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'Dear White People's' Tyler James Williams puts out mixtape -- and it's good

'Dear White People's' Tyler James Williams puts out mixtape -- and it's good
Tyler James Williams in the movie "Dear White People." (Ashley Nguyen / Roadside Attractions)

Apparently actor Tyler James Williams is secretly a decent rapper too.

Williams, who played a young Chris Rock on the series "Everybody Hates Chris" and grew up to appear on "The Walking Dead" and in the indie flick "Dear White People," just dropped a mixtape -- and it's pretty good.

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Typically it's best to ignore actors who decide to flex their musicianship. History has shown the results are most often embarrassing (looking at you, Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson and the others Johnny Depp called out in a recent interview). But Williams doesn't appear to be taking himself so seriously.

His entry to rapping, at least to my knowledge, happened late last year when he offered a freestyle during an appearance on "Sway in the Morning." Fans challenged him to do more, and he listened.

Recorded in two weeks, the mixtape, called "Me, My Brother & A Mic," is a satirical look at a number of hip-hop tropes.

No, his flow won't make Drake or Kendrick lose any sleep, but his effort shouldn't be slept on.

Over deftly crafted beats from his younger actor brother, Tyrel Jackson Williams, the six-track mixtape smartly skewers rap views on masculinity, violence and female exploitation.

One track even pokes fun at our current obsession with the staccato, sometimes incomprehensible flow of folks such as Young Thug, Future, etc. It's a hilarious, yet essential listen. We'll listen to whatever else he wants to put out.

Check out the mixtape via Soundcloud. (We'd embed, but there's cursing.)

Twitter: @GerrickKennedy

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