Blood, Sweat, Tears & Years [Mixtape Review]


Big shouts to @amblors, @teajae and @D_Malik_Abiola…. They made this possible.


BANS General, KD’s own and Hip-hop Veteran, David Torkua Joshua popularly known as Pherowshuz finally decided to drop his long awaited mixtape on Monday 3rd June 2013 titled “Blood, Sweat, Tears & Years” #BSTY. This mixtape is partly an onslaught on all his years of “Keeping it real” without “making the greens” and trying to tell his fans the new direction he’s focused on taking. “Black thoughts with my mind on my roots”

TRACK1: ‘AS E BE’ -Pherow’s train of thought is poignantly expressed on the mixtape’s intro, this is an unconventional intro as they are usually glorified skits. This is a full song adorned with same old Phero’s sleek punches and provides the perfect platform for Pherow to address the state of the industry and his “underrated rapper tag”, giving us a taste of his motivations and aspirations. “imma keep doing what I can, I never put my faith in the words of a fan, steady making money would forever be the plan, boys’ are not smiling till I’m the muthaf***in man…. Easily, one of my favs off the tape.  Score: (6/10)

(2)Next comes ‘NEW NIGGAS’, now this joint reminds me of Drake’s ‘No new friends’(wonder why), produced by Pherow, sounds more like an advice to new cats in the game who expect things to come easy and also a warning to any who disrespects, a feature from some1 like Eldee would have made this better. “I’m a young veteran……and you not a tough guy, u just a power puff girl”. Score: (5.5/10)

(3)At this early stage, the mixtape is sounding good, ‘MY MONEY’, kicks off with an Eldee Sample, Pherow drops some decent verses with the subject- money reverberating all through. “I got so many bars, I’m beyond conviction….if everyone’s claiming king, then who’s watching the throne?”          Score:  (7/10)

4. “GROWN MAN”, this song got me bumping my head, one thing is clear on this project, Pherow chose his beats carefully, narrates his progress in the industry thus far and states how his aim is now shifted from simply ‘Just spitting’ to ‘Getting paid’… “Now I’m a grown man just trynna make a profit”. Nice jam. Score:  (7/10)

The middle of the mixtape had Pherow bringing his friends to come showcase their skills, helped provide a fuel for 6ix’s venom while it also brought out his versatility to co-exist with other acts on wax.

(5)‘WHO IS TO BLAME is the banger that the audience would do a Mexican wave to, if there’s a song to be promoted on this tape, this will be top on the list, Where on earth is Morell’s album?? Morell is the man to bring hooks to life, this joint really showed Pherow cud step out of his comfort zone, arguably the best song on the mixtape, both of em killed the banging beat and sumhow avoided getting blamed. “Searching for the truth while we steady lie to ourselves”,  good hook, good verses, good beat, good music. Score: (8/10)

(6)AWA LANI IGBORO’ features arguably the hottest rapper in the nation today, Badoo, the fact that Olamide is here should make this song a hit, but this sounds like the Olamide at the start of his Young Erikina Era, expected way more but couldn’t quite complain with what I got, surely not Olamide’s best effort, did I mention at the beginning that Pherow has a reputation for corny wordplays?? (though he comes nowhere close to Vec), well he brought that back on this track…’I’m olofin at these rappers’….. Had me scratching my head.      Score:  (5.5/10)

(7)Awa lani Igboro means we own the street, guess it was only appropriate to back up that claim with NIGGAS FEAR’(Monday nite twitter drama hosted by Cyrus flashes through my head), I won’t bore y’all with all the history attached to this joint, sure most of y’all know more about it than I do, so lemme stick to reviewing this. Dope beat yet again, the fun thing about this track is that it’s a diss track, so it was bound to get loads of buzz. 6ix kicked things off well, I particularly liked how he rode d beat and flowed, he perfectly masked his average lyrics with some controversy (and boy, didn’t it work wonders??), even decoded lyrics’ ll struggle to understand this line, ‘…word, and I ain’t even there yet, even if I give em 12 months, they won’t be here yet/year yet/ ye ye…’…. I give up. This is a Pherow kind of joint and he went in gully, dope verse, ‘Homie, I’m like a bed of nails, u shouldn’t be sleeping on me…….you couldn’t go realer if you were a large primate…’ (perceived shots at Cyrus’ Gorrila Gang)….guess his only sin was not learning about loyalty. Score: (7.5/10)

