Music by Natalee Gilbert July 29, 2019
Mustard is a Cali-bred DJ and producer who coined hip-hop’s dominant sound. Over the years, Mustard has crafted solid bangers for the likes of Tyga, Ella Mai, 2 Chainz and of course his musical compadre, YG.
However, Mustard’s list of hits is never-ending because of the never-ending demand for that “ratchet” sound. Notwithstanding a month, his latest album Perfect Ten peaked as No. 8 on the Billboard 200 with 60,000 plays to date.
For Perfect Ten, it’s safe to say that Mustard wasn’t playing this time around. Consequently, Mustard featured many dynamic features for his latest album. He goes even further to pay homage to his birthplace by adding some West Coast influence and spitters as back-up.
On God, Mustard made a vibe for all occasions on this project. However, the real heat from Perfect Ten comes because Mustard spoke it into existence.
I don’t care what I do first week on god my goal was to have a album that don’t have skips and show that less is more that’s my goal !!!!! More about the culture for me … I want you to be able to play my album for the next 10 SUMMERS …
— Mustard (@mustard) July 1, 2019
Perfect Ten starts off with a track that’s sure to make the whole West Coast bounce called “Intro.” A sample from Shai’s, “If I Ever Fall In Love” and fire bars from 1TakeJay makes this album slap from the get-go. Leaning more towards a sped-up tempo hi-hat & light snare the real hype commences when 1TakeJay lets his out-of-pocket rhymes flow with never-ending energy.
Over the unique instrumental 1TakeJay delivers humorous yet clever punchlines with no care in the world. Essentially he speaks on how he’s got tons of blue checks in his “FatBoy” pockets, his ice, drip and the many women around his arm.
The name behind the album Perfect Ten comes from a place of accomplishing the absolute most. In an interview with Billboard, Musard touched on the reason behind the title and its importance.
“[My friends] were like, I should name my album Perfect Ten — because it’s like, you got all the cars, the jewelry, the house, you got your sister a house, you got an artist, you won a Grammy, this is probably the best year of your life…”
“Pure Water” featuring Migos ranks as No. 17 on the Billboards to date. This track alone seems to be a music gem for all radio stations because it’s played at least once every day. “Pure Water” is also a big indicator of Migos and Mustard’s success and for the remainder of 2019, it’s going all the way up.
Production-wise, “Pure Water” is infectious. From the distinctive pitch in the backdrop to the stacked up hi-hats, spacey synths, and fluctuating bass, the song categorizes itself as a vibe.
Coupled with the soundscape, is the catchy chorus which seems to honor “Master P.” The first member up, Quavo adds insanely witty punchlines like “Hop in the coupe, then I slide like it’s Vaseline.”
Afterward, Offset goes in about his trust issues but mostly circulates it around thots and dudes on patrol. When it’s time to go, the third member of the trio isn’t afraid to Takeoff. Even though his verse is short, it bangs regardless.
The most memorable entendre comes from his introduction which is clever yet subtle, “T-Takeoff, no limit to the money.” In particular, this line refers to the record label he’s signed to and his net worth of $16 million. Overall, the song gives them room to flex off their jewelry, foreign cars and the bad b*tches around them that look like masterpieces.
Coming in with undefeated energy and victorious production to match, “On God” featuring YG, Tyga, A$AP Ferg, and A$AP Rocky uses hints of sporadic hi-hats, electronic synths, and a combative bass to solidify the pep their rhymes step with.
Contrary to some believing that these heavy-hitters are all talk, all four assure that they wouldn’t be putting it on a higher power if they were. While YG comes in with rapid bars that leave all naysayers in the dust, A$AP Ferg takes a piece of E-40’s flow and uses it to flex at an all-time high.
In midst of this, A$AP Rocky comes in extra trill with a little rhyme play on OD in these two lines. “On G-O-D they on my B-O-D/I’m with the AOD, it’s a G-O, here we go.” However, the spitter who takes the trophy home is Tyga. He solidifies his comeback from the jump!
Besides his sick line, “Pray for me, niggas love and hate me, bunch of Judas,’” T-Raw drops some gems for everyone to live by. My favorite has to be when he speaks briefly on how he’s gotten to this point.
“Factory Patek, blood, sweat, tears, yes/Buy your mom a house, then we could talk then/I got four payroll, I’m the big man/Ten toes, never fold, stick to the plan.”
“Baguettes In The Face” adds a Spanish guitar riff, faded base and hi-hat to Perfect Ten’s equation.
Specifically, “Baguettes in The Face featuring NAV, Playboi Carti and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie starts off with Nav rapping in melodic autotune to explain that yes, it isn’t easy.
Mustard told Variety:
“I wanted something different. I wanted to bridge the gap between L.A. and Atlanta and New York. That’s why, like, on the song “On God,” I have [A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg]. That’s a song that you would never expect from them. Same with Nav [on “Baguettes”]. I wanted to be different.”
While making it takes a lot of hard work it’s worth it because then, you can splurge (with ease) on the finer things in life like these three. Likewise, Playboi Carti comes in with his signature high-pitched flow to also brag in the illest way.
Then A Boogie comes in with his Mr. Steal-Your-Girl mood — bluntly spitting about how he’s not looking for commitment.
