REVIEW: Fiend – Smokin Champagne
Fiend has been in the limelight for quite some time now even when he went by his alias International Jones. Fans know Fiend more for his era with No Limit and for a short time he was even with DMX’s Ruff Ryders imprint. There are now rumors of Fiend talking to Jay-Z about signing to RocNation. Regardless of who he’s signed to Fiend has been able to achieve permanence through his music. This calendar year he has released a chain of mixtapes online and now he drops “Smokin Champagne” hosted by Don Cannon.
A majority of the production on “Smokin Champagne” has that 70’s Soul sound that listeners have been hearing from Fiend on his past two mixtapes. “Time What You Bought” featuring Valencia sets the tone with jazzy trumpets and a smooth drum pattern. “Best To Do It” is a posh song from Fiend and switches up the beat in the last minute with a mini interview to let people know who International Jones is. Another highlight is “Florence Italy” with the groovy bassline that stands out. “Cadi Keys” with Billie Slums is about cars, shoes and money and “Buzzin” featuring Nesby Phips is a valiant song with the rappers making advances towards women. “Wish I Could Fly” featuring Big K.R.I.T. and Teedra Moses is another great song about struggling through hardships. The soulful “Smokin Champagne” featuring Valencia on the hook is evidently about smoking weed along with the song “Twist Us A Doobie”. On “Mortal RhymeBat” featuring Corner Boy P, Fiend’s skills are primed as he spits, “You ever had to walk through fire knowing how hot gone get/ Talk about it in a rhyme and they wrote that check/ Been broke so long you don’t know what’s left/ Did dirt where no one swept.”
Some of the features that Fiend had just didn’t really fit the production on some of the tracks. “Last Night Cousin” is a good song but the verse from Corner Boy P completely threw it off. Backbone on “Keep The Lights On” didn’t sound right either. Perhaps they would’ve adapted better if the instrumentals were more street. “Really Wit It” was a simple snoozefest but didn’t take much away from the rest of the mixtape. This new one from Fiend is good to pack a bowl to while you listen. “Smokin Champagne” gets a Grimm Score of 4 out of 5.