UNDERGROUND GEMS: COKE WAVE 2

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Release Date: 2 November, 2009

Runtime: 15 Tracks, 6 Interludes, 61:00

Platforms: DatPiff

Essential Tracks: Porno Star, The New Wave (feat. Dame Grease), No, No, No (Hey We Love You), Ohh Waa (Do What I Gotta Do)

‘Coke Wave 2’ is legendary. The street classic is the sequel to the duo’s debut effort ‘Coke Wave’ and is fuelled with the griminess, subliminal shots and bravado that you would expect from a late 2000’s mixtape. ‘Coke Wave 2’ is an eclectic mish-mosh of styles, sounds and flows. It encapsulates the dynamism of Max B as an artist in ways which other projects fail to do. Throughout the tape he switches from his crooning interpolation of Soul/RnB classics to hefty New York street raps. He can go from 1970’s Motown singer to 2000’s Harlemite in the blink of an eye. Max switches his recording style as flawlessly as Lamar Odom swaps from Power Forward to the Point. ‘Coke Wave 2’ also establishes French as the rightful heir to the ‘Wave’. Whilst multiple artists have tried to replicate the ‘Wave’, no other artist can do it justice quite like French. Throughout the project, French plays Culpepper to Max B’s Randy Moss. Montana admirably sets the table for Max to shine throughout the tape. Whilst dropping his own bombs during the mixtape as well. ‘Coke Wave 2’ is everything you expect from a late 2000’s mixtape. An erratic mix of collaborations, remixes, solo tracks brought together with an infectious swag, bravado and invasive DJ Tags. ‘Coke Wave 2’ is a timeless classic, but it is also a time capsule. A reminder that mixtapes were poorly mixed and thrown together. Despite the disarray of most mixtapes, they possessed a soul and charm that many projects lack in the modern era. Evil Empire’s ‘Coke Wave 2’ is one of the finest displays of Max B’s wave. Only Charlie Rambo could concoct such a tsunami wave. Considering the fact that Max was locked up during the release of this tape, ‘Coke Wave 2’ is essentially the throwaways of the original ‘Coke Wave’ tape mixed with various filler tracks. The fact that ‘Coke Wave 2’ is as good as it is, is a testament to the magic Max B, French Montana and Dame Grease created together. Max B’s discography is distributed in such a confusing manner throughout streaming platforms, which makes ‘Coke Wave 2’ an ideal starting point for someone trying to start their journey on Max B’s ‘wave’. It’s the quintessential late 2000’s mixtape experience, an ‘Underground Gem’ in every sense of the term, it is ‘Coke Wave 2’.

 No, No, No (Hey We Love You)

 Sampling Enchantment’s ‘Angel In My Life’, an apocalyptic wave is created for the ‘Silver Surfer’, Max B. The eerie, mystical and unmixed beat creates a visual image of Max B and French surfing through a post-apocalyptic New York. The sudden shudder of the bass and accompanying drums add that classic mixtape griminess to the sound palette. ‘No, No, No (Hey We Love You)’ is as D.I.Y. as it gets. French’s drowsiness seeps into your speakers, whilst Max’s pseudo-falsetto abrasively resonates throughout the track. ‘No, No, No (Hey We Love You)’ is the perfect tone-setter for ‘Coke Wave 2’. It’s part angelic, part grimy and 100% wavy. 

The New Wave (Feat. Dame Grease)

‘The New Wave’ takes the angelic stylings of the intro track and subtracts the apocalyptic vibe to create pure bliss. The Angelic wave is in full effect. Max, French and Dame Grease exchange verses on this classic posse cut. ‘The New Wave’ is the perfect illustration of Max B’s versatility. He puts together an extremely complex run-on hook in his trademark ‘wave-setto’. No other rapper at the time could pull off a hook with such range. Each time Max utilised his ‘wave-setto’ he broke barriers for the next generation of artists. French matches Max B’s ‘wave’ admirably on the hook and holds his own throughout his two verses. Dame Grease shows he’s not just one of the greatest Hip-Hop producers of all time, he shows he can get wavy behind the mic as well.  The absence of a Max B verse leads me to believe that this song was finished whilst Max was in prison. The hook, the beat and verses were already classic. A Biggavelli verse would’ve sent this song into the stratosphere. Max, French and Dame Grease were pioneering the wave, one classic at a time. 

