Mix It Up

Fill up your iPod with these new Cleveland mixtapes

Machine Gun Kelly's official major-league debut, Lace Up, won't be out till summer, and even an EP by the same name won't drop till spring. But local hip-hop impresarios Big Heff & Dommystyles can't contain their excitement, so they've slapped together a mixtape featuring the Cleveland rapper and they've called it Pre Laced.

It's the best among a spate of new mixes that recently dropped on the local landscape, each one of which gives a big fat, wet kiss to our favorite city. The beats are strictly Cleveland; so's the flow. Here's a rundown of four of our favorites and where you can download them for free.

Big Heff & Dommystyles Presents Machine Gun Kelly: Pre Laced

What it's all about: Twenty-eight cuts, mostly remixed from MGK's previous mixtapes, as well as a few featured tracks (including the new single "Wild Boy" with Waka Flocka Flame) and a voicemail from his new boss Diddy.

For your own mix: "STFU," which borrows a sample from the Go-Go's and an attitude from every punk you know.

Representin': The first words MGK spits after the radio-interview intro are "Man, I'm so Cleveland, it's a goddamn shame." Straight up.

Where you can get it: divshare.com/download/16390434-13b

Tezo: Tezo

What it's all about: Tezo's hard and raspy rap style gives these somewhat conventional 10 tracks a kick in the ass. "Evil Plan" is the first full cut here. More important, it also serves as the Brush High School grad's statement of purpose.

For your own mix: The skittering "Redrum," a murder fantasy straight outta Freddy Krueger's nightmare.

Representin': Among other places, "Rep" tips a cap to East 55th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Where you can get it:


Lil Marv: The Road to the Top

What it's all about: Marv's 15-track mix is about a young man who wants to hit the big time. Presumably that road to the top heads out of Cleveland.

For your own mix: The title track, which weaves a snaky sax in and out of an old-school drum loop.

Representin': "Our journey begins in Cleveland, the city of lost hopes and dreams," an ominous voice tells us at the start, over a horny sample that sounds like it was whisked in from a blaxploitation flick.

Where you can get it:


iPhonic: DJ E-V Presents Rock N Roll Vol. 1

What it's all about: Unlike the other artists here, these guitar-slinging pop-punks aren't really hip-hop. But they do include a dude who raps once in a while. The 14 songs feature collaborations with Krayzie Bone and Machine Gun Kelly.

For your own mix: "Stand Up" is a fist-in-the-air anthem with a Cleveland-ready guitar riff, '80s synths, and enough cowbell to fuel a Blue Öyster Cult session.

Representin': The remix of Patrick Stump's "This City," in which the Fall Out Boy frontman gives a shout-out to Cleveland. The iPhonic guys then roll through a map of our fine city.

Where you can get it:


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