Man… the only reason why I decided to review this mixtape was because of the seductive cover, and that was the high point. Downtown Lights features Ghostwridah, a rapper so immediately similar to other artists, yet stubbornly unoriginal in the process.
He may really care about the abused and downtrodden females on “Lost and Found,” but just like Drake, that still leaves tons of room for using up bitches wholesale on every track before it. While he makes an obscure theological plea on “Father Forgive Em,” just like Rick Ross, any religious references simply become sprinkled atop more carnal fare- “money, hoes, cars, clothes,” as Charlemagne the God puts it on the opening skit.
Even the flows seem oddly carbon copied from other rappers, like the way he uses Drake’s breathless flow from “Look What You’ve Done” on his ode to weed “Smoke It All Away.” And its not to blame Ghostwridah due to his similarities to the YMCMB member (as he’s nowhere near soft and cuddly enough), but its a near-A$AP Rocky level of blatant fundamental scavenging that makes his music feel like such a digital beaten path. If anything, “Smoke It All Away” happens to be his most lyrical song despite involving a worn-out topic, and the song before it, “I’m On,” wins solely for that Alicia Keys sample.
But between how self-obsessed Ghostwridah is about his rapping abilities (and he even points out that he had a punchline in his previous verse mid-rhyme. What?!), how boilerplate his “I’m a former drug dealer who loves his momma, hates the cops, has the city on my back and just happened to rap” backstory is, or just how bad some of the features are, especially Stoney J’s milk-curdling verse, he doesn’t truly leave much value to this project outside of a bump in the whip and some club-friendly instrumentals. Oh, and the album cover’s still pretty nice. It’s just as borrowed, but still.