trifecta of mix tapes

yardfest mixtapes

Yardfest, the annual concert held during homecoming at Howard University, is already a week in the rear view, but I'm still sifting through the copious freebies. Last Friday, street-teamers prowled the H.U. quad, passing out eye-popping party flyers, bottles of soda that tasted like dish soap (I was really thirsty) and oodles of mix tapes from rappers hoping to win new ears.

After listening to the dozen CDRs I took home, three stand out: Black Cobain's "Now Or Never," K-Beta's "89 to 09" and Nipsey Hussle's "Bullets Ain't Got No Names Vol. 3.1"

(Links to all three mix tapes, after the jump.)

Black Cobain - "Now Or Never"
This area rapper has both incredible poise and exigent student debt. On "Now Or Never" he rhymes, "Went to school and finished that/ Got a job ain't feeling that/ Fifty-thousand in loans/ You know I gotta pay it back." Bonus points for honesty -- and for not sampling "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

K-Beta and DJ Alizay - "89 to 09"
The emerging local MC teams up with the esteemed local DJ for a trip down memory lane. Spitting over tracks by Kanye, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang, and Young MC, Beta's nostalgia trip hints at a bright future.

Nipsey Hussle - "Bullets Ain't Got No Names Vol. 3.1"
With the latest installment of his "B.A.G.N.N." series, the Los Angeles rapper shows why he was one of the most buzzed-about acts at Yardfest. And while version 3.1 might not find Nipsey at his sharpest, he's finally starting to sound less like Snoop 2.0.

By Chris Richards |  October 30, 2009; 5:23 PM ET Local News
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