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Mixtape Review: B. Cooper – Spare Change

Disclaimer: All views presented in this Mixtape Review are those of the mixtape reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.

When a label that is known in any genre signs an artist that is relatively unknown, it raises a lot of questions as to who this person is. Where did they find them? What did they see in this artist? What was the process of adding them to their roster? Reflection Music Group, headed by Derek Minor, knew that many people would have questions about B. Cooper when news of his signing to RMG was made public. They also know one of the best ways to introduce the world to said-artist is to drop a project that displays said-artist’s skills.

Spare Change is the first project from B. Cooper on his new label, and serves as an artist introduction of sorts; displaying his talents over a majority of Dirty Rice beats (with a few from Skysense, Chris King, and Oz). With a release not too far removed from his signing announcement, does this mixtape offer enough to wet the taste buds of those who partake in such a saturated CHH genre?

Concept

When I first listened to this project all the way through, I can admit that the mixtape went over my head. I was immediately thrown off by Dirty Rice’s beats, and my head-nodding superseded my ability to listen, and I missed much of what B. Cooper was saying. I would catch a few hot lines B was saying here and there, but overall, it wasn’t sticking. This left me to conclude that the title Spare Change was to signify that most of these songs were just spare verses he had left over, that were collected into one mixtape. That was my mistake and I apologize to B. Cooper for it. As I sat down again to listen, I noticed a very clear theme of humility throughout the entire project.

The concept of Spare Change, or of just having what you have and offering it to someone who asks, is how the first half of this project begins. “The Introduction”, which has a beat that is just fire, is like a punch in the face lyrically, but represents a heart of contrition towards how he used to think in his approach towards life. God has a way of humbling us to be usable for His glory. “Troubled Waters” shows a real guy struggling with everyday circumstances around him that make him cry out to the Lord for answers, a situation every Christian can connect to. And before there is any time for B. Cooper to get a big head from the bars he has been spitting up to that point, there is a song called “Don’t Fall”, featuring Canon and Chad Jones, that is full of warnings and wisdom towards handling your ego in the CHH industry. The features from Chad and Canon are on point, but the concept of hearing the older members of RMG passing wisdom and truth about keeping our spirits humble to their new member makes this a great song.

Overall, when I listen to this mixtape, it makes me get the feeling that B. Cooper is a guy that I could know, like he is a real person who doesn’t think too highly of himself and understands that God desires him to have a humble heart in order to clearly shine Christ’s light – and that’s something I love to see in someone’s music.

Lyricism

B. Cooper has bars. I wasn’t expecting him to come out of the blocks throwing haymakers like he did. Accompanied with Dirty Rice’s beats, B. Cooper’s flow is perfect for any rap lover who loves dissecting lyrics that make you stop and rewind songs to play it again. He writes rhymes that are thought provoking but easy to understand. You don’t have to be hyper cryptic when writing rhymes to make something impressive in my eyes. You’ll listen to a song and say “That was a hot line”, but then when you stop and think how it connected with the rest of the line, you see that it’s more than just nice rhymes put together with no thought or reason to it. It sounds like basic level lyricism, but when so few people do it in such an effective manner, it gets me excited to hear someone pull it off!

Also, you wouldn’t have guys like Dre Murray and Alex Faith cosign with a feature unless you had some solid bars inside you. B. Cooper does a good job of holding his own in between these two lyrical minded men on the song “Home”, and he sounds like he fits right in with them. He’s got power vocally, but a tone that sounds laid back in his delivery – and attribute that bodes well for his future. Cadence after cadence, verse after verse, it doesn’t sound like he is trying. His flow is natural and his writing keeps your attention – wondering what he is going to say next to add to the picture being painted.

Conclusion

Whether you have heard of B. Cooper or not before this moment, I can tell you that he is going to be around for awhile if Spare Change is any example of his talents. Just off the “strength”, he’s got Alex Faith, Dre Murray, Canon, Chad Jones, Derek Minor, Tony Tillman, John Givez, and Dirty Rice in his corner right out of the blocks, but their cosigns by involvement aren’t without reason. B. Cooper proves himself to a be well intentioned writer who creates songs from the heart to connect to the heart of those in the struggle with him.

It’s more than just being a rapper with a whole bunch of hot punchlines to him, this is about representing the life of a Christian in a world that doesn’t want to see it. And while he recognizes he may not have “much” to offer, if anyone does ask him for something, he will gladly give them whatever “Spare Change” he has on him. I really like this project. B. Cooper can spit, the beats are hot, and it’s just gets me ready for his first full length album. I recommend you download this FREE mixtape and support the newest signee to Reflection Music Group.

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Daniel Cody is the engineer for the Wade-O Radio podcast and producer of The Life Change radio program for 4th Generation Ministries. He has a Bachelors Degree in Music Production & Record Engineering. He has a passion for authentic rap about the Gospel and collaborates with all genres of Christian music with his production company - Man of God Productions. Follow him on Twitter @DRoyulMOG.

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