By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
DJ Trackstar continues to act as this town's biggest hip-hop evangelist, spreading positive vibes and slick beats in equal measure. In addition to hosting the weekly hip-hop night Integrity at Blueberry Hill and tutoring aspiring young DJs in the ways of spinning and scratching, Trackstar curates the Boogie Bang series of mixtapes. His mixes serve a dual purpose — he champions up-and-comers by placing emerging rappers alongside titans of the genre. Vol. 12 features tracks by heavyweights like Rakim, Erykah Badu and Ice Cube (whose "Gangster Rap Made Me Do It" both lampoons and lambastes those who pin the blame for society's problems on MCs).
This edition is hosted by Staten Island's NYOil, who contributes "Each Morning" alongside the requisite intro, outro and assorted shout-outs that pepper the mix. And while marquee names like Lil Wayne and Jadakiss pop up on this mix, Trackstar leaves some space for some of St. Louis' young bucks. The duo Family Affair contribute the standout "This Is How I Live," which operates on a dirty string sample and rapid-fire drumbeats and features a healthy dose of hometown pride. Wafeek, Finale and Vandalyzm let loose on "Three the..." and Tef Poe slows things down with "Everything I Luv." The overall vibe of the mix is mostly relaxed and soulful without going soft, and Boogie Bang Vol. 12 offers a nice tip sheet for some homegrown talent.
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