Just Give Me a Beat

Eye-Que + mixtape = me drooling like a rabid Duke basketball fan. You add one of Chico’s sickest underground MCs with some of hip-pop’s most popular beats and the combination should be a victory in the making. But the 15-track offering, Just Give Me a Beat, a free online download (find it at www.mediafire.com/?cz64z6zzzyi5uar), is an uneven mix. Eye-Que seemingly got caught up in the idea, and lost what he does well. With songs labeled “freestyle” or “remake,” you’d believe that Just Give Me a Beat will be full of his inventive freestyles sprinkled in with remakes of hip-hop classics. As the final buzzer sounds, however, Que’s performance is solid, but not history-making. “Airplanes Freestyle” starts the game with a poignant autobiographic, heartfelt performance. “Next Episode Freestyle” has an intentionally syncopated flow that works well with the classic Dre beat. “Today Was a Good Day Remake,” though, struggles to strike the same emotional chord as the first few offerings. The song comes off hokey as Que mirrors the original lyrics too closely. The final track, “Hip-Hop Is Dead Remake,” ends the game with an alley-oop dunk, as Dash offers up a soulful vocal hook and Que slams it home with a lively diatribe about what is and isn’t hip-hop.