On his brand new mixtape, “The Time Machine” hosted by DJ Infamous, Phoenix, AZ based artist RealTalk, delivers his visceral lifetime narratives over remixes of hits taken from the 70s, 80s and 90s, including samples by Bobby Womack, Rose Royce, Michael Jackson, Prince, Xscape , Aaliyah, Pink Floyd, and more. The mixtape delivers 12 grooving tracks with beats by a handful of skillful producers, from Dj Eric Swain, Rehab Beats, to BigMattBeatz, Kaleem Beats and MCK, as well as By 318tae who has the lion’s share with 4 tracks.
The only feature is The Last Poets on the opening track, “Niggas”. If you are already familiar with RealTalk’s past works, then you know that he delivers in all categories of a recording. There is depth and variety to each song, which is supremely supported by excellent lyrics and production.
This is an artist who is contributing to his genre in a positive way and it shows once again in this album. As soon as you hit play on the opening track, which is, “Niggas” ft. The Last Poets, you hear rhythmic Afro-styled percussion, chanting, singing, and a high energy preacher type sermon – some real artistic, cultural and political vibes come through here.
This isn’t that hip-hop mixtape intro where the artist comes out rapping a mile a minute about his personal prowess. That’s because RealTalk is not trying to prove he’s an amazing rapper, he’s trying to prove he can make an amazing mixtape.
The insistence with authenticity is a familiar pose in hip-hop. For RealTalk, though, life isn’t just a source of borrowed credibility; it’s where this storyteller goes to absorb details that for others might merely be glimpsed from afar. “The Time Machine” is thick with the residue of these immersions. Even when he’s drawing on his own experiences he exercises an observational acuity that suggests how much noticing he’s been doing. Real-life subjects are addressed, providing insight into his worldliness.
All throughout the mixtape, RealTalk did things his way. Rapping over remixes of past hits, might seem like a risk in a market where nobody even remembers last month’s top 40 placings. It is a risk only real artists are capable of taking to express their artistry.
But as soon as you bump into the triumvirate of standout tracks – “Patience” (Prod. by Justwritebeats), “Anymore” (Prod. by Rehab Beats) and “Diana” (Prod. by BigMattBeatz), you realize the indefectible reasoning behind that risk. Whether or not you recognize these songs make no difference to their sublime execution and desired effect on the listener.
If anything, knowing the samples only enhance your listening experience. The heartfelt mellow production on “Down With You” (Prod.By 318tae) only complements the power of the relatable lyrics, as RealTalk digs in with his inspiring flow. It’s tremendous track for its personal details, provided by a true storyteller.
Rapping with an intense demeanor, RealTalk is in his ultimate prime on “Got To Change” (Prod.By 318tae) which is, quite possibly, one of his best tracks lyrically. The production is reminiscent of old school hip-hop and will have heads nodding in agreement as the words propel into the brain.
The hard-knock-powered production mixed with melodic vocals in the background, is captivating on “It Happened” (Prod. by 318tae), which closes the mixtape with yet another standout. “The Time Machine” is RealTalk’s truest, most personal, artistic statement to date, and is easily his best release.