Born Chicago Illinois, South side, TURNPIKERAP spent 17 years in and out of prison, and had been in Foster care since the age of 8. His life is riddled with tragedies – Drug using parents, his cousin killed by the police. His Mother, grandmother and grandfather died while he was in prison. But instead of drowning in a sea of sorrow, those events only pushed TURNPIKERAP towards one goal in his life – to succeed!
“Dope Sell Itself Vol.1” is the latest in TURNPIKERAP’s evolution. There’s no denying that he has not forgotten his past. His subject matter is focused on his hustle and grind, and there are plenty of references to drugs and violence, and his ad-libs are prominent. Where this project differs from many others is that TURNPIKERAP embraces his status from past to present with an ability to carry a track with his charisma and flow.
TURNPIKERAP does not proclaim any greatness, but “Dope Sell Itself Vol.1” puts it into full focus. That fact is most evident on standout tracks “Tolerance”, “Dope Sell Itself” and “Strong”. What keeps this mixtape fresh is that TURNPIKERAP approaches his content from a mature perspective. There’s a righteous indignation against injustices, haters and a need for self-preservation that TURNPIKERAP directs toward his circumstances. However, rather than preach from a pulpit, he speaks through stories.
Musically, “Dope Sell Itself Vol.1” is cinematic, superbly playing to TURNPIKERAP’s strengths. Bass loops and thick drums draw in the listener while allowing TURNPIKERAP to take center stage on several tracks, providing the mixtape with a cohesive feel without sounding repetitive.
Occasionally, as on “Who Knew Ft. G Herbo”, there’s a soulful, epic feel. Like the production, the features complement TURNPIKERAP without upstaging him. Skippa Da Flippa and G Herbo are both strong on “All Of Me” and “Who Knew”, respectively.
However TURNPIKERAP masters all aspects of his music – philosophy, street poetry, flow etc. His violence establishes his credibility, but it’s all for the greater good, as he warns, teaches, and implores to rise above the tough odds that life deals out.
TURNPIKERAP doesn’t come across as a hyper lyricist or punch line rapper. Which may be the prime reason you can appreciate his music much more because you not expecting a knock out verse. He is honest and has crafted that honesty into a format that’s easy for anyone to consume. It’s about what’s he says and how he says it. There’s a connection to this mixtape that for the most part you won’t get with most releases.
It is truly hard to find good street music these days that isn’t just an overworked trap beat and someone randomly spitting hype into the mic, but “Dope Sell Itself Vol.1” changes that perspective. TURNPIKERAP may be perpetually included in the “Gangsta Rap” sub-genre, and while it’s not totally undeserved because his lyrics, more often than not, include tales of street life, drug dealing, hustling, etc.
However it’s not totally accurate either, because his narratives almost never end with just describing the criminal acts, but also deal with the aftermath of those experiences that often accompanies life. Pictures perfectly painted. You will not be disappointed!