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by
20 July, 2004@12:00 am
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 With Marxmen Cinema, a sneaky M.O.P. delivers the second album-before-the-album (following the rock cover album, Mash Out Posse) to help them prepare for their forthcoming Roc-A-Fella debut, Ghetto Warfare. Billed as “the official M.O.P. mix tape” Marxmen Cinema is 30+ track extravaganza, spread across two discs, presenting the past, present, and future of the world famous Brownsville soldiers. 

       The first disc presents virtually all new material, sewn together within humorous skits as well as material from their extended family, such as Lazy Laze, Teflon, and Big Scoob . Among the 16 tracks are several blazers that present the Mash Out Posse in their prime, expressing frustration with the major label system. The sarcastic two-part “Money Got Lost/Tef Money” is vintage M.O.P., where Danz, Fame, and co-conspirator Teflon symbolically mirror a tale of a street tale gone bad to their own post-Loud situation, over hard-hitting bluesy pianos and sinister basslines.  DJ Premier then chimes in with “Bloody Murdah”, a simple yet effective braggadocio banger that presents M.O.P. in perfect form, lyrically slaughtering bitch rappers and anyone else thinking its them, garnished with a Ja Rule inspired hook, sprinkled with diced B-Real bits. “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” follows, a brilliant minimalist track made up of gun-clacks, silenced shots, heartbeats, flatlines, and a soulful hook, as the Posse recounts a tragedy. 

    While these first few tracks show the same incredible consistency found on Warriors, this “album” turns into a true mixtape midway through, and loses steam with unfinished tracks, lazy covers (“Get Down”, “9 and Two Clips”), poor crew appearances (“The Games Been Fixed”, “My Hood”, “Story Of My Life”) and just plain fucking around (“By Your Side”). However, there still is plenty of heat to go around, in between the filler. Case in point is the ballsy “The Marxmen”, while despite being unfinished, combines southern bounce with Brooklyn hardrock attitude, as Danz and Fame call out various radio personalities for not playing their shit. Things also get back on track on the obnoxious “All Of The Above”, which acts as the quintessential M.O.P. album anthem; as well the more lighthearted “Niggaaahhh”, which bleeds with equal amounts of crassness. 

    Meanwhile, the second disc acts more like a sequel to “10 Years and Gunnin’, presenting a series of “rare and unreleased” material. Most die hard M.O.P. fans (including, but not limited to: Evidence, Jay-Z, Mike Pizzo, and DJ Premier) will recognize most of the material here, but even this card-carrying Mash Out Posse afficionado was stumped by the blazing “Hilltop Flava”, which bangs like the hardest Showbiz beat (although no production credits are listed). Among other unreleased treats (“Got To Go”, “What The Fuck”, “G-Boy Stance”, “Fuck M.O.P.”), the disc also includes classic hits like “Downtown Swinga” and “Rugged Neva Smooth”, which present a young and hungry Mash Out Posse, showing just how much their style has been fine-tuned over the last decade. 

     Like most double albums, Marxmen Cinema presents more filler than necessary, and like usual, trimming the fat would have easily made this a more constant release, bumping it up at least 1/2 an @ on the rating scale. Still, while there’s a bad track for every good one, there’s enough heat on here to satisfy any and all loyal fans of the Brooklyn Military. However, the other 80% of rap listeners out there who do not “get” M.O.P. (here’s a hint: it’s purposely over the top and meant to be humorous, like wrestling), may want to wait for the album, or at least go back and grab Warriors. Either way, Marxmen Cinema still has lots of great, action packed scenes.

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