There's nothing like getting your supply from nature herself. It seems Cardo knows where the pots are as he brings you a project titled Natures Sauce (listen carefully, not the manufactured sauce but the one that comes pure from the original connect).
He opens the project with the islandy Nneen Konfidential which is quite light sounding making you ease into the idea of listening to the project. This feeling continues with the familiar Orange which fits really well into the project although we're only on the second track. He slows things down on One Of Those Rap Interludes just to flex the rhyme ability. We're loving the play on popular name with the title of Bread Pitt, especially his references to "dough" in the track. This track kinda bangs once it drops and will definitely have you listening closer. It's almost as if that rap interlude was a countdown to an "I'm finna rap" marathon. In comes Trappers & Mermaids which already has your mind thought-tied trying to envision the imagery. There starts to be a trippy feel to the project from here on and the blaring synths on this track add to a level of mystery and elusiveness. This is cleverly done.
This mixtape is filled with pleasant surprises. The deeper you delve into it, you find yourself nodding with good impression or something that catches your attention. That for me happened when I heard what they did to the vocal sample of Freshly Ground's Doo Be Doo by slowing it down and warping it to match the slow paced track. uDoobie is also a clever title of the song itself. The track is dreamy, slightly romantic, and it's the perfect prelude to the smooth Kadupul Flower which he dropped much earlier as a single. He breaks the soft part of the mixtape with One Of Those Soulful Interludes which could easily open up into a wholesome song. He continues to play along to the strings of cupid's harp on Sms as he smooth talks someone he deems as royalty. Don't you ever say that rappers ain't got no game ayt? Homies out there, take note of this approach.
We tip into the closing end of Natures Sauce via the Thina Phaswana voice interlude which questions your dedication to your hustle. Cardo wakes into his dream state on Own It as he raps about the power of ambition, being awakened, overcoming, and fighting through it all. At this point in the mixtape you feel like you've gotten to know Cardo a bit more through the multiple facets he's shown of himself. Own It is definitely a dreamer's anthem. At this moment I'd like to confess, I Iooked at the tracklist and thought to myself, "not another long a$% project." Needless to say, I am well impressed and am not getting bitten by listener fatigue (which happens a lot to me with long projects). This mixtape is pleasantly engaging and keeps you focused on the feeling of each track throughout. Cardo has that feel good music making thing to him and you hear it in Rather Be which houses the guaranteed instruments of romance: STRINGS. The strings on this song are works of magic, they completely transport you to clouds yonder as Cardo and the harmonies behind him sing endlessly. SHU! We're mesmerised. Whoever produced this track has earned my respect.
On Jetty 3 Cardo channels his inner West Coast flavour on the bouncy beat as he continues to reflect on life's hardships in juxtaposition with life as it is right now. He continues to plant stories of his life and himself throughout the project weaving relatable threads about the struggle of growing up black and being a hustler in art. He does this so well you can almost miss it if you're not paying attention. Is it safe to say that Cardo is a romantic? I'll go right ahead and say he is 'cause Soul On Fire is a dead giveaway. He channels the golden RnB era with a gripping sample as he raps about a tricky relationship and his love insecurities. Here, he bares the truth of many men who love to love but aren't well adapt at it. This relationshiping thing is nie pap en vleis mei laitie! Nearing the close of the project, Cardo continues to bare his soul on Rain Rain which is more about the struggles he's faced and the support he's had - a starting from the bottom typa joint. It's almost as if he's taking you through multiple scenarios in the rain: 1) walking in it and getting cold, 2) watching it fall from inside a warm house looking out the window, and 3) listening to it fall as he hopes that it washes away many of his woes. Beautiful. The closing track could actually have been a filler in the mixtape (despite the fact that it's a bonus track). Saucy, is not as strong a finishing track as some options like Own It or even Rain Rain would've been.
All in all, this mixtape is a great effort. The production is clean, groovy, entertaining and rather personal where warranted. Cardo also explores the sincerest parts of himself which you otherwise wouldn't expect from a rapper, particularly one at the introductory level that he is in his career. He's very earnest, relatable, heartfelt, and is quite the romantic - LADIES! Lovely work by the boy. Check him out and tell us if you agree: