For those who are unfamiliar with Dre Murray, the Collision Records representative hails from Houston Texas and has been a steady face in CHH for the last few years. From his solo albums, his part in W.L.A.K, and a recent collaboration album with Alex Faith, Dre is solidifying himself in the rap game today. Dark Vader is a free mixtape that serves as a short insight into Dre's personal journey.
After a quick Star Wars inspired intro, "Part 1" starts off this mixtape with Dre doing exactly what he does: rhyming methodically at a pace that fits his deep, smooth vocals. This track refers to his beginnings and "93 Coupe De Ville" follows in the same fashion. At this point, one can't help but notice that all of the tracks thus far are very short, hovering around the two-minute mark, and this trend holds for the rest of Dark Vader. Even though most tracks here are good, they are short indeed, but keep in mind this is a free-to-download mixtape. Props to Dre for giving out free tunes.
The production on Dark Vader is stellar and some of my favorites would be "We Was Rich Til The Bill Came," where the beats are not only head-nodding, but also seem to infuse some orchestra sounds, and "TINGS" which is straight fire and a track that I will be bumping for a long time to come. Honestly, there isn't anything here that is not worth checking out, but some serious rap fans may not give Dark Vader enough spin due to its length - or lack thereof. If you dig Dre, Collision Records, or hip hop in general, it is worth grabbing the free download, but if you are looking for a fully jam-packed rap album, this will not be what you're looking for.
- Review date: 12/28/16, written by Kevin Hoskins of Jesusfreakhideout.com