Leon The Professional Spits Some Hot Fire On His Debut Release.

Let's cut right to the chase: Despite proclaiming himself to be “a legend in the scene” within the first two minutes of his debut release, Leon The Professional is still an amateur, a largely unknown entity in the booming Dallas hip-hop scene.

But that doesn't mean there isn't a bounty of promise to be found on his new mixtape, (B)EAST, which finds a man heretofore known mostly as a breakdancer trying his hand out as an emcee. And it doesn't mean the clear Jean Reno fan 's boastfulness isn't merited.

That's mostly thanks to the fact that, throughout (B)EAST, Leon's lyrical delivery flashes more confidence than any newcomer to the game has much right to put on display — something immediately obviously on the mixtape's second track (and first real cut after a quick, obviously Wu-Tang-influenced intro featuring audio snippets from televised B-movies), “Hit 'Em In The Head,” which lifts its infectious beat straight from Pac Div's self-titled song from a few years back.

There's more borrowing at play throughout the record — a Busta Rhymes “feature” on the release is actually a verse the famed emcee once lent to Q-Tip's “For The Nasty” — but such is the premise of hip-hop mixtape culture, for better or worse.

In this case, however, it's largely for the better. Showcasing this much potential is a good thing, no doubt — especially when Leon has already made it clear that his first formal album (read: not a mixtape) should be ready for release by the end of the year.

Pay what you want for (B)EAST here.

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