DJ Mustard is undeniably one of the most sought out producers in the game right now. No questioning that but has he already given us the best that he's got?
The Los Angeles-based producer known for his signature Cali bounce and those club-ready claps, has become chiefly responsible for the shift towards minimalist beats created by simple two-note piano samples and hyperactive chants of "hey, hey, hey."
Mustard emerged on the mainstream scene after providing production for Tyga's 2011 infectious hit "Rack City." It has been a DJ Mustard takeover ever since with just about everyone from veteran singer and performer Jennifer Lopez to Trey Songz working with the beat maker.
Other producers caught on to the sound that garnished several hits and, as expected, began to emulate Mustard's production. If it weren't for the missing "Mustard on the beat, hoe" tag, songs like Chris Brown's "Loyal" and Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" are hard to distinguish from Mustard's own.
Nonetheless, Mustard is sticking to his guns on 10 Summers, his first compilation album.
The album opens with "Low Low" featuring Nipsey Hussle, TeeCee and RJ, a track reminiscent of the G-Funk era.
Things pick up on "Ghetto Tales" featuring Jay 305 and TeeCee, who swop hood stories in a fashion similar to Too $hort on 1988's "Freaky Tales."
Dom Kennedy's feature on "Throw Your Hood Up" is a gem as the Leimert Park rapper has seemingly been absent from the scene this summer.
The album picks up around track six ("Face Down" featuring Lil Wayne, Big Sean, YG and Lil Boosie). The energy of 10 Summers shifts from subtle stunt raps to party anthems.
The album's first single, "Down on Me," featuring 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign, follows suit heavy on percussive handclaps and "hey" samples.
Tinashe brings a chill vibe with her two-minute interlude. The track offers up a side Mustard rarely showcases, a smooth groove. It's almost a disappointment that the full song was left off the album.
All in all, 10 Summers sounds like everything you've heard from DJ Mustard compressed into 12 songs. When compared to last year's Ketchup, a compilation mixtape produced by Mustard, it's obvious that his progression as a producer is slim to none.
The album is solid feature-wise but as far as production, DJ Mustard left out one thing: variety.
Check it out for yourself here.