[LABOR'S LOVE] Neo G Yo's latest mixtape, Foolin Wise, was produced last month, the product of the February Album Writing Month challenge. With 11 guest vocalists and 11 producers coming together for 14 tracks, it's not only a testament to the rapper's range as an MC but a nod to the diversity of collaborative talent in Portland—and a singular statement presented by the multimedia collective Futro Records. Despite the time-based concept, it's refreshing to note that Foolin Wise slaps out the box. From the Mac Dre-esque beat of "Do.thang," led by Lamar LeRoy and Slick Devious, to the fizzy breakbeat number "Five.flavors," composed by E*Rock, Neo radiates with collected energy, leading with inspired hooks to carry each unscripted session, despite occasional lapses into "conscious rap" cliché. But as the ringleader behind the project, Neo, also known as Danny Diana-Peebles, makes room on Foolin Wise for all the feels. With atmospheric soul vocals provided by Amanda Eve Sloane—highlighted on the track "Blankets" with a hazy beat from Thirsty City founder Northern Draw—there is little reason not to throw down a solid donation and cop this digital album.
SEE IT: Neo G Yo plays Church, 2600 NE Sandy Blvd., with Jonny Cool, Amanda Eve Sloane and DJ Lamar LeRoy, on Monday, April 11. 9 pm. Free. 21+.