These wild brothers, otherwise known as The Pharcyde, are the slammin’ bunch of Los Angeles-based rappers who flexed something serious on “Soul Flower,” their soulful entry on the Brand New Heavies’ Heavy Rhyme Experience album. Like the Heavies, they too are signed to Delicious Vinyl, and you better believe their upcoming debut single and album’ll be a far cry from the norm. Pictured doing what they do best (from left) are Imani; Jammer Dee; the group’s producer, J-Swift; Tre; and Romye.
M.O.P. / To the Death / 1994
+ a conservative 3.5 Mics from Shortie (aka Miss Info):
When you think of hardcore, most people think of gangsta rap, and when you think of gangsters, most everybody thinks of the West Coast. And while the dominance of West Coast gangsterisms has affected the Hip-Hop nation as a whole, the East Coast is going all-out to maintain its own version of hardcore. And when it comes to the New York live-stepper soundtracks, M.O.P. has got shit on smash with their debut album.
Hailing from Brownsville, Brooklyn, the Mash Out Posse is composed of Li’l Fame and Billy Danzenie. Other than Li’l Fame’s appearance on 4th and Broadway’s 1993 compilation album, The Hill That’s Real, the group kept low-profile until they burst on the scene with their first single, “How About Some Hardcore.” The song caught on with hardrocks from state to state due to its adrenaline motivation. And if you liked that song, the rest of the album is very much on the same vibe—it’s not polished, not fancy, complicated or scientific. Stand-out tracks such as “Heist Masters,” “To The Death” and “Top Of The Line” feature the undiluted, hardcore street rhymes that bring images of Kool G. Rap to mind. The only problem is that with all the skillful lyrics about guns and gore, there isn’t too much depth. But M.O.P. truly don’t seem to give a fuck and they take no shorts in saying it. And there’s plenty troopers out there who won’t care either as long as they hear lyrics like, “Just the other day I put my man in the fuckin’ ground, so now, I walk around with the muthafuckin’ trey pound/Just for my enemies so I can blow they chest in/’Cuz Smith & Wesson’ll have your whole family stressin’/Another bastard’s casket closes/They put away the guns, then in come the muthafuckin’ roses.”
Musically, the production by Darrel D, Lazy Laz and Silver D features shotgun drums and heavy basslines that stomp throughout the whole album without getting monotonous. And while the music has a very non-regional appeal that might not win commercial success, it will continue to win street propers. This is not the album for the hip-hop elitist who demands profound creative lyrics and tight hi-tech production. It’s for those who want ruff-edged hardcore narratives with all of their negative and unrealistic aspects intact. And when it comes to that, M.O.P. represents to the fullest.