Tag: M.O.P.

 

Planit Hank is a mysterious but up-and-coming, underground producer whose latest effort, the Night Before Purgatory EP is slated for release next month — and the EP finds Planit Hank collaborating with a who’s who of gritty, New York street shit hip hop, including M.O.P., AZ, Canibus, Chris Rivers, Styles P, Kool G. Rap, DJ Evil Dee and a few others. “Life in Crooklyn,” the EP’s latest single is centered by a production that’s equally soulful and mournful as it features an atmospheric and looped horn sample, tweeter and woofer rock boom bap beats and scratching by the incredible DJ Evil Dee. Jeru The Damaja, Buckshot and AZ all wax both nostalgically and heartbreakingly about their rough and tumble childhoods — Jeru The Damaja talks about all the people he knew and loved, who were tragically murdered, with the recognition that without music, he may have ended up much like those he remembered; AZ proudly rhymes about repping Brooklyn all day; Buckshot, arguably one of the best emcees ever manages to pay tribute to BIG, make a brief point about gentrification but while pointing out that gangster shit is still there — and always will be there. But along with that the song focuses on the lack of older heads giving guidance to young cats in the way that happened for these legendary emcees. What makes the track intriguing to me is that it manages to view things from an older perspective but without sounding like crotchety old men, screaming at the clouds and the young cats about how everything fucking sucks, and how the music the kids listen to these days is awful; nor is the nostalgia within the song maudlin. If anything, it speaks to how powerful music can be — that it save the lives of people in desperate circumstances.

 

 

 

 

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Perhaps best known as one-half of Heltah Skeltah with the late Sean Price and a member of the  Boot Camp ClikRockRock released his long-awaited solo debut last week Rockness AP, and from album single “Fax Machine.” a street banger which had the Brownsville native collaborate with M.O.P., Rock is set to step out on his own, as an emcee you need to pay attention to — if you like your hip hop, rough, rugged and raw. Unsurprisingly, album single “Wishin'” finds the Brownsville native collaborating with D12‘s Kuniva on a street banger in which the two emcees spit braggadocio-filled rhymes over a menacing production featuring a looped twinkling key sample, warm blasts of bluesy, psychedelic  guitar and tweeter and woofer rocking beats. Let this track be a reminder that you can still find real, rugged street shit — even if your multinational radio conglomerate won’t play it.

 

Maybe it has to do with coming off age in the 90s but I prefer my hip-hop rugged as hell, so when I saw an email that about Heltah Skeltah‘s and Boot Camp Clik‘s Rock teaming up with M.O.P., my first thought was “I need to check that out — immediately.” Interestingly, the three Brownsville natives have collaborated together in varying capacities throughout the years, and “Fax Machine” features the three imitable emcees spitting fire over a menacing and hard hitting Ford Tuff and Pascal Zumaque production that features enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats — the sort that you can hear rattling from about 3/4s of a block away.  And while Rock is preparing his long-awaited full-length debut Rockness A.P., which is slated for release on Friday, he manages to pay homage to his late Heltah Skeltah partner Sean Price — while making a braggadocio-filled Transformers reference to how he and M.O.P. are like “the cannon on Megatron’s arm/And that ain’t gon’ change ’cause MegaSean gone,” that should remind the listener and any other emcee out there, that although Sean Price is gone, Rock is ready to fuck shit up in his partner’s honor.

Comprised of the Ann Arbor, MI-born, Los Angeles, CA-based soul singer/songwriter Mayer Hawthorne, arguably one of the most unheralded vocalists and singer/songwriters of the past decade; and Jake One, a Seattle, WA-born and based, Grammy nominated producer and artist, who was best known as part of the G-Unit, production team The Money Management Group, for collaborating with Brother Ali, Young Buck, De La Soul, M.O.P., Freeway, M.F. Doom, Atmosphere‘s Slug, Keak da Sneak and others, and for contributing tracks to the soundtracks of major motion pictures such as Get Rich or Die Tryin,’ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Gone Baby Gone, the electro funk act Tuxedo can trace its origins to around 2006 when Hawthorne and Jake One began exchanging mixtapes, which revealed that they had a mutual appreciation and love of classic funk and soul.  The duo quickly worked on and released three singles while both were working on separate solo projects — and those singles wound up on the duo’s 2015 self-titled debut, an effort, which I think was one of that year’s best party records.

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve last written about them — and that shouldn’t be surprising, as Hawthrone released his fourth, full-length effort Man About Town last year and opened for Hall and Oates during the duo’s U.S. tour and Jake One released the #prayerhandsemoji mixtape; but speaking for myself, I’m always in the need of some funk in my life and thankfully, the duo have returned with a three song EP, titled Fux with the Tux.. “Fux with the Tux,” the EP’s title track and opening track pairs Hawthrone’s vocals with a late 70s and early 80s synth funk production featuring squiggly arpeggio synth blasts, propulsive drum programming, a wobbling and tumbling low bass line, a chant-worthy and anthemic hook and a brief braggadocio-filled guest spot from Snoop Dogg. And while sounding as though it drew a some influence from Heatwave‘s “The Groove Line” – 12″ Disco Version,  Cherelle‘s “Saturday Love” feat. Alexander O’Neal and others. “Special” clearly continues on a similar vein as it’s incredibly dance floor friendly, while being a sultry come on. It’s the sort of song you’d want to play while dancing with that pretty young thing, you’ve wanted to get with for an entire summer or however long it’s been for you. Completing the three song set, “July” is a slow-burning and silky smooth, Quiet Storm-like track about unexpectedly, stupidly and desperately in love and that love changing the narrator’s life for the better — and of course, its underpinned by Hawthorne expressing a vulnerable, urgent and plaintive need that gives the song an irresistible sensuality.

 

 

If there’s one thing that listeners will instantly gleam from this new EP is that Hawthorne and Jake One have further cemented their reputation for crafting dance floor friendly, two-step, 80s-inspired synth funk and sexy, slow-burning ballads with a subtly modern take.