Roc Marciano – Marcberg Album Review

This is Critical Beatdown for 2010. While it doesn’t exactly share any similarities in terms of the beat science presented, Marcberg is a game-changer. Much like the impact of Ultramagnetic MC’s long-awaited debut, you’ve never really heard an album like this before. No guest producers, over-used hooks or any type of traditional song-structure for that matter. This is fourteen cuts of raw flows over minimalistic tracks – only built for real rap connoisseurs.

Marciano delivers a verbal technique that combines a stream-of-consciousness flow with traditional street wisdom, all wrapped-up in a complex labyrinth of flow patterns and cadences. This is the kind of record that sounds like it was made on the artists own terms – no A&R interference or forced collaborations, no pandering to current trends – and it’s all the better for it. Even though previous work with his UN crew featured beats from Large Professor and Pete Rock, it was the tracks he produced himself that knocked the hardest…and he didn’t even own a sampler back then. Now armed with an MPC-2500 and a razor-sharp ear, Roc has really knocked this one out the park. The stripped-down production essentially serves as a platform to showcase the flows on display here – and if you have even a passing familiarity with Marcy’s catalog, then it will be no surprise that he beasts every beat on here.

The previously leaked ‘Snow’ really sets the benchmark here, with cuts like ‘Don Shit’, ‘Real Raw’ and ‘Thugs Prayer’ decimating the competition with line after line of ill imagery, sly boasts and that trademark unorthodox delivery that keeps it in the pocket regardless of the tempo. ‘Jungle Fever’ is the best homage to the ‘rich man’s aspirin’ ever, while ‘Ridin Around’ is the ideal soundtrack to driving while twisted. ‘Panic’ makes you remember why you started messing rap in the first place – that hardcore, sinister anti-social sound that demands to be put on repeat. There’s honestly nothing that you’ll skip or fast-forward on here.

After a long wait, Roc Marciano has achieved a feat that I thought was near impossible in this era – a consistent, cohesive album. A clear vision without any outside interference, executed flawlessly. Casting off the shackles of over-produced melodrama, Marcy has cut his own path through the backwoods of the industry and cemented his place in the legacy of great Long Island lyricists.

Marcberg is out through Fat Beats on 20 April on CD and vinyl EP.

Roc Marciano – ‘Marcberg’

Roc Marciano – The Unkut Interview

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33 Comments so far
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You were telling us about Marcberg’s skill from way back and I will admit that I wasn’t a true believer until I heard some of the tracks on this album.

His rhyming style is brilliant and he doesn’t waste any words. Thug’s Prayer was the realest shit I heard a rapper spit in a long time.

Thanks for putting me on to this real hardbody rap shit Robbie.

Comment by Dallas' Blaxberry 03.12.10 @

I wish you would assign this a score, like 5 out 5 sawed-off shotties

Comment by riyadh 03.12.10 @

This is as good as purchased. Thanks for the heads up Robbie. I still can’t believe he produced all these joints. Hopefully he can make a DOOM/Sean Price type of come back.

Comment by hl 03.12.10 @

Yeah we all knew he was the truth since he had been with busta…probably the best mc to touch a mic 010

Comment by mercilesz 03.12.10 @

this what i’m talkin about

Comment by dj blendz 03.12.10 @

This is what real heads been thirstin for….raw uncut with no faggy club bangers throwin shit off makin me hit the skip button….im ready…big up Marciano

Comment by Unseen 03.12.10 @

Roc Marcy been nice since he was down wit FlipMode back in 2002. That Un or U Out album was TOUGH!

AND his beats is crazy!

Comment by junMaf*ckin 03.12.10 @

Oh, hell yes! This will be my first new shit purchase of the year, hopefully not the only one.
This Marcberg track is fuckin smokin.

Comment by verge 03.12.10 @

Hardbody.. Severely. I can’t get enough of Roc Marcy’s shit… I’m picking this one up, for sure.


Comment by Jah The God 03.13.10 @

Robbie, that is a bold statement, “Critical Beatdown” for 2010. Based on that assessment, I better check it out.

Comment by turtle 03.13.10 @

Vinyl ep? Damn not the whole LP on wax…?

Comment by tareq 03.13.10 @

critical beatdown for 2010? you must be kiddin’…

ultramag represented sheer innovation back then while roc marciano just goes back to the raw and uncut style of rhymin. do you really think marcberg will make an impact on hip hop similar to critical beatdown?

nevertheless the leaked tracks sound promising.

Comment by Chulee ManSun 03.13.10 @

Looking forward to hearing this one, thanks Robbie.

Comment by Jaz 03.13.10 @

@tareq. if it means doing two vinyls it probably becomes too expensive. better an ep than nothing.

Comment by gx 03.13.10 @

As a hip-hop fan I can honestly say that one of prayers has been answered. Now if I could only get a UN follow-up.

Comment by Brooklyn 'Lo 03.13.10 @

pumped for this

Comment by Matt 03.14.10 @

i cant wait for this album….it reminds me of when i used to buy hip hop every week and im for sure copping this and will be running joints on my radio show

Comment by djspontaneus 03.14.10 @

this shit is fire!

Comment by tay 03.15.10 @

For some reason I still like his flows over some of the Pete Rock beats and the track they did with Large Pro. It would’ve been cool if he worked with them again but producing his own shit shows his versatility.

In these days and times there’s hardly any new lps I look out for but I will be waiting for this one.

Comment by silent minority 03.15.10 @

wah blud, didn’t think i’d ever see this. This is a beautifull thing for the culture.

Comment by Dontez 03.15.10 @

Cant wait!

Comment by kweeeens 03.16.10 @

I can’t wait for this to drop. Roc Marcy is a beast.

Comment by The ILLatino 03.17.10 @

Roc’s new joint with the P Brothers is off the scale.

Comment by ED209 03.18.10 @

I dunno about his own production on U.N tracks knocking harder than, say, Game Of Death (the best U.N song, well the 12″ version anyway) or that i see the Critical Beatdown comparison for the same reason Chulee mentioned, but the songs I’ve heard from this are really good.

Comment by MF 03.18.10 @

always thought roc marc was good but basic, still looking forward to hearing this album. Long Island had a bunch of great rhymers that never came out so i’m glad he’s putting in work.

Trife, you out there?

Comment by cv 03.18.10 @

cant fucking wait for this.

Comment by headlock 03.18.10 @

cant wait for this

anybody got that new joint roc marc did for the p bros ep? “as long as its real”?

heres a new joint called “franco” off the dj kryptonite album

the arch druids shit is gonna be crazy too, this is rocs year

Comment by eightyfive 03.21.10 @

@MF Golden Grail. ’nuff said.

Comment by negativeprops 03.26.10 @


Comment by donaleski 03.28.10 @

Dope album… For the moment my favorite in 2010…

Comment by BK's Finest 04.19.10 @

Can’t believe I’ve only just heard of Marciano. I’m not talking shit, I think Marcberg is one of the best hip hop albums in a long time

Comment by freeman 05.17.10 @

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