Crooks and Castles is a pretty cool clothing brand. More specifically, Crooks and Castles is a clothing brand that's always had a close relationship with hip-hop, which has given them a level of fashion credibility no matter how one feels about their clothes. One of the drivers of that relationship was Christopher “Lewds” Natalio, the company's former marketing director, who passed away three years ago today, June 2. To celebrate his legacy, the brand put together a mixtape of unreleased songs from a few of their friends.
Normally, it would probably be safe to assume there was no reason to care about a mixtape put together by a clothing brand. Who wants to listen to music as just a thinly veiled way to advertise a T-shirt? But this is a dope tape. It features a song with Bun B and Childish Gambino teaming up, as well as one that brings together QC labelmates OG Maco and Quavo. Chicago post-drill phenoms Lil Bibby and Lil Herb, who came up rapping together but whose collaborative output has been more sporadic in recent years, are reunited on a track. Omarion and motherfucking Rick Ross get involved. Trae tha Truth slides through for a verse. There are some serious gems here, and it's well worth your time in addition to being a fitting tribute for a guy who helped build one of the most recognizable streetwear brands in the country. Check out the full album credits and a stream of the project below.
Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.