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Caddy Da Don rolls through anticipated 'Cut the Check' mixtape

EntertainmentMusicRadio IndustryDisc JockeysExtra (tv program)Bad Boy (music group)

Caddy Da Don
"Cut the Check" mixtape (download it free here)
Monarch Entertainment Group
Rating: *** (out of 4)

Note: Videos linked in this review contain explicit language and imagery.

When Baltimore rapper Caddy Da Don, born David Rice, was released from prison in 2009 after serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for money laundering, he didn't waste time re-establishing himself as one of the city's most promising MCs. Last year, his club-banger "Grindin' on Me" found a regular home on radio station 92Q. Now, a year later, he's releasing his anticipated new mixtape, "Cut the Check," hosted by Maybach Music Group's DJ Scream.

In hip-hop, timing matters. Caddy seems to acknowledge this when he raps, "Heard they say I sound Ross / in my city been boss" on "Trap Life." He possesses a booming voice similar to current mainstream hit-maker Rick Ross. It's Caddy's most obvious gift, so he smartly rides it throughout the 17-track tape, bending it for hardcore street anthems (the excellent "Out of Line") and potential crossover singles ("She Bad").

As a songwriter and lyricist, Caddy has the potential to do what few Baltimore rappers have done — break through the Charm City ceiling and enter the national hip-hop scene. (He's second to only Los, the local rapper signed to Diddy's Bad Boy Records, as the Baltimore rapper to put your money on.) But he's not there yet — "Cut the Check" has stretches of generic trap-music and missed opportunities, such as "Retarded," which features rapper-of-the-moment 2 Chainz.

Despite the missteps, "Cut the Check" has songs that showcase Caddy's versatility. "Extra" is a silly track, but it works because of its commitment to its concept ("Long driveway, house extra far"). The undeniable "Counting Up," featuring a glowing interlude from Ravens star Ray Rice, repeats the "Grindin' On Me" pop formula with Auto-Tune. "Dear Streets" showcases Caddy's introspective side over a soulful DJ Toomp beat. But there's always room for improvement: "Heavy," the tape's best song, finds the swaggering D.C. star Fat Trel outshining Caddy, stealing the spotlight with his ice-cold nihilism.

wesley.case@baltsun.com
twitter.com/midnightsunblog

Local artists interested in having their latest albums/mixtapes reviewed should email wesley.case@baltsun.com.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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