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While the 90′s are often referred to as hip-hop’s golden era, the dark, sample heavy beats that dominated New York rap at the time is a sound long lost. While artists like Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson have successfully sprinkled that sound into today’s style, a lesser popular crew called The Doppelgangaz have embraced the sound in full, as if the millennial clock never turned.


Hailing from Orange County and New York, hooded figures Matter Ov Fact and EP have embraced everything about the early east coast boom-bap style, with self-produced beats that might sound like something from an early Mobb Deep, Black Moon or Dr. Octagon LP. Their rhyme style also throws back to that era, blissfully using dated 90′s slang, meshed with darkly humorous, third person, MF Doom-esque narratives. It’s no wonder the title of their fourth studio album is Hark.


While the sound of the NYC 90′s has evolved into today’s backpack beats, for older heads, there is a “holy shit” factor here, once you first hear some of the tracks from Doppelgangaz. Tracks like “Hark Back” and “Oh Well”, for instance, present that cold, off key sound that was so prevalent back then, while “Us 2 Da Man” makes you feel the Ill Street Blues all over again.


It’s clearly not a gimmick for these cats, whom have been producing tracks with this sound since 2008, however the novelty does wear thin after a while. While not as polished or as their forefathers, many of us that were there in the era while feel that sense of nostalgia, and appreciate where they are coming from. Unfortunately, many will overlook this project due to their subterranean status and lack of powerful affiliations. Perhaps to claim that coveted rap authenticity the crew so obviously desires, a wise move for them would be to collaborate with some of those very rap legends with a full on production-based LP.

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7 Responses to "The Doppelgangaz – “Hark” – @@@1/2 (Review)"
  • da commanda says:

    I suppose if they used some BS synth and crap, the “novelty” wouldn’t wear thin…GTFOH!! These cats are dope, original, and they are rhyming off of real beats…PERIOD!! There is no evolution, there is crap (techno beats, etc.) and the real. Everything that sounds real and not like house or techno is made out to seem dated by these reviewers…

  • Rap Essence says:

    This album is dope. Definitely an overlooked release, which is a shame.

  • Chad says:

    This and Ugly Heroes. Why are these releases so short on promotion? I am slowly wavering away from just downloading, bought Ugly Heroes last night. Will buy this next paycheck. It makes you appreciate the music a little more.

  • Dayz says:

    Yeah they are no novelty act. These cats are true school Hip Hop. This is what Hip Hop sounds like plain and simple. There are many many artists out there making true to standard form Hip Hop and these cats are among them. The stuff on the radio, I’ll say it for the 1000th time here, IS NOT HIP HOP IT IS HIP POP!!! Hip Hop is officially dead on the radio and has been for quite some time! Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Wale, B.o.B., Kayne West, Drake, 2 Chainz, etc… Their music is NOT HIP HOP!!! I know @ Pizzo knows the difference so please for the love of this art form and culture please draw that line in the sand and differentiate the two forms of music finally!

  • Green Django says:

    2 chainz is hip hop he’s got two chainz for gods sake man!
    This album is quality. More of this please.

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