Words by Kaya.lah—
We’ve been keeping tabs on the tropical waves that St. Thomas, Virgin Islands rapper Paebak has been sending our way for a while now: a few of his releases we’ve highlighted in the past can be found here. Continuing on his established path and turning it up a notch, he gets that 90’s hip-hop flavor very correct on “Got ‘Em,” painting a vivid picture of the day-and-night, rich-and-poor duality readily apparent on his home island, over what sounds like a smooth, Tribe Called Quest/ Souls of Mischief hybrid. Visuals from fellow Virgin Islanders S.Dot & Shad.FK document his travels abroad, specifically in Chicago.
History, the Rock City rapper’s third mixtape, shows a definite evolution both musically and lyrically. “Got ‘Em” is the second selection off the September-released mixtape to get the visual treatment, following “VI OG’z“ (featuring Planet VI), the addictive lead single we highlighted back in June. The 18 track composition also has Paebak flexing over some of the harder instrumentals to hit in 2013, such as Jay-Z’s “Open Letter” and “Holy Grail,” “Power” by J Cole and the seemingly eternal “Don’t Kill My Vibe by Kendrick Lamar. More impressive are the originals like “Le Couronne,” “Sanctuary” and “We Did It.” And look out for some of the other Virgin Islands talent featured on the mixtape, like Mike Lawry and Beanz, both of whom appear on two tracks. Download the full mixtape over at DatPiff and look out for more from Paebak on LargeUp.