Started From The Corner

‘Started From The Corner’ is the first abrasive late 00’s NY mixtape style track to grace ‘Coke Wave 2’. Even when tackling the muddy, grating and abrasive soundscapes, Max B still finds a way to float. It’s hard to quantify, or even ascertain what Max does when he records. He’s half-singing, half-mumbling and 100% crooning. ‘Wave’ may be the only term that could truly encapsulate the Max B experience. The ‘wave’ is stronger than ever on ‘Started From The Corner’. French continues to hold his own with his stellar bars, drowsy flow and ‘wave’ interpolation. “Bodies get folded like a laptop”. His efforts throughout ‘Coke Wave 2’ show he’s the ideal ‘yin’ to Max B’s ‘yang’

Lord Is Tryna Tell Me Something (Remix)

 An all-time Max B classic gets the remix treatment on ‘Coke Wave 2’. The way Max assaults Dame Grease’s beat with grace is a top-tier display of the ‘wave’. The muddy, garage-esque echoing of the beat, yet again, contrasts the dynamism of Charlie Rambo’s infectious ‘wave’. He effortlessly switches from verse, to the hook, to the bridge. One of the few mixtape artists to utilise bridges in his songs, Biggavell adds a whole dimension of originality to his sound. ‘Lord Is Tryna Tell Me Something’ is a song which thoroughly displays why Max is such a beloved artist. He took the street sound and transformed it into some type of new-age Soul/RnB hybrid. The ‘wave’ is too unique. #Owwww. French, again, is solid but Max stole the show on this song. 

Ohh Waa (Do What I Gotta Do)

 The ‘wave’ keeps rolling on ‘Ohh Waa (Do What I Gotta Do)’. An illustration of the Million Dollar Baby’s ability to interpolate classics from yesteryear into his music. He takes sampling to the next level. The way Max delivers these old school hooks and melodies you’d swear they were his own. He breathes brand new life into these old school classics. ‘Ohh Waa’ sits alongside ‘BBQ Music’, ‘Why You Really Wanna Hurt Max’ as some of his best interpolation work. French slides perfectly as well, as he goes toe to toe with the “Wavy Don” throughout the track. The opening soliloquies of ‘Coke Wave 2’ are certified classics. These songs may be muddy, unmixed and D.I.Y. to the nth degree but they slap harder than a Sim in a bad mood. 

Tonight

 The laid back ‘wave’ comes to fruition on ‘Tonight’. Max’s crooning takes a lighter tone to match the coffee club atmosphere of the beat. His flawless switch from ‘Hook God’ to ‘Street Rapper’ is on display again. Biggavell, just as the self-appointed moniker suggests, is really two artists wrapped into one (maybe even more). He’s like the Vegito (or Gogeta) of the rap game. A pop star, rap star with the no fucks given attitude of punk rock star, Max Biggavell is the total package. Like Lex Luger. Or maybe he’s Curt Henning. Most of this write-up is waxing poetic about Max B’s exploits but props to French Montana for holding his own throughout the tape. French spends the majority of ‘Coke Wave 2’ as a hired goon, sending shots at whoever had problems with the wave. In 08/09, French and Max were the anti-heroes of the rap game. Their talent had the streets on smash and their penchant for shit-talking had them despised by the industry. For this reason, French spends the majority of ‘Coke Wave 2’ sending not so subliminal shots at his opps. In true New York fashion. 

Porno Star

 ‘Porno Star’ is one of the most outrageous songs in Rap history. The shout-outs to Roxy Reynolds and Pinky at the start is about as niche as it gets. The beat is pure piff. It sounds like a fusion of opera, anime intros and New York muddiness. If the world was ending, I’d listen to the ‘Porno Star’ instrumental on loop. If you thought shout outs to porn stars and a beat that is as chaotic as it is beautiful wasn’t outrageous enough, wait until you hear the hook. French starts ‘Porno Star’ with the typical ‘wave’ croon, Max then emerges out of left field like he’s in a fucking cabaret show in the 1920’s. He harmonises (a few octaves lower than his ‘wave-setto’) “She wanna fuck me baby, she wanna ride that wave”. Max’s off-kilter contribution to the hook is God-like. I can’t fully decide whether Max’s outburst is Frank Sinatra or Dru Hill era Sisqo. Either way, I’m so thankful for Max B every time I hear his 15 second croon on ‘Porno Star’. Max keeps up his bravado throughout his verse. “Once a bitch go Max she ain’t going back”. ‘Porno Star’ is one of the most legendary songs of the late 00’s era. French continues the outrageous premise of his song by doing his own version of Max’s hook mid-verse. If you can get through the onslaught of this track, you’ll begin to realise that ‘Porno Star’ is a true work of art. The music Gods would be proud of the Wavy-don for this one. 

Wave Thang (Feat. Dame Grease)

 French and Dame Grease bring the ‘wave’ to the G-Funk classic, ‘Nuthin But A G-Thang’. The absence of Max due to his prison situation makes this track feel like filler. Frenchy and Grease still did their thing though. 

