They say if you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well join ‘em. And well-worn adage serves its place in Hip-Hop music as well — especially when you have artists of similar stature looking to move past that proverbial glass ceiling. Coming off his criminally slept-on compilation Port Authority, Marco Polo, the Canadian born producer with the knack for making boom-bap beats with a touch of bass, joins forces with Coney Island rapper Torae who gave his peers a stern talking-to on his inaugural outing 2008’s Daily Conversation.
Together, the pair construct Double Barrel, a moderately decisive effort which if anything else, reminds listeners the East Coast does still have a voice on wax.
The premise is simple in a He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper node of things. Torae’s Brooklyn baritone finds a suitable punching bag over MP’s crass production. Audio barbwire like “But Wait” and “Get It” define Double Barrel as a exhibition on heavy-hitting Hip-Hop in the traditional sense. The first single “Party Crashers” reiterates the pith with a delirium of clashing cymbals and broken glass sound effects with Torae playing the disorderly patron threatening to tear the club up if he’s not on the guest list.
Being a Duck Down Records release, unsurprising contributions from Heltah Skeltah and DJ Revolution balance things out a bit with the biggest payoff coming courtesy of Torae emptying his clip in contemplative fashion on the Saukrates featured “Crashing Down.” The curtain calls with him questioning fans purchasing habits over which is also the most subtle backdrop featured on Double Barrel.
The drawback to the dual pistol action is the basic business model of things. Torae spends the majority of the LP denouncing industry politics while Marco Polo’s production tends to blend together with seemingly the same bassline and song tempos by the album’s midway point. Uniformity aside, the duo pack enough ammo to do their part in the War on Wackness.
Previously Posted — DJ Concept, Marco Polo & Torae – Armed & Dangerous Mixtape
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