Beat Garden & Rock The Dub Present: Curly Castro & DJ Ambush PHATMAN AND LIKKLEBWOY

castro cover 1

Artwork by Dewey Saunders

castro insert

Artwork by Dewey Saunders

It truly is a glorious day here at Beat Garden! 

After solidfying our spot in Philly with Nico the Beast’s Dinner is Served mixtape in January and successfully reaching out to the art-hop crowd this summer with 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers’ debut The Slow Twilight, we’re kicking off a heavy fall-through-winter season barrage of bangin’ ass hip hop spearheaded by Curly Castro & DJ Ambush! 

After tearing down stages across the country for years and performing alongside too many heavyweights to list here, Curly Castro donned the Beat Garden cape earlier this year (even giving us a new tagline: “BANG BANG!”) and re-established himself with endless performances to not only keep his craft in tip-top shape, but to introduce music from this release to fans new and old. 

Here’s the science behind the mixtape, two and a half years in the making:

“Named after the “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima in World War 2, this brand new mixtape from Curly Castro & DJ Ambush boasts a distinct theme of destruction and rebuilding.

The overall presentation is quite entertaining, as the duo (yes, Ambush can spit too!) avoids blunt complaints and exhausted golden era footnotes in favor of more abstract and objective means to address various aspects of hip-hop culture’s evolution.

“He’s the DJ, We’re Both Rappers” salutes the pre-Serato/ internet hustle of decades past, alluding to the increasing laziness of artists and fans that have come as a byproduct of the music’s technological advancements. Along the same lines, “Boxin’” employs the true-school logo ghetto-blaster as an analogy of rap’s societal impact and its cautious eye from the powers that be. “Chaos Theory” and “Summer of ‘77” continue this trend and move seamlessly into introspective testaments “Missing Persons” and “First Release”, which bring the theme full circle, pushing us to keep it moving with the implication that improvement of the culture begins with personal maturation.

Unlike most mixtapes, the project’s filler songs are actually its glue. Playful joints “Rapping Simpsons” and “Frankenstein”, along with deep non-fictions like “Keychains” and “Gravity” are, for lack of better word, straight dope and rewind-worthy. The well-developed concepts over superb instrumental selections from the likes of Outkast and Black Milk not only serve as an homage to those that carry the torch in today’s music, but also emulate on ‘what hip-hop is’ according to the more nostalgic tracks.

Consider Phat Man & Likkle Bwoy a preemptive strike for Castro’s upcoming album Winston’s Appeal, which, after the smoke clears, will solidify his place as not just a dope MC, but a cinematic songwriter and progressive mind.”

DOWNLOAD: RTD & Beat Garden Present Curly Castro & DJ Ambush: Phatman & Likklebwoy Mixtape

Tune in this week as update you on Curly Castro interviews, videos, news, etc!


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