Torae & Marco Polo – Double Barrel Album Review
Tuesday April 28th 2009,
Filed under: Albums,BK All Day,Reviews,Steady Bootleggin',Video Clips
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Marco Polo has been making a lotta noise over the last couple of years – between his his solo album and various features – and is currently considered one of the best beat mechanics out there, while Torae previously dropped his well received Daily Conversation record a while back. Rocking with the classic one producer, one MC formula that’s worked for so many classic rap albums in the past, can these two match the quality of ‘But Wait’ for a whole CD?

‘Intro’ feat. DJ Premier

Preme is pretty vocal these days. Hope he doesn’t flip out and start rapping though.

‘Double Barrel’

Solid enough, but doesn’t really stand-out.

‘Smoke’ feat. Lil’ Fame

Now we’re talking! A head-cracking beat that gives Torae and Fame space to get slick with it. Apparently the retail version will feature someone from Boot Camp too.

‘Party Crashers’

Are those shakers? Not to worry, this isn’t some Hurby Luv Bug shit. Tor sounds crazy similar to Blaq Poet here, which is a good thing in my book.

‘But Wait’

The combination of strings, horn blasts and a well-placed Onyx hook goes together better than Jamieson‘s with a Löwenbräu chaser.

‘Lifetime’ feat. DJ Revolution

Torae doesn’t bother trying to get on some trendy nonsense – this is straight-up brag-rap like it should be done. As you’d expect, the cutting is incredible. A well-executed scratch hook > anything else.

‘Rah Rah Shit’

Another solid class from the school of non-progressive rap, proving that you can still make ‘traditional’ records without sounding dated.

‘Danger’

Not to be confused with MC Outloud and PF Cuttin‘s hit of the same name. Also not as catchy.

‘Stomp’ feat. Guilty Simpson

You may recall Guilty from when he got pissed at me for my review of Percee-P’s album comments about a Percee-P cut. Marco really shines on this one, delivering a catchy-as-herpes backdrop to proceedings.

‘Word Play’

Pretty much every song features Tor taking shots at the ‘tight jean brigade’. Salute! He also switches up his flow on this one, which is a welcome change of pace this far into the album.

‘Hold Up’ feat. Masta Ace & Sean Price

Having these two on your track is some ‘no way you can lose’ shit, unless they burn you off your own song. Torae manages to hold his own though.

‘Coney Island’

Superb. This makes me want to watch The Warriors again. Excellent use of the word ‘peruse’ also.

‘Get It’

Not bad, but I wouldn’t have missed this if they’d left it off either.

‘Crashing Down’ feat. S-Roc & Saukrates

The closest thing to an emo backpack record on here, as far as ‘wondering about the future of the music game’ type of thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Also good to see that Marco managed to sneak a Canadian MC in at the end in case he has to go back there for Xmas vacation.

Verdict: Proving that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to make a great rap album, Double Barrel demonstrates that it’s possible to make fruit-free hip-hop in 2009. Managing to sound both ‘traditional’ and cutting-edge, Torae and Marco manage to reverse the normal trend of boring ‘boom-bap’ throwback attempts by creating their own distinctive lane. While a couple of tracks miss the mark, the majority of the songs win, with ‘Stomp’, ‘Lifetime’, ‘Coney Island’ and ‘But Wait’ standing out in particular. Top shelf material.

Out June 2 on Duck Down.

Torae - ‘Radar Remix Freestyle’

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Dyin to hear this.
Haven’t really heard much of dudes music before, but he’s a pretty dope emcee.

As for Marco’s production…always been a fan.

Will wait til it drops, and cop.

Robbie…any news on Roc Marcy and the LP?

Comment by AFFEX 04.28.09 @

Managing to sound both ‘traditional’ and cutting-edge, Torae and Marco manage to reverse the normal trend of boring ‘boom-bap’ throwback attempts
^In my old age, I can even apprecitate some ’94 throwback records with rappin about rappin as long as there are a few ( 1 or 2) tunes dedicated to somethin else besides music( women, how flucked up the human race is) AND the music and rhymes have a distinct personality. Im gonna support these brothers!

Comment by chronwell 04.28.09 @

sounds great.
if duckdown comes wit dat vinyl i’ll cop.

Comment by swordfish 04.28.09 @

late pass, what peeved Guilty bout your review of the Percee P LP?. Regardless, this review got me fiending, particularly seeing as the drop date is over a month away!.

Comment by Sam 04.28.09 @

“You may recall Guilty from when he got pissed at me for my review of Percee-P’s album.”

When/where was this? Not in your Percee review comments… Link please?

Comment by Werner von Wallenrod 04.28.09 @


I dunno. Danger is hard as fuck! Might be the best song on the album….

Comment by wizo 04.29.09 @

woahhh…!!! i describe the music,rhymes and cuts with 3 words: ACTION,HECTIC AND LOUDNESS!!!

i’ve heard only ONE slower and more soulful track on DOUBLE BARREL.All the rest it’s pure R-A-W-N-E-S-S!!!

i’m a lil bit shocked.maybe with my 36 years i’m alredy too old for stuff like that.the marco polo that i like more,it’s the joint from 2 years ago with master ace”Nostalgia” but i will buy that recourd anyway,no doubt!

Comment by mario "class of 1988" 05.08.09 @



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