My favourite mixtape that comes to mind first, because I hate using the word ‘ever’ because it could change tomorrow, but it has to be Wiz Khalifa’s Kush and Orange Juice. The reason why is because I’m going off that summer; the summer it dropped I was in a weird transitional period myself. I was in college and I was almost trying to find and define what I thought was cool and all the things that I was into and all that kind of stuff.
I had always been heavily into music but it was probably one of the first hip-hop records in a while that spoke to my generation at the time, and it was just cool as well. You can listen to it and it will carry you from the start of your journey to the end of your journey.
It was so cool it got me into stuff I didn’t really care for – luckily I didn’t get any tattoos – but it was so cool to me, I probably would have got a tattoo just off the strength of listening to that. I started smoking because of that mixtape, not off Snoop or anyone, but Wiz Khalifa. I don’t like his music now but that mixtape was infinitely great.
I think everybody’s got a project that defines a period of their life, and it might not be the best music in the world but during that time, every time you press play, you get nothing but happiness. Like, last summer for me was the Internet’s album; every time I heard that album I thought that it was how my day started, and Kush and Orange Juice was definitely that for me as well.
I can’t remember exactly where I was the first time I listened to it, but I do remember one time where I think it just clicked. I was on my way to link one girl in Plaistow and I was standing at a bus stop, and it was playing and I just looked up and the sun shone through the bus reflection thing, hit me and the whole stop was glowing; I felt beautiful that day, and the music just enhanced it.
That was it; every time I think about it I remember going to link that girl, sitting at the bus stop, music playing, sun up and I felt like the man. Back then, I was in college and I could travel anywhere for free. Buses were free back then and even trying to link that girl, I could go straight, tap my oyster and nothing was stopping me. The world was my oyster card, literally!
It just came at a point when I was so ready to be impressionable, and it was good music. The way the samples were cut, the way he was singing and the singing didn’t feel corny. It was around the time where people were singing more because of Drake, and with Wiz it still sounded cool, like what old Snoop would sound like. Without Kush and Orange Juice, ‘Black and Yellow’ wouldn’t have been as big a tune; I don’t think anyone would have really taken to it because Wiz built a core fanbase off Kush and Orange Juice.
There’s music that I can say that I personally love and there’s mixtapes I can say I personally love for different reasons. Maybe it was more mixtapes that got me more into writing and understanding lyrical content or putting together arrangements. But in terms of one that made me feel the greatest, its Kush and Orange Juice.
The cover of Kush and Orange Juice was horrible! I don’t know if it was a real picture but Wiz’s head is Photoshopped onto an image and he’s standing next to one girl and he’s got a suit on, but the suit don’t suit him. I hate the cover so much! I hate it with my whole heart. His head looks like it’s really Photoshopped and the girl is alright, the writing’s cool. I used to be a painter and an illustrator so the whole creative design pisses me off. But yeah, the cover was appalling.
My favourite song….I don’t know. *Looking up the album on Wikipedia* There’s so many. I love ‘Mesmerized’, ‘The Kid Frankie’, ‘Supply’, ‘Still Blazin’, wow ‘Still Blazin’ *starts singing ‘Still Blazin’* ‘Still Blazin’’ is a banger! I’m going to listen to this project again, I haven’t listened to it in full since 2012. I think ‘Mesmerized’ was what was playing when the sun reflected off the bus stop window, but it’s probably ‘Still Blazin’’.
If I had to put a price on Kush and Orange Juice…. I’d pay £11.99, because I would have been in college and that would have been EMA and I’d be getting £20 (I didn’t get the full £30) so I would have only been willing to spare £11.99. It sounds like a lot from EMA but you re-up next week so its calm!
If I had to describe the mixtape in three words, I would say it was very, very wavy! That was it; it was the first time that a project just made me want to listen to it constantly.
So imagine, I could be listening to it on the way to college, I could listen to it on my way home, there could be a house party and I guarantee, at the house party, they’re going to play the mixtape from top to bottom. It was really that summer, the one thing I heard throughout the whole summer. It could fit every mood.
Photo by Lily Mercer.
Words by Kojey Radical.