The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (aka How M.O.P. Won)
Tuesday September 08th 2009,
Filed under: Albums,Old Moufs,Reviews,The Unkut Opinion
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How about some hype hardcore? It seems that 90’s rappers are all the rage this week, as three old favorites once again attempt to make some noise in this here rap game. Are any of them actually worth walking to your local record store though?

The interesting thing about the new records from Raekwon, Jay-Z and M.O.P. is that they all present dramatically different cases for why each of these veterans are still relevant. The fact that everybody is talking about them is proof that they all have a degree of relevance – but that doesn’t always translate into good music. The Blueprint 3 starts off a lot better than I expected, as the first few tracks present Jay in his “I’m rich, bitch!” mode fairly convincingly. It doesn’t take long for the wheels to fall off though, as by the time we hit the halfway mark it all begins to sound like something that his intern orchestrated. “Can you read some hip-hop blogs and find some hot artists for Jay to collab with? Thanks much”. Obviously I’m not the target market for this record, but as I commented elsewhere, I predict that ‘Young Forever’ will be heard at same-sex marriage ceremonies for a long time to come.

Cuban Linx 2 is a good record, but it’s not great. Weighed down by the weight of expectation that it’s title brings, it plays as the ultimate fan service to the Wu-Tang faithful. We demanded that Rae gives us more of that coke rap for so long that he finally relented, but at times it sounds as if he’s doing so a because he has to, not because he wants to. Without the blunted vision of The RZA controlling the project, it lacks the mystery, texture and pacing of the original. That Wu Slang that made The Chef so unique doesn’t seem as special anymore either, possibly because he flooded the streets of the internets with too much product (mixtapes) while he waited for our fix, diluting his potency and driving down the price. That being said, OB4CL2 is an uncompromising, hardcore collection of tracks in an age when no one really makes albums like this anymore, and it certainly contains some superior material. It just feels a little…over-cooked?

The real winners here of course are the eternal underdogs, the champions of working-class fight music themselves… Mo’ Peez! Finally delivering their first official release since Warriorz, anybody who’s been paying attention will immediately notice that they haven’t faltered at all in the meantime. The Foundation is simply another milestone in the timeless catalog of rap’s greatest duo. If you aren’t already a fan of what Bill and Slap have been delivering all these years then this isn’t going to convert you, but this latest installment has that hunger and unbridled aggression that both of the previously mentioned sequels are lacking. For those of us who aren’t sitting on a yacht or watching Scorsese flicks all night, this is the kind of music that will get you through another day in the trenches. And sometimes, that’s all that really counts.

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30 Comments so far
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I’m waiting to buy The Foundation and OB4CL before hearing them so i have no input on either, but i just wanted to take this oppurtunity to say that Instigator by M.O.P is one of the great lost tracks of this decade.

Comment by MF 09.08.09 @

All I know is that when a good Hip-Hop record comes out these days, there is a good chance a 90’s rapper made it…and M.O.P. are in my top 5 Hip-Hop artists ever!

Comment by ceedub 09.08.09 @

word up.jay’s album ain’t my cup of henny.rae’s joint is dope.but this promo hype was too big and way too long.but the mash out album is just huge.

Comment by swordfish 09.08.09 @

“Blueprint 3” was garbage, first Jay-Z album i ain’t copping.. and c/s about the ‘Young Forever’ song, that’s super-gay, can’t even believe he did that!

“Foundation” and “OB4CL2” is both great albums that’s living up to expectations though imo. Both Rae and the Mash Out Posse showed and proved this year with incredible releases!

Comment by claaa7 09.08.09 @

I don’t like how the intro sounds. Who is
Relevant? I’d like to know who the writer
Deems “relevant”. These 3 acts are
Superstars in my book and you don’t
Find that in whoever and wherever these
“new” acts are…

Comment by brutalLee 09.08.09 @

How many albums are going to come out called The Foundation? It’s a tough call, are there more hip hop albums called “Foundation” or “Resurrection” ?

