Huey Mack gets a lot of flack at West Virginia University for being an awkward Phi Si whose daddy gets him radio play, but, really, the kid is earning it. His first couple of mixtapes Bright Lights and Long Nights and Freshman 15 made a splash on his campus and on Datpiff. Apparently there was another one called A Boy Named Huey, but we don’t talk about that one. His newest drop, ambiguously titled Click is his latest foray into hip hop.
Check out the new mixtape on Datpiff here: http://www.datpiff.com/Huey-Mack-Mike-Stud-Click-mixtape.379764.html
The production on the tape is well done although the lack of a Big Jerm track is disappointing. The album begins and ends with Judge tracks, the former being far superior to the latter. Jon Kilmer’s contribution Hollywood is an upbeat examination of fame that B12C particularly enjoyed.
The highlight of Huey’s lyrics are undoubtedly his “realness”. The low-light (is that a real thing?) of his lyrics is a boring adherence to mainstream topicality. Yes, we get it, rappers like ladies and liquor. Occasionally he’ll touch on some personal, emotional issue in his rhymes, but rarely can the listener empathize with him. This is an element of immaturity you’d hope he would’ve discarded after a few mixtapes.
The problem frankly, is that he’s competing in a saturated market. In college rap we’ve been through Asher Roth, Mac Miller, Chris Webby, Sam Adams, Hoodie Allen and now Huey Mack in less than a decade. So let’s break this sub-genre down real quick.
Asher Roth had the most commercial success and is probably the most respected by both successful and talented hip hop artists alike. His topicality is broad and his style is relatively mature.
Mac Miller peaked in the last year commercially and substantively. His wordplay is impressive but, like Huey, he suffers from narrow vision.
Chris Webby is arguably the best lyricist in the bunch (see Webster’s Laboratory) but hasn’t yet peaked in terms of popularity.
Sam Adams started out strong but we haven’t heard much from him since Boston’s Boy. B12C has big hopes for this one.
Hoodie Allen’s latest EP All American was great in many categories and in the long-term, our bets are on him (not counting Asher, who’s already made his mark).
Did we mention that Timeflies (from Timeflies Tuesday, google it) dropped a sweet mixtape?
So where does Huey fit in to this colorful (yet remarkably flat) landscape? Well firstly, we’re surely missing someone (tell us in the comments!), so don’t take this as a comprehensive analysis, but we don’t see where Mack can compete. Lyrically he’ll have a tough time and he’s not exactly the most charismatic guy. On top of this, it seems like Mike Stud (mentor or protege?) only serves to distract from Huey by seeming aloof in comparison.
Our advice to Huey? Carve a niche creatively by being yourself and not compromising artistically. We know that’s hard for a young artist to accept but its the only way he’ll pull ahead of the pack.
Our favorite Huey mixtape is his debut drop. Find it here: http://www.datpiff.com/Huey-Mack-Bright-Lights-And-Long-Nights-mixtape.159202.html