I never heard of Lil Mal before this tape, but I’m impressed with his effort on Live From Shady Oaks IV. Hailing from Jacktown (Jackson), Mississippi, Lil Mal does the whole ‘reality rap’ style really well; “Pray/Grandma” is quickly becoming one of my favorite tracks this year because of this reason. While Mal’s honesty can be a bit much from time to time (he has a line about recently getting over syphilis), and a few of tracks could have been dropped (Illuminati and Gangsta Party looking at you), Live From Shady Oaks IV is a good mixtape that doesn’t suffer much elsewhere. At 16 tracks long, it doesn’t actually ever feel like too long, and it even finishes on a great note with the extremely catchy song “Still Gettin,” which includes a surprising Project Pat feature.
DOWNLOAD: Live From Shady Oaks IV (Livemixtapes)