Comment by Finally 09.08.09 @

That Raekwon is banging! the lyrics are tight and its good to hear some beats that make you bounce like its 94.
I don’t know what the hell happened to production in hip hop, but beats these are stone cold waaack! O well, I’m an old head, I like that thump of the 808.
I hyped to hear this MOP too, I can’t agree that they the best duo (Outkast, Run-DMC) but I will say that they are the GOATS of Shout Rap! And also the best shit to pump before you hoop.

Comment by Ol Otis 09.08.09 @

‘Obviously I’m not the target market for this record, but as I commented elsewhere, I predict that ‘Young Forever’ will be heard at same-sex marriage ceremonies for a long time to come.’

i lost my shit right there! haha

Comment by Arkitek 09.08.09 @

SALUTE!!!!! i know that “surgical glove” track is murder

Comment by tabauri 09.08.09 @

rae promo was high cuz of the expectations…
long because of Dr Dre’s Label Fuckery but
i’m glad to see a new classic, real sequel
cuz where’s detox ? next year hope but
rae did it, get ready for the first
real and classic trilogy, part III

Comment by R 09.08.09 @

I was never into Jay, so I won’t be picking up his album. I purchased OB4CL2 today, and have yet to digest it. I am also looking forward to picking up M.O.P. and Survival Skills next week. I can’t remember a time when there were this many albums I was anticipating, but I would say it was probably in the late 90’s.

Comment by HipHopHistorian 09.08.09 @

BP3 is for fags, so it’s fitting that that song will be played at fag marriages.

OB4CL2 is a banger. I agree that the lack of RZA’s direction kinda blanded some of it.

I gave MOP two thorough listens, and I’m a fan of them, and I dunno man. Shit is pretty disappointing to me. Lackluster as hell.

I cut Termanology’s verse out of “Crazy, cause I don’t like him. Here you go-

And I hate teh autotunez, so I did my best to take it out of “Street Life”. Here-

And I don’t mind the singing on this track, but someone requested that I take that out, too.
“What I Wanna Be” (minus Rell)-

I’m a big Mash Out fan, just thought this album was disappointing. Could have had more Primo, more Statik Selektah, and less LiL Fame on the beats. That said, “Blow The Horns” is a straight banger.

Comment by verge 09.08.09 @

@verge: Removing Term’s verse is pure genius. Where was Tef anyway?

Comment by Robbie 09.09.09 @

how do you consider Rae’s album ANYTHING other than a success especially after unkut was already doubting the albums quality & actual release date?
Now that its here and its living up to the hype, AND yall were wrong, now you think its over cooked? c’mon man…
More Rza is all you can some up with? lol…
last time we got ‘more rza’ we got 8 diagrams and nobody was happy…the album is fine the way it is..
BP3 is exactly what I thought it would be. It aint like he had ski or preemo on there so i wasnt expecting to be blown away…
OBFCL2…I dont see how anybody who runs a site like this could even come out his mouth even half way stupid…
Big this album up like it deserves, we already got top 40 radio and these pop junkies to deal with…not you backpack geeks who wanna be difficult…

Comment by Simple Simon 09.09.09 @

i totally agree w/ you on the Blueprint III…

as far as OBFCL II I agree in part…I think it was superior to that new M.O.P. though…by far…them cats was using autotune, picking beats that wasn’t poppin’ off…sounded all mixed up and then some….true the energy is still there, but they ain’t intriguing me anymore….

Comment by BIG D O 09.09.09 @

I want OB4CL2 and Foundation on vinyl! But as it seems only the Jay record will see a vinyl release.

Comment by Krisch 09.09.09 @

gotta admit i liked both OBFCLII and Foundation but i hink M.O.P. just about edge it. Rae’s LP sounds too disjointed to be a true followup. And whoever let that Demarco fuck on foundation should have their life revoked.

Comment by Sam 09.09.09 @

Yo, this is the 3rd time I’m gonna say this, but I just can’t understand how people feel about “Foundation”

Like Nore once said – I can’t believe I put out a half ass album….