(8) NIKE ft Maytronomy and 5Mics, Pherow taps on a subject that never gets old here, ‘girls’, Maytro and 5Mics did their thing but this song is just there for me, kinda like one of the blander moments on the tape, might not be Kanye’s standard  but still better than most crap we hear out there. Score: (6/10)

(9)Next on cue is the brilliantly produced ‘MURDER’, As all rappers do from time to time, boasting about lyrical and Mic Skills, Pherow delivered rapid and dope rhymes, dropped some attention grabbing lines, ‘so be like Jada Pinkett and start working on your Will, suck away, get your shit together…. Keeping rappers on their toes like ballet dancers’…. Surely going on my “To-play-again” list. Score: (7/10)

Track 10 sees Beazy and Terry tha rapman jump on #BSTY and they totally ‘RAY CHARLES’d the track, Terry brought the Spazm back on this, one of my new favorite Mcs of late, Beazy surprisingly didn’t bring his A-game on this, Pherow was the host never to be outshined, “Now is the time and the time is now, I aint talking parts of speech but I’m a Pro now” not bad at all, gets a 6.5/10 from the team.

(11)– “RUN U DOWN Ft AT” Pherow sticks with the implicit rappers rule of making at least one song for the clubs and Dj’s to bump to, This is a smooth commercial tune. “Swimming in the main stream, never gonna drown” Score: (6.5/10)

(12)- I NEVER SHOULD ft Fecko,  We can never hate on a song where rappers tell stories rather than the usual bragging rights verses, this is a love song where both cats reminisce over a lost but treasured love. Very nice radio friendly song.  Score: (7/10)

(13)- I WORK HARD Ft Davey Jones: Surely gonna pass as a tape filler, Davey Jones…err, guest artiste from the USA?? Really??? Did nothing but spit a generic verse, Phero was lackluster on this also.           Score: (4.5/10)

(14) SNEAKING UP, This track doesn’t offer much, another bland moment, like the Ghanaians’ will say ‘not working for we’. Score: (4/10)

(15) At this point, I was feeling Pherow had probably lost all the steam and energy he started with, he tried proving me wrong by deciding to go WALKING ON THE CLOUDS, Now this is good, Pherow reminds all of his new found money making aim aside being a battle emcee, “I’m a battle emcee, I’ve never been scared of fights….. battle you bros, u dey still battle with stage fright”  *Calls Cyrus’s digits, U heard this yet?*. Nice joint.   Score: (7/10)

(16) WHATEVER, Now how and why did Pherow choose to end this project with a joint like this??? Lazy rhymes, recycled lyrics, weak stuff, track should have been left in the unreleased folder. This is surely not the best way to sign out…… Score: (3.5/10)

TEAM’S FINAL VERDICTS:                                                                                                                                               

What does this bring to the game?

Amblors: Nothing                                                                                                                                                          

EhisCombs: oh well, brings some form of excitement

Should you get this?                                                                                                                                                                   

Malik: Overall, I think yes, it’s a great body of work                                                                                                    

Teajae: Yeah, I think he did good                                                                                                                               

Amblors: Of course, it’s a free project, except you’re limited by data as this is a pretty forgettable project.

High Moments

The Team: Production was lethal, kudos to Pherow and Ill Touch, the Joint with Morell was a blessing.

Low Moments

Amblors: Compared to maybe Vino’s 234 or Boogeys A.I Tape, this comes short

EhisCombs: No conscious joint?? I’m a sucker for em, recycled too many recycled topics.


Malik: 6.5/10                                                                                                                                                                         

Teajae: 6/10                                                                                                                                                                                     

Amblors: 5.5/10                                                                                                                                                  

EhisCombs: 6/10

 Written by @ehiscombs


  1. Weird Nigerian · June 21, 2013

    Nice Nice Nice Review…. Who’s to blame should be a Perfect 10/10 tho. #OKBye

  2. Pingback: | Good Times – That Good Mixtape
  3. ehiscombs · June 25, 2013


  4. Otobibaba · June 25, 2013

    Excellent review. For some strange reason I love that sneaking up track tho! I dont think its a project i wud forget easily cos the production was just sick mehn.. d mixtape deserves a 7/10 to me.,

  5. Otobibaba · June 25, 2013

    Btw, y amblors no feel d mixtapenah?

  6. ehiscombs · June 25, 2013

    Appreciate still

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