Mr. Mack Produces a Solid Hardcore Rap Sampler

Self Made (Fear Factor Music) is a reminder that Knoxville's hip-hop scene is out there

After the success of his single "Where You From? (Da 865)" in 2006, Knoxville rapper Mr. Mack signed a deal with Universal Records. That didn't work out, but it hasn't kept Mack from making music. He's released three mixtapes in the last two years, the latest of which, Self Made, was produced by Southern Smoke series impresario DJ Smallz. There's nothing as immediately catchy as "Where You From?" on Self Made—as a mixtape, it's focused on hard street tracks like the gangsta boasts "Ridn I-40" ("Ridin' I-40 with my 40 in my lap," goes the chorus, punctuated by sampled gunshots) and "Dope Boi," featuring former G-Unit member Young Buck. Self Made probably won't extend Mack's local fanbase beyond the people who already follow him, but it is a solid hardcore rap sampler, with guest spots from national and regional performers (Smallz, Young Buck, Bonecrusher) and local artists (Birdie and Raymond B), and a reminder that Knoxville's largely overlooked hip-hop scene is out there.