Album Review: M.O.P.- Foundation
When Billy Danze and Lil Fame describe their borough, the stories aren’t crafted from hazy memories found in the rearview or trips through the old neighborhood behind mafia tinted limo windows. They don’t have to rely on recall or dust off discarded hood personas because M.O.P. is Brooklyn and their music evokes all that is the BK experience. It’s the smell of pissy elevators and blunt smoke, the sound of shots fired and sirens whaling and the taste of corner store heroes and cold 40s. This is not Prospect Park. It’s gritty. It’s gutter and not for the feint of heart. It’s for those who know the gravity of New York reality and live in the space where love and fear converge. But like Biggie said, spread love is the Brooklyn way and Mash Out Posse has been spreading that love on wax for years. Minus cosigns from the God MC and the Guerilla Unit General, this duo is back where they belong with Foundation and its obvious there is no need for all that corporate glitz in Brownsville.
The pair dismiss the punk shit early and go in only to reemerge 14 tracks later with the crown they were handed after Warriorz. They are still overbearing. They still don’t give a shit about your crew and the lyrical fire fights can still leave you leaking. The album opens with “I’m a Brownsvillian.” It comes with a loud whiney guitar riff, some thick vocal samples and a classic Kool G Rap line that lay the foundation for the pair to re-introduce themselves to those who forgot, dudes with little hearts and folks who confused them for amateurs.
“Blow the Horns” is a love/hate anthem for both the folks they roll with and the folks they don’t. The track is the first of Fizzy Womack’s six contributions to the album and the horns bring an energy to the track that picks up where the lead leaves off. It’s hard, pounding and everything else you would expect from two dudes who “keep it Old English 800.”
“What I Wanna Be” is Primo’s only offering to Foundation. The stutter step of the track and the soulful hook are juxtaposed against the lyrics that as usual are sucker free and cutting. However, it’s nothing new for MOP to take one of Primo’s melodic tracks to tell you they’re going to piss on you, soulfully of course.
Statik Slelektah and Termanology drop in to lend their talents to another banger, “Crazy.” The Statik special comes with all the bells and whistles he normally has in tow, bursts of samples and scratches dot the track as the trio go verse for verse about their skills. Term says he’s got that “KRS flow mixed with Esco.” Don’t know about that but bravo to his hubris. If you don’t believe it, who else will? He also says he’s “a young Rakim with the bars.” Double bravo.
The hits keep coming. “Rude Bastard” is a walk down Danze and Womack’s memory lane as only they could tell it. Fizzy goes in again with a slow brooding track and the pair gives a little insight on the things that made them permanently leave their manners at home. “Brooklyn” is the obligatory home turf shout out that manages not to get into the cheesy range. The track sounds like a slowed down version of Funkadelic’s “I’ll Stay” which relaxes the hardcore pace just enough for you to catch your breath.
The rest of the album pretty much follows suit. The knit-pickers will question the box M.O.P. has created for themselves as far as content is concerned and “Street Life” has an almost industry uniform auto-tuned hook that everybody wont feel but there is no wackness here. Very few artists, even those with dope releases, can say that.
Is it a classic? No. Is it great? Hell yeah. So if you need to moment of gangsta Zen free of shiny shirts and Nuvo bottles, M.O.P.’s latest ride on the Brooklyn side is just for you.
Out Of 5
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