This past April Fool’s Day, Hamburger Helper surprised the Internet by dropping one of the hottest mix tapes yet this year, Watch the Stove. An obvious play on Jay-z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne album, Watch the Stove was created and produced by a group of college kids from Minnesota and has received an unexpected amount of positive responses from sites such as The Daily Beast and Billboard. The mix tape has been streamed online over 4 million times already.
According to The Daily Beast, the mix tape was created by students at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minn. ,under the supervision of the head of the Hip-Hop department at the school, Toki Wright. Though the students never expected it to blow up like this, it is giving up-and-coming artists the unexpected chance to showcase their skills.
The first track on the tape, “Feed the Streets,” kicks off with a surprisingly sick beat. A dominant bass line bumps underneath the lines of Bobby Raps, featuring quips such as, “All these haters salty, I’m too seasoned homey,” and ”Ya’ll want beef, and Imma serve it.” As someone who personally listens to a fair amount of hip-hop, it wouldn’t be too crazy to say these lines are actually good compared to some of the other popular ones these days. Fetty Wap has nothing on Lefty’s crew—the Hamburger Helper mascot that is frequently named-dropped on the tracks.
“Feed the Streets” isn’t the only strong track on the mix tape. “Food for Your Soul” features a flow reminiscent of rapper Kendrick Lamar. “Hamburger Helper” is an appropriately club-banging anthem for the whole mix tape. “In Love with the Glove” lays into a smoother R&B feel, more reminiscent of Usher rather than rap. And “Crazy” may be one of the strongest on the entire work. Not only is the beat infectious, but the rap over it has a pretty impressive flow.
I know you may be skeptical, but trust me here: this mix tape is pretty good. Though it may have started as a joke, the tracks are probably on par with a lot of the popular music being made today. They’re good, clean songs about a passion for boxed pastas of debatable quality. Not only are the tracks impressive, but it is also allowing fairly new musicians the chance to get their work out there. I know it might seem weird, but just give it a listen. It may not be serious, but it’s seriously cool.