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AvE Stand & Deliver (hosted by DJ SNS) [review]

"when I cook crack, yeah it's usually on the Pro Tools/that's why my name rings like jewelry from the old school" - AvE, "Stand & Deliver"

When I heard this from AvE's mixtape, Stand & Deliver, I had to take a second look at dude. At 22 years young, this Bronx, NY, native is primed and ready to make a mark, throw NY on his back and keep it bubblin'. He reminds me of Papoose, but I think AvE is a bit more versatile: he has his street gritty records, he has a few party joints, but he also has some wicked stories, too. Not your average mixtape from not your average NY MC.

In terms of underground/mixtape fodder, dude has the game in a chokehold. Tracks like the "Tom Sawyer"-sampling "No Reason" bring straight flames over a noticable sample - I was actually impressed, because most of the Rap tracks sampling Rock these days try to go more for the Hardcore/Metal angle, where this harkens back to the breakbeat days. "Where I'm From" has AvE revisiting Jay-Z's street anthem, but showing you what BX is about. He also takes "Coast to Coast" and shows you how he can flow off of beats from all over the US ("Bout It, Bout It", "The Corner", "Deep Cover" and "Flava In Ya Ear"). "Addiction" is a serious story-driven rhyme about an all-consuming love. He even has a number of other up-and-comers featured on his tape: Nucci Reyo steps up on "Talk 2 'Em", going back and forth with AvE, but my favorite feature is "The Future": a sick, piano driven beat that is just itching to be cut up by a knowledgeable DJ, features Esso (aka "Esso-bama" LOL) just spitting some crazy lines for the hood. One for the niggas on the block, indeed. He even brings back Mic Geronimo for a little lesson on the politics behind the music on "Industry 101"!

Not to say that this mixtape doesn't have its missteps. "That's Mean", as host DJ SNS says, is "the single", and it has a nice, electro swerve to it. I can respect what he's doing on that one, from the song building to the "party in the club" vibe. However, "Give It To Me" just comes across as a forced effort, from the "swag" talk to the lame R&B hook on it. And those strings? Oh no, that's an automatic fast forward for me. I also realized that my copy didn't have all the tracks on the tape I was seeing. Whattup with that? Not saying I'm a big Trey Lorenz fan or anything, but I'd like to have heard the whole thing! And as much as I love SNS, I think his hosting should have been sparsed a bit. It wasn't really necessary, especially considering all he did was shout out BX, Urban Music Entertainment, and ruin songs (at the end of "Addicted", he shouts about them being "addicted to making this money", which kind of kills the vibe of the story that was just spit to us).

In any case, this mixtape does what it needs to do: it gives you a complete picture of a MC who is hungry. You can hear it in his voice, and you can see the versatility and potential hearing his best tracks. I feel like this dude could hop on someone's remix and craft a sick 16, or drop some deep introspective shit for the real niggas on the block. I highly recommend you give AvE a listen. In the immortal words of DJ SNS (lol): BX STAND UP!

rock the dub gives Ave's Stand & Deliver mixtape a 3.7 out of 5 stars. Dude has what it takes to get his name on the lips of many tastemakers - as long as he stays true, and doesn't roll with the trends. One of the MCs to watch out for, that's my word.

If you want more info on AvE, hit up his MySpace page. You can also stream Stand & Deliver on HipHopDX.com. This mixtape has also been featured on Yo! Raps, as well as on Mixtape Kings.

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