CyHi Da Prynce: Royal Flush

G.O.O.D. Music

It takes a set of steel cojones to open a mixtape with an excerpt of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Dream" speech. It's sort of apropos - MLK mentions Stone Mountain, CyHi's stomping grounds - but mostly it's just plain ballsy, especially considering the first words of "Ring Bellz": "My life is so historical." This kind of unchecked rap bravado is typical, but CyHi attacks the track - and most of Royal Flush - with such fierce intensity you almost believe him. Folks were forced to take note of CyHi after he recently appeared on the Kanye-led super-collab "So Appalled." The track is featured here as a closer, and it's a huge one, but CyHi also proves his solo mettle on searing tracks like the OutKast-quoting "Hero." Others aren't as memorable: requisite slow jam "Switchin' Positions" is, uh, quite gratuitous. Like most mixtapes, Royal Flush is rough-edged; unlike many, it's promising enough to make me want to hear that full-length stat. (2 out of 5 stars)