Filed under: Albums,Great Moments In Rap,Newest Latest,Not Your Average,Reviews,Steady Bootleggin',Strong Island,The Unkut Opinion
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
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’
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