Not Going Home (Feat. Lloyd Banks) (Remix)

 Shout out to Young Los for this wave classic. Although the original is the better version, it’s still heartwarming to see G-Unit, Coke Boys and Gain Greene connect for the ‘Not Going Home’ Remix. Max’s transcendent hook game and punchy, yet delicate rap flow are on full display in the ‘Quarantine’ classic. “Play the corner Champ Bailey dog”. Not much else can be said other than the fact that this is an essential Max B track. It’s best to experience the ‘wave’, rather than quantify it. 

Gain Greene Team (Feat. Chinx Drugz and Scarlett O’Harlem)

 First things first, R.I.P. Chinx Drugz. Max B returns to the Point Guard role he filled during his Byrdgang days. Max is on his Stephon Marbury for this song. He sets the tone for the Gain Greene posse cut. Over a classic soul-sample beat, Biggavel lets the ‘wave’ take a backseat to allow Chinx and Scarlett to shine. Both of the featured artists drop admirable verses. SQQQ-Squad Up! ‘Gain Greene Team’ is music to ride around to. 

Tattoos On Her Ass 2

 “It’s like LeBron James against Motherfuckin’ Speedy Claxton, shit ain’t gone work”. Max’s follow up to his classic ‘Tattoos On Her Ass’ does not disappoint. The flawless transition from waved-out crooning to Harlemite street rapper is on display once again. Sometimes listening to Max B gives me multiple personality disorder. One minute he’ll have me singing and swinging like I’m bumping Patrice Rushen and within a flash he’ll have me geeked up, ready to catch a case like I’m listening to Blade Icewood. ‘Tattoos On Her Ass 2’ is a rather formulaic Max B track. If you’re engrossed in the ‘wave’ you’ll enjoy it. If you’ve got this far into ‘Coke Wave 2’ and you aren’t engrossed in the ‘wave’ yet, then maybe you should abort the mission. 

We Rollin’ (Feat. Dame Grease and Mak Mustard)

 More music to ride to ‘We Rollin’ is another trip to the G-Funk wave. French and Dame do their thing. Mak Mustard highkey went crazy: “Need money, power and flour/ you can keep the respect”. Mustard really blacked out for his entire verse. Despite Mustard spazzin’, ‘We Rollin’ is a rather ho-hum track and could definitely be classified as filler. 

Mo Murda (Feat. Dame Grease)

 The second best non- Max B song on the ‘Coke Wave 2’ tape, ‘Mo Murda’ is a NY twist on a down south classic. ‘Mo Murda’ predates the down-South revival of the 2010’s, making this twist on a Bone Thugs classic ahead of its time. French and Dame flow sharply and consistently over the hard-hitting beat. ‘Mo Murda’ is a precursor to ‘Purple Swag’. The calm before the down-South storm took over the Rap world.

New York Minute (Remix) (Feat. Mase and Jadakiss)

 This shit right here is mixtape era gold. Whenever Mase pops out the cut, you’re guaranteed a classic verse. Add Jadakiss and you get two guaranteed classic verses. ‘New York Minute’ is the embodiment of mixtape magic. The beat goes crazy and once Mase cuts in, shit gets real. “I lean on these n*ggas like the old Penny, I microwave the game like the old Vinny, I’m still loved in the hood like the old Kenny”. The delivery and lyrics of Mase’s verse is pure gold. He spits that piff that Rap fans crave. Every time Mase shows out, he illustrates why he’s one of Hip-Hop’s greatest ‘what-if?’ stories. Montana did his job and Jadakiss snapped (as always). This remix must’ve had the streets of NY on fire. ‘New York Minute’ is the embodiment of New York mixtape Rap. 

 In conclusion, ‘Coke Wave 2’ is a diamond hidden amongst the disorganised discography of Max B. Furthermore, it’s a diamond amongst the plethora of mixtapes that dropped during this era. Due to Max B’s prison situation, ‘Coke Wave 2’ may merely be a collection of ‘Coke Wave’ throwaways but boy does it go crazy. The first 6 tracks are a demonstration of Max B’s genius and Montana’s ability to compliment the ‘Wavy-don’. The first 6 tracks show us that Montana and Max were one the Rap game’s most dynamic duos during the late 2000’s. ‘Coke Wave 2’ is a transcendent display of the ‘wave’ in action. The genius of tracks such as ‘Porno Star’, ‘The New Wave’ and ‘No, No, No’ will have you vibing out, gooned up and questioning traditional rap song structure all at once. The project falls off because of filler but the high points of ‘Coke Wave 2’ make it more than worth your time. The wave-setto, signature flows, grimy street raps are all tied together by the lo-fi, muddy and limit-breaking nature of the beats. This project is a quintessential late 2000’s mixtape. It may not sound clean, however it possesses a charm that will have you scrounging DatPiff like its 2009. Whether you want to begin your ‘wave’ journey, or if you want to revisit the ‘wave’, ‘Coke Wave 2’ should be one of your first adventures. Without a shadow of a doubt ‘Coke Wave 2’ is an ‘Underground Gem’.  

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