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[Review] Sha Stimili - The Break Up Proposal (Mixtape)


The theme of the mixtape is relationships, and Sha uses his lyrical abilities to tell the story of a man who goes from being alone to jumping the broom.

Brooklyn emcee Sha Stimuli may not be the sickest lyricist the game has ever seen, but at times sheer charisma and honesty can outweigh vast amounts of precisely-spit, multi-syllabic bars. Though his LP My Soul to Keep gained notable buzz through the underground Hip Hop scene, he also earned notoriety for dropping numerous mixtapes online, and his latest effort, The Break Up Part 2: The Proposal is a continuation of his mixtape legacy.

With disregard to the verse Stimuli spits over the instrumental for D’Angelo’s R&B classic “How Does It Feel? (Untitled),” The Break Up Part 2: The Proposal is a concept tape consisting of all original beats and rhymes. Much like fellow Brooklyn rhyme spitter Torae’s Heart Failure EP from earlier this year, the theme of the mixtape is relationships, and Sha uses his lyrical abilities to tell the story of a man who goes from being alone to jumping the broom. Stimuli’s approach to the topic is that of unabashed honesty as he details his doubts about his own self control, his fictional lover’s ability to resist temptation, the benefits of marriage, and more.

Part 2 is sequenced in a manner that directly mimics the growth of a relationship in real life. Beginning with “Alone,” which is quite literally how Sha begins this journey, the tape quickly transitions into the passionate “So High,” (produced by J. Cardim), in which the two are exploring the physical aspect of their relationship. By the middle of the tape, listeners see the two characters pondering a life together in “Look At Us,” although both seem to have doubts about the long term. However, as fans can deduce from the title, it’s clear by “Something About You” that despite his doubts, Sha is ready to pop the question to the female love interest (who remains unnamed) in this story as he contemplates, look, as cynical as I’m sounding, there’s no way around it, I’m down with it, all of my boys are calling me clowning,  and I don’t even care, you my air, I thought this shit would drown me, but there’s something about you.”

With features on the mixtape being held down solely by singers, not rappers, Sha ensures that The Break Up Part 2: The Proposal is entirely his own story. Though this does make for a cohesive plot, the strict adherence to the theme of relationships and love may alienate some listeners who just aren’t in the mood to hear about the stresses of monogamy. But for those who are into that - and especially people who may be considering marriage in the near future - Stimuli’s latest mixtape is a solid, introspective effort at shedding light on how even the biggest players in the game can find themselves changing their ways thanks to some good old fashioned true love.

Rated: ✭✭☆☆☆

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