“It’s a continuous rat race. All the time, there’s something new to get.” – Mustard, Billboard July 9, 2019
“Interstate 10 “featuring Future pays homage to Future’s birthplace, Atlanta. Funnily enough, the production sounds somewhat similar to “Go Loco” by YG.
The difference is that Mustard lets the Latin derived guitar do its own thing with the support of a commanding base.
More money-oriented, “Interstate 10” speaks on how vultures come with the territory of banking in on millions so it’s best to stay weary and build your empire on the low.
Future assures all that the lifestyle he lives isn’t easy. It took him a while to get where he is. Without a doubt, he had to stay on his P’s and Q’s.
The exotic dancer anthem of the century, “100 Bandz” featuring Quavo, YG and Meek Mill makes you want to throw some on a big old booty just because you can! If the title doesn’t give away what the song is about then you’ll pretty much hear it in their lyrics.
Besides some braggadocios bars about making money and freaking girls — Quavo delivers the chorus with unforgettable ad-libs while YG and Meek Mill go bar for bar to see who can bring the most heat in the inferno of music.
“At this moment, right now, I’m making this album and it feels like my life is perfect. Sometimes, I wake up like something’s gonna go wrong because it’s going too good.”
“Woah Woah” featuring Young Thug and Gunna “keeps it crucial on some project shit.” In particular, Young Thug goes a different route to match with “Woah Woah’s” slow tempo.
But that doesn’t stop the Thugger Thugger from openly speaking about girls and jewelry at a mile a minute. At most, “Woah Woah” is one of the smoothest tracks off of Perfect Ten.
The production really captures the essence of real diamonds and luxurious living. Coupled with the snaps, 808’s and mesmerizing piano riffs, Mustard adds a sweet touch of warm synths.
Like Thugger, Gunna speaks on his “jewelry box that looks like a bag of Skittles” and how he has no time to freak in the sheets with a girl. But the main difference is that he reflects a bit on those who hurt him in the past.
Still, it’s important we flex on those who have hurt us in the past and those who are just mad at our glo-up. Mustard said in an interview with Sway:
“Shoutout to everyone that’s mad at me. I’m not mad at you though.”
Amid the bounce, heavy bass and hi-hats — Mustard puts it to a halt for “Surface” featuring Ella Mai and Ty Dolla $ign.
He truthfully went hard in the studio for this track. He explained in his interview with Billboard that after Ty sent over his vocals it took him an extra two days in the studio to figure out the drums. That was after the fact Ty almost didn’t make the album because of a last-minute song swap.
Still, both Ella Mai and Ty Dolla $ign go for dynamic vocal swings in midst of plush-like production, steady bassline, and electronic synths.
Ella Mai blatantly sings to Ty Dolla $ign that he better cut off the others because he’ll miss out on his blessing. But it seems that the songstress has it all wrong. In fact, Ty Dolla $ign assures her that she’s the only one who he wants.
“Day or night, I swear you’re always on my mind” he sings. The soul in their voices is truly breathtaking. Don’t make this song be the one that got away.
According to Billboard Kanye was knocking to Mustard’s “Ballin'” heavy. After both legends listened to Perfect 10 Kanye said: “This is — this is your best one!”
With yellow diamonds on him that look like lemonade, Roddy Rich glimmers his flexicurity in “Ballin’.” In the first snippet of the song, Mustard uses a sample from 702’s song “Get It Together” then suddenly, the beat picks up the pace with hydraulic synths, 808’s and outburst of high pitched notes.
Like the other artists, Roddy Ricch gives a little backstory on how he got to where he is today.
“Young nigga on the corner, bitch, I had to serve crack/Uncle fronted me some P’s, had to get them birds back/We came up on dirty money, I gave it a birdbath.”
Lastly, “Perfect Ten” featuring Nipsey Hussle aspires those listening to reach new heights. For those who don’t know, Nipsey Hussle was a phenomenal innovator in the hip-hop game.
For sure Mustard had a big-bro vibe with the late prophet. He told Variety:
“We did that song, ‘Perfect Ten,’ a month-and-a-half before he died. That was the last song me and him did together. We had a big-bro thing going. We always talked about family, the kids…
“He was taking about what he had coming up – he thought he had all the time in the world, for music and everything else that he wanted to do. We had a really good relationship.”
To say nothing of his serious food for thought, Nipsey Hussle also passes along what he’s been learned throughout his journey. In an interview snippet that places in as the hook of “Perfect Ten”, he says:
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“That’s why I call my thing the marathon… because I, I’m not gon’ lie and portray, um, this ultimate poise like I been, had it figured out, nah, I just didn’t quit. That’s the only distinguishing quality from me and whoever else goin’ through this is that I ain’t quit.” —Nipsey Hussle 💙
Sonically, “Perfect Ten” uses a somber guitar chord progression that’s strung in its highest and lowest chord. Above all, Nipsey Hussle tries to tell these wannabe thug rappers that it’s time to focus on something important. Having knowledge and wisdom is everything. A facade isn’t.
At its best, Perfect Ten makes the thermostat tweak because it’s the closest thing to the sun. Sure, the project has braggadocious rhymes but the real message lies under the artists’ stories of struggle.
Perfect Ten goes to show that hard work pays off. I mean take Mustard as an example, he dropped “DJ” out of his name because he’s been constantly evolving. In a word, Perfect Ten is the epitome of bangers fused with success stories and diverse production.