Damn, that’s the worst M.O.P album ever – smth they could have released on Rocafella or maybe even under G-Unit and felt sorry about it later…

So much soft ass cheesy beats and hooks (“What I Wanna Be” / “Street Life” and even “Rude Bastards” & “Brooklyn”) – for the radio ? for the ladys ? = fail

+ some of those harder sounding tracks are a la weak-era 2000/2001 synthesizer beats by Rockwilder (“Salute A G”, “Brownsillian” which was alright though), Nottz (“Foundation”), E.Sermon (“Sharks”, “Ridin Through”)

I don’t know what they tried to do with this one here (it seems to be working too – based on those positive comments on the net), but it was a huge let down to me…. Especially after that Wu Tang Chamber Music project Lil Fame co-produced which had absolutelly bangin beats

I can’t believe they made such a half assed album and even worse – people seem to be liking it…

Comment by Blanco 09.09.09 @

By now, it looks like Jay is just playin’, having some fun with rhymes, beats and concepts. Obviously he ain’t got the motivation to put out a REAL Jay-Z album.

Rae is 50% great. Not his fault. Everybody expected him to rewind the world back to 95 or somethin’. He did his best though.

MOP is the most consistent group in Hip Hop. The album is very good. Could have been a classic like Warriorz with a couple more better beatz. Where Primo at? holla.

Comment by Question Marc 09.09.09 @

Come on man. How you gonna say Foundation is better than OBFCL2? I love M.O.P. to death, but give Rae his props. His album is by far the best release of the year so far.

Comment by hd 09.09.09 @

i’m suprised people ain’t feeling the new M.O.P. album, it sounds just like what i expected it to sound. pure Mash Out Posse shit, easily a 4/5 album – feeling all them beats and lyrically the duo sounds hungrier than in a long time. even the auto-tune joint is DOPE!

my only complaint is that there should have been somre more Preemo on it, and at least 1 apperance by Teflon. i read that Premier had cooked up two more hardcore bangers for the LP but shit didn’t make the deadline, too bad – this is just a minor complaint too, it shows they can hold down their own and Lil’ Fame is real nice on that MPC.

Comment by claaa7 09.09.09 @

I fell of the MOP bandwagon sometime around that 2nd rock-hybrid joint hey did in like ’04 for Koch. I dont really have a good reeason but maybe its cuz Firing Squad, First Fam, and Warriorz still stay in heavy rotation and the post 2000 output just dont knock as hard. I was feeling that joint Fame did with Mega last year but I was not feelin the Redman collabo. I’ll stick to using New JAck City and 4 Alarm Blaze as workout music.

Comment by chronwell 09.09.09 @

wow rap really does have fans…like literally fanatical people who buy shocked. btw if another person mentions outkast as raps greatest duo…..

Comment by Mercilesz 09.09.09 @

The Danze & Fame stannery runs deep.

Comment by Guy Fawkes 09.09.09 @

If OB4CL2 is over-cooked, then Foundation was the opposite; it kinda seemed slapped together, which is a shame, ’cause I kinda hoped M.O.P would be the ones to bring a solid album, but then the deadlines also contributed to that (reason there aren’t a lot of Primo beats).

Comment by Φ 09.09.09 @

You ain’t gonna let that L go, are you Robbie?


And nah, M.O.P.’s album doesn’t win. I don’t know whose does, but that one doesn’t. This, much like EPMD’s last couple, is an instance in which they’ve taken so much time between albums, their loyal fans are just glad to hear they have a new one out, so any half-ass song’ll do.

BP3 and CL2 are practically along the same lines to me- because neither one is as good as some say they are, but not as bad as others say either.


Comment by DANJ! 09.10.09 @

i’m sure all 3 albums mentioned are pretty poor on the whole, compared to their better efforts in the past.

gotta put shit in perspective.

Comment by Arkitek 09.10.09 @

Best Album Of The Year: MOP’s Foundation.

Comment by rip big mal 09.10.09 @

To me M.O.P’s album reminds me alot of their first effort from 1994 – “To The Death”, i don’t know why but large parts of it sounds like an updated version of that LP. How you not gonna like songs like “Blow The Horns”, “Forever & Always”, “Crazy”, “Rude Bastards” and “Bang Time” – classic Mash Out Posse!

Comment by claaa7 09.10.09 @

well said but damm robbie your the biggest MOP stan out

Comment by dialect 09.23.09 @

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