The Hijinx Tape – [Germ]

Germ has always been one of the most underrated but abundantly talented artists in the entire industry, in my own opinion of course. His constantly heightening energetic deliveries add so much vitality to every track he’s a part of, and the speaker knocking production he normally uses brings his music to new levels with every additional release he drops. It made sense when he signed to G59 because he was already closely working with many of the artists on the label, but he has managed to distance himself and create his own path apart from the original style that his labelmates have established. While he fits in perfectly on songs with $uicideboy$, Shakewell, and Ramirez, he always provides a distinct sound that elevates every track he plays a part in.

Although Germ doesn’t have a massive number of cohesive projects out at this point, it makes his organized efforts that much more of a spectacle when he does actually drop some sort of mixtape or EP. I was a massive fan of Germ Has a Deathwish as many other music listeners were, and I couldn’t wait to dive into his latest mixtape The Hijinx Tape as soon as it was announced. This project comes in at just over 27 minutes and boasts 12 songs, including production from some of his go-to producers as well as some newcomers who all stand out. Of course, he has to have production from the unfortunately departed hitmaker YAYGO, Budd Dwyer (who is actually Scrim from $uicideboy$’ producer alter ego), and Kevin Rolly, among others who all bring different flavors to the party and allow Germ to experiment on some songs while returning to his roots and going off the rails on other tracks.

The tape opens up with “Walked In” which contains a simplistic piano-driven melody that is ultimately brought to new levels as soon as the bass comes in and almost blows out your eardrums. This is a very characteristic sound for the Atlanta emcee, but it serves the purpose of drawing listeners in and catching their eye right off the bat by boasting some of his trademark enthusiasm and his individualistic voice. The third song “Cookies” allows him to experiment a bit more, as the beat contains a trap-like pan flute that creates a very calm, laid back vibe that is eventually combined with booming drums once again, bringing a little juxtaposition to the project. Germ remains energetic but also takes moments to step back and truly show off his underrated but clearly intricate cadences that never seem forced or broken up by any means.

Later on, “Plead The 5th” comes into the picture and catches you off guard, but in the best way possible. The instrumental contains soulful humming in the background paired with tapping percussion that adds a somewhat quick tempo before drums come into play and slow down the pace ever so slightly. As he makes his way throughout this track, Germ shows off another side of himself as he talks a little more frankly and even provides some melodiousness within his delivery that isn’t always clear, but it does a perfect job of refreshing the project and provides additional aptitudes that can be added to Germ’s already abundant skillset. In fact, so many different styles and sounds that he has kept up his sleeves are shown throughout this tape that you forget he left room for only one feature from one of my favorite underground artists out, Shakewell. This is on the penultimate song “Hellcat” and Shakewell ditches his typically aggressive, vigorous delivery and opts for a more straightforward, ruthless verse that just puts everything out there and doesn’t leave any room for ambiguity whatsoever.

My personal favorite song off of The Hijinx Tape actually happens to be one of the lead singles, and that’s “7 Hunna Horses”. The beat is just so playful, the 808s hit so hard but they’re very punchy so they come in and out quickly and don’t linger for too long, and Germ absolutely shreds his verses apart in the most effortlessly masterful fashion, making this a must-have song on any playlist. Aside from this, however, other songs like “Dolo”, “Brand New Rollie”, and “AR Pistols” bring the energy and just raise your blood pressure because of how amped they get you. Not only are their beats absolutely infectious, but Germ also manages to captivate you with his enthusiasm as always, bringing these tracks full-circle and adding some consistency to the cornucopia of styles on this mixtape.

At the end of the day, I believe The Hijinx Tape is absolutely worth checking out. Germ experimented with a few new sounds and deliveries, and if I’m being blatantly honest, I enjoyed some of them more than others, but I think he did a nice job of providing a taste of something for everyone even if you somehow don’t like the typical bangers he has been putting out for years. I have a hard time saying that this tape tops Germ Has a Deathwish just because that was one of my all-time favorite projects of last year and I just haven’t listened to this new mixtape enough to definitively say that. Either way, the fact that I’m struggling to make the decision of which one I enjoyed more so early on after this tape’s release bodes well for its future, in my opinion. Whether you’re into Germ for his energy, his cadences, the incredible production he uses, or other reasons, you’re going to be very pleased to find out that he has a little taste of everything on The Hijinx Tape, so be sure to give it a listen if you haven’t already done so.