Mixtape Review: RAtheMC – Heart of a Champion

Next to Phil Ade, RAtheMC is the brightest rising star in the DMV hip-hop scene. She rocked the stage at last October’s All Killer No Filler and her Twitter-themed mixtape Trending Topic was one of the best local releases in 2009. Since then, she’s been steady grinding, prepping Heart of a Champion, backed by AB the Producer.

Heart of a Champion showcases the same talent and range as Trending Topic. Ra’s flow continues to sharpen, and in the Age of Drake, her self-sung hooks are a well-executed necessity. Tracks by AB the Producer are clean soundscapes for Ra to perform over, never repetitive in tone or style. Throughout the tape, samples pay tribute to Ra’s forebears: Sade’s “Love is Stronger than Pride” on “Pretend” and Lauryn Hill’s “The Sweetest Thing” on “Intoxicated.”

Ra references DMV leaders Wale, Tabi Bonney and XO; the latter appears on the sweeping “So Gone So Long.” Throughout the tape, on songs like “One Shot” and “Heart of a Champion,” Ra proves she is focused on one thing: following in their footsteps – and going farther. After Ms. Hill’s bewildering performance at this weekend’s Rock the Bells, it’s clear that the crown is ready to be passed. So why not to RAtheMC?


RAtheMC – Heart of a Champion Tracklist

01. Pretend
02. The Grind
03. Intoxicated
04. One Shot
05. Dreams
06. One Life
07. Change
08. Pricey (ft. Ihsan Bilal)
09. Lights
10. Smile
11. Heart of a Champion
12. Good Friends (ft. AB the Pro)
13. Gone So Long (ft. XO)

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