Filed under: Albums,BK All Day,Reviews,Steady Bootleggin',Video Clips
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Superb. This makes me want to watch The Warriors again. Excellent use of the word ‘peruse’ also.
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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