iLoveMakonnen has always been an incongruous trap star: He's the guy capable of turning Sonny Digital and Metro Boomin beats into tortured operas about lost loves, but he's equally inclined to dick around and make songs about actual trap topics like selling drugs over piano-driven beats that you might expect him to save for sad paeans about friendship. Makonnen tends to vacillate between these two poles, to varying degrees of cohesion over full projects.
But with his latest project, Red Trap Dragon, which is produced entirely by "Trust Me Danny" producer Danny Wolf, he sticks entirely to the more traditional trap sound, even bringing in Hoodrich DJs Lil Keem and Spinz to host the proceedings. A few familiar cuts, including the Lil Yachty and Skippa da Flippa collab "Loaded Up" and a new version of "Sound Like Who," make appearances. It feels like a proper Atlanta mixtape, and it bangs accordingly. There's a reason that it looks like an ad for a restaurant. Super Chef is back in the kitchen.
Best of all is "She Don't Call No More," which sounds like, in Makonnen's hands, the setup for a sad ballad, but turns out to be a master class in how Makonnen might best blend his pained sing-song with sneering trap bravado. It all comes together in an outro that's just Makonnen singing about Porsche trucks. Whatever pole Makonnen trends toward, it's true that, as he reminds us, his "flow is in every motherfucking season." Check out the full mixtape via LiveMixtapes.
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