It’s no secret that I’m a huge Roc Marci fan. I hold that dude in high regard and he is responsible for me still giving a fuck about New York hip-hop these days. His first two albums are personal favorites of mine and I have no problem having that whole “modern classic” argument with anyone when it comes to Marcberg. I still haven’t taken Reloaded out of my car and its been over a year now. While most people are rocking Christmas tunes I’ll rock “We Ill,” “Death Parade” or “Deeper” as they are some marvelous winter anthems.
Last month, Roc blessed with the Pimpire Strikes Back mixtape just to get our feet wet for his 3rd official release. Some of it was met with mixed reviews as many of us weren’t used to Roc having this many co-pilots. After a few listens though, you could tell it was vintage Roc over melodic backdrops such as “”Sincerely Antique,” “Bruh Man,” “Sacrifice,” or the Max B inspired “Ice Cream Man.” I loved the mixtape, as do most I believe. It was a little different than what we’ve come to expect but undeniably fresh.
Now that Marci Beaucoup has released I’ve given it my undivided attention and a handful of listens. Now, let me say off the bat it’s not nearly as disappointing as the title of this post. And by no means is it worthy of sleeping on, but I won’t front either, the shit ain’t what I expected nor what I would have wanted from Roc Marciano at this point. My takeaway so far is this, yes if we’re ranking all of his releases and taking into account Pimpire, then this release right here is his Attack of the Clones. Last week Jay-Z ranked his albums and this album is definitely Roc’s Dynasty.
What I love about Roc, besides being a great lyricist and producer, is that his strongest asset is his independence. Some people are better when they ride alone. Roc is Boba Fett, he doesn’t need any help. Can you imagine what Illmatic would have been like with 5 or 6 different guest features? It works because AZ and Nas have chemistry and that chemistry is not spoiled with too many features. It’s why Roc and Ka compliment one another so well, yet, are the type of rappers who are best when they’re doing it all own their own
Marci Beaucoup features a lot of unnecessary rappers, some sounding very uninspired. The formula just doesn’t work on this one. While the production isn’t what we’ve come to love on either Marcberg or Reloaded, its far from bad. In fact, the beats are a lot better than I what expected based on the snippets.
It is missing of that heavy layered production found on his previous release. I don’t believe Alchemist or Ray West stop by, unless Soul Music featuring AG is a West beat. If I’m not mistaken all of the production is handled by Roc. I’m okay with that because his catalog proves he is more than capable of handling both duties. There are no tracks that I’ve heard so far that beg an immediate rewind. Maybe that changes but now nothing jumps out and grabs me. In my opinion, the guest features are handicapping this release badly. It wasn’t until I heard Boldy James on “Tryin To Come Up,” I thought, wow, finally somebody is alive on this thing.
Roc for the most part is doing Roc. Simplistic, yet beautifully hand crafted rhyming that could come off like this to many novice listeners, but only a few came pull it off with style like Roc.
Lampin’ in the 650 coupBurgundy on the the finishScooped up the nuggetsLike Alex English
(our rhymes not his)
The intimate feeling you got from his previous albums is gone. When I listen to Marcberg or Reloaded I have always felt as is Roc was riding shotgun with me narrating the day. I don’t get that feeling on Marci Beacoup and it’s what I miss the most on this album. When I found out this wasn’t going to be on Decon, I immediately thought this was going to be some side project like a Think Differently compilation. If anything, Marci Beaucoup seems more like contractual release with Man Bite Dog than it does his 3rd solo album. If I didn’t know any better I’d think he was given a check for the album, and that check amount translates into this particular release.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the leftovers from Reloaded and a few phoned-in guest spots and Roc is saying to Man Bite Dog, you get what you paid for. I’m hoping Roc literally reloads in ’14 with a new studio album and goes Solo like Han.
You can cop Marci Beaucop on iTunes right NOW!