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1 January, 2000@12:00 am

 They’re named as the one of the most underrated crews of all time in Ego Trip’s Book Of Rap Lists. Yet at the same time, they have collaborated with some of New York’s finest, such as Jay-Z, Big Pun, Busta Rhymes, Pharaohe Monch, Kool G Rap, and of course, Gang Starr. With their fifth album, Warriorz, your favorite rappers’ favorite rappers aim to join the leagues of their counterparts, with a hopeful gold or platinum plaque to grace the walls of D&D studios. With the popularity of grimy, NYC thug-rap at an all time high, the embracing of the album’s lead single, “Ante Up (Robbing Hoods Theroy)”, and power-push of a new label deal with Loud, this album may accomplish M.O.P.’s goals.

It’s no doubt that the Mash Out Posse has always produced underground classics, from “How About Some Hardcore” to “Brownsville” to “Downtown Swinga”, and while none of their albums have received huge commercial success, it’s actually worked in their favor, making Billy Danz and Lil’ Fame hungrier than ever. This ever-increasing starvation for success has forced the group to fine-tune and tweak their style to perfection. Their addictive and patented chants of “Fiiiire!”, “Blllllllllaaakaaah!”, “Bucka Bucka!!”, and other phonetic gun-claps are shouted with more confidence and power than ever. Added with incredibly raw energy and a somewhat twisted sense of humor and sarcasm that finds the sound of gunshots “sexy”, or directs you to, listening to these two is much more entertaining than the over-sensationalized seriousness of your average microphone thug.

Once again under the supervision of DJ Premier, the album’s production has stepped up another notch as well. Primo adds his golden touch to six of the album’s tracks, most notably “Follow Instructions” and “On The Frontline”, and acting as the album’s mix engineer, his sound actually lingers throughout the extent of the album. But M.O.P.’s newfound hunger has also improved the group’s self-production as well, in fact creating some of the album’s best tracks. Each “G Building”, “Calm Down” and the insane “Cold As Ice” (rocking a sped-up Foreigner sample) are produced by the members themselves, and show-off their multiple talents.

The rah-rah attitude of M.O.P. may be a little much for some, and the tendency to repeat the same chants over and over can get redundant. And while the album does take a minute to get off the ground, and is littered with a corny song or two, (watch out for “Everyday”) it picks up as it progresses, and is their best album yet. Let’s hope it pushes them into the major leagues.

  Mixtape D.L.
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