Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A review of Marco Polo's "Newport Authority 2"

Underrated producer Marco Polo releases his first project since 2007's tight "Port Authority" album. I discovered via that this project is available as a free download (link will be provided at the end of the review), and it's serving as a precusor to his upcoming album, "Port Authority 2", which is set to drop in July of this year. The list of participating artists is very impressive, so I'm anxious to see how it sounds.

All songs produced by Marco Polo

1. Intro (featuring Shylow)
I like intros like this, as it really gets the anticipation started for the rest of the album. With a nice beat accompanied by the traditional scratching (which is sort of a lost art these days), it's a very good start.

2. Fame For President (featuring Lil Fame of M.O.P.)
Lil Fame proves he hasn't lost a step over this hardcore track. Marco's beat definitely feels like a throwback of sorts to Ghostface Killah's "Run". Dope. 4 out of 5

3. Double eXXecution (featuring Torae & Ruste Juxx)
The underrated, yet lyrically talented Torae shows up with Ruste Juxx to bless this one in a back and forth format, another thing that's missing in hip hop today. A dope beat with equally dope lyrics to match. 4 out of 5

4. Terrified (featuring Big Gutta & Jaysaun)
The lyrics, hook, AND beat here does present the aura, if you will, of terrifying the listener, or better yet, terrifying those who aren't or wouldn't be sold on Big Gutta and Jaysaun. They do a pretty good job here. 4 out of 5

5. Gospel Rap (featuring Malcolm & Martin)
Don't let those two names fool you. In NO way is this duo disrespecting the legacy of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Much like track four, these two do a pretty good job over Marco's nice beat with a gospel/soul twist. 3.5 out of 5

6.What's Wrong (featuring Rakim)
The legendary Rakim, my #3 favorite MC of all time, expertly details what's wrong in our society today. Talk about a song that needs to be heard to be appreciated. I like this one a lot. 5 out of 5

7. Back To Work (featuring Artifacts)
Man, it definitely is nice to hear Artifacts again, sounding so inspired, like it's still the mid 90s. Nothing wrong with that. Back to work indeed. 4 out of 5

8. Nite & Day (featuring Big Daddy Kane)
I did check this one out several months before the release of this project. I said then and I'll say it now, it's dope as hell, and Kane, another one of my top 10 favorite MCs of all time, continues to get better with age. I also really liked the Don Cornelius (RIP) intro, as well as the nicely sampled Al B Sure classic of the same name.5 out of 5
9. Long & Winding Road (featuring First Division & Large Professor)
The long and winding road to greatness in the hip hop world is STILL present today, not in all artists unfortunately. First Division and Large Professor, another producer/MC who has gotten better with age, deliver the goods. 4 out of 5
10. BK 2 NJ (featuring Das Efx)
While it's great to hear Das Efx together again, this song could've been better. It's still decent though. 3 out of 5

11. That S*** (featuring MidaZ The Beast)
This is dope like the majority of the album. MidaZ has excellent breath control and a commanding presence on the mic. 4.5 out of 5

12. Stand Up (Remix) featuring Tragedy Khadafi, Lil Fame, Adrian Younge, & The Delfonics
The dopeness continues as we draw close towards the end of the album. Lil Fame handles the hook while Tragedy comes correct on the lyrical end (not to mention the background vocals of The Delfonics). 4 out of 5

13. Cur$ed (What's Wrong Remix) featuring Rakim & Reggie B
Not better than the original, but still a great remix. 4.5 out of 5

The first thing I want to comment on is the production. Most of the beats provided by Marco are slammin, no question, and why he continues to be slept on I'll never know. All of the artists bring their best over his beats, and in this current hip hop world, simple, yet effective dope rhymes and beats are a COMPLETE breath of fresh air over the mess that floods the airwaves and TV. This is a solid recommendation, followed by a 4.5 star rating, making me anticipate "Port Authority 2" that much more.

Here's the link to download the project:

1 comment:

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