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by
12 June, 2004@12:00 am
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     These days, labels have become a little more lenient on their artists as far as outside projects are concerned, mainly because they now expect them to promote themselves, much like 50 Cent did with mix CD’s or Kanye West did with his pocket-money funded “Through The Wire” video. Working as the first of two projects to set the stage for their Roc-A-Fella debut, M.O.P. delivers The Mash-Out Posse, a rock remix project of sorts which teams them up with thrashers Shiner Massive.

      Perfectly timed with their tour with Linkin Park, as well as the current rock/rap mash-up popularity, Mash Out Posse remixes 13 tracks into (literally) hard-rock Brooklyn anthems, in a tradition that was started on the Loud Rocks compilation, with its remix of “How About Some Hardcore”. The lines between what is a remixed acapella and what is M.O.P. live in the studio with Shiner Massive are blurred, as M.O.P.’s aggressive lyrics mesh perfectly over SM’s power chords.

     Some renditions are better than others, some outdo the originals, and others don’t.  The opener, a new track called “Conquerors” sets the stage perfectly, with its Lil’ Jon-eqsue “okay’s”, which could have very well been recorded live in the studio with SM. The same could be said for “Fire”, another new song which, for the first time ever, seamlessly blends female vocals with M.O.P.’s “bucka-blaow’s” and “fiyyyaaah’s”, with Shiner’s sparse guitar stabs. Other new entries, each of which work well, include the speed-metal anthem “Raise Hell”, the trenchtown rocking “It’s That Simple”, and the ultimate middle-finger-up, dick-out theme song “Get The Fuck Outta Here”, which bleeds equal parts gangsta rap attitude and rock star sleeze.

     But while half of the album is new material, many of the other tracks are remixes of classic cuts or b-sides. The rocked-out “Ground Zero” actually sounds better than its studio produced, Southern bouncing counterpart from the 10 Years and Gunnin’ album, while “Robbin’ Hoodz”, bangs with equal fury as the original, despite its clean edits from the 12inch acapella. However, the original “Microphone Fiend” borrowing “Put It In The Air” cannot be fucked with, in comparison to this album’s new, less attractive, apocalyptic version. Same can be said for “Stand Up”, which totally screws up one of the best displays of M.O.P. lyrical brilliance ever, as the original verses are cut off in exchange for a sampled hook. Meanwhile, new versions of “Calm Down” and “Stand Clear” go a bit overboard on the rock tip.

      Granted, while this album is half remixes and half new material, across its thirteen tracks it is kind of hard to fully absorb an M.O.P. album without beats (especially when Warriorz had wall-to-wall DJ Premier production). But while the rock-stylings of Shiner Massive can get a little redundant, there probably isn’t a better rap group on the face of the earth that could pull this off. Still, for the die-hard M.O.P. fan (this critic included), it’s a nice change of pace, as well as a mouth watering appetizer for the Roc-A-Fella album, or at least the Marxmen Cinema mixtape.

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