Nothin But Heat: Mixtape Vol. 1 (self-released)

Lil Donnyman Tha Rapper 

Nothin But Heat: Mixtape Vol. 1
(self-released)

In the upside-down world of hip-hop monikers, Lil might denote a bigger-than-life persona. Lil Wayne, Lil' Kim, Lil Jon: all performers with pint-sized names and arena-sized personalities. So it's no surprise that local artist Lil Donnyman tha Rapper hits listeners with a heaping portion of homegrown swagger on Nothin But Heat: Mixtape Vol. 1. If rappers keep an ear to the streets, then Donnyman pitches a tent on the corner, content to deliver 13 tracks of syrupy rhymes. Unadulterated and unapologetic, the young Donnyman shouts out darker aspects of urban life — gunplay, drugs, illicit trysts — with the relaxed demeanor of a slow-burning Philly. Whether he's lamenting family members lost to prison and violence over a bleating jazz horn on "Dope Shit" or he's celebrating cash over a sample of T.I.'s "My Life," Donnyman keeps his flows calm regardless of topic. What he lacks in lyrical complexity and storytelling, he begins to make up for in charisma, bragging with equal flair about a female conquest and getting loot. Nothin But Heat may not be intellectual, but sometimes a little party and bullshit will do. The set delivers on its simple promise of authentic street reportage and ear-friendly samples.

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