Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A brief review of Roc Marciano's "Marci Beaucoup"

Roc Marciano is an interesting case with me, in a good way. In addition to being recommended by a few people, I also noticed that his previous albums, 2010's "Marcberg LP" and 2012's "Reloaded", received a respectable amount of positive feedback and were included on some Year End Best Album lists for those years. I checked out both albums eventually, and honestly couldn't get into them when I played both the second time. Well, leave it to the third time being the charm, because that's when I was hit. From there he continued to grow on me, and it did take a while for that to happen. He does have a slow flow, yet he comes off so slick, aggressive, confident and street smart, and his guest appearances are mostly on point. Prior to the release of his new album, he dropped a mixtape, "The Pimpre Strikes Back", and let me tell you, that's a dope mixtape and I recommend you check it out if you haven't done so already. That mixtape built up my anticipation for this album and I feel my review will do the talking on this one!

Release date- December 10, 2013


To begin, three notable things. 1) Roc produces this entire album, 2) there's a guest on every song, so saying this album is guest heavy will be an understatement and 3) Roc mentioned that the reason why there's a guest on each song is because he wanted to see how other artists would sound over his beats. The opening "Love Means" (featuring Evidence) starts this album off proper and it's about as dope as you would expect.

Lyrically, Roc is still sharp, with the production and guests following suit. This is clear on the Guilty Simpson and Ka assisted "Squeeze". Ka's verse is decent, but Roc and Guilty own this one, no question about it. Roc takes a lyrical gamble with Action Bronson on "456", and while Bronson is still very good on the mic, he's seemingly sounding like Ghostface Killah each time I hear him nowadays (never thought I would say that). Things get gangsta on "Drug Lords", featuring apparent newcomer Knowledge the Pirate. Don't let that title fool you, it's not cliched at all and it's tight. Speaking of tight, "Soul Power" (featuring A.G.) is SO dope, with a soulful beat that sounds like something straight out of a 70s blaxploitation flick. Everything else is largely very good, which includes the apply titled "Trying To Come Up" (featuring Boldy James), the reuniting of the Greneberg lineup on "Psych Ward" (featuring Alchemist and Oh No), the closer "War Scars" (featuring Cormega and AG Da Coroner) and the reassuring of the hardness of everyone involved on "Didn't Know" (featuring Freeway and Knowledge the Pirate).

*I don't like to criticize too much, but after all this tight material, things began to slow down prior to "War Scars", namely "Confucius" (featuring Ka), which suffers due to an uninteresting beat.

Overall, this is one dope album, as Roc's hot streak of excellent albums continues. I initially said that on first listen I liked this better than the "Marcberg LP" and "Reloaded". Now, I will admit I like it a bit more than the latter, but regarding the former, not so sure at the moment. Roc fires on all cylinders on the mic (along with the guests) and his production stands out too, definitely influenced by Alchemist. Strong recommendation and my rating right now is 4 stars.

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