The days of an MC being accompanied by one DJ/producer for a project’s entirety might be almost extinct these days, due to lyricists working with numerous beat technicians whenever they release a record.
But the newly formed duo of Torae and Marco Polo [Click to read interview] are looking to rekindle some of Hip-Hop’s old traditions.
Combining their talents, the MC from Brooklyn and producer from Canada come together for their album Double Barrel.
With all tracks being produced by Marco Polo and Torae serving as the primary mouth piece, Double Barrel is a throwback to the olden days of straight East Coast Hip-Hop equipped with the vintage “boom-bap” feel that’s all but left modern day Hip-Hop.
Guest appearances come in the form of artists like Rock (of Heltah Skeltah), Guilty Simpson, Masta Ace, Lil Fame (of M.O.P.), and Sean Price.
The album gets underway with an introduction by scratch master supreme DJ Premier, as he co-signs the project with his blessing.
From there Torae and Marco Polo load up with the title track, ‘Double Barrel.’ With DJ Revolution providing a scratch-laden hook, Torae uses the horn-driven track to his advantage with lines like, “You number one downloadable/that make you number one target to hold a few/I know dudes that want to put a few holes in you/and they only chill cause I told them to n*gga.”
Rock from Heltah Skeltah and Lil Fame from M.O.P. come in on ‘Smoke,’ with all three MC’s reassuring listeners that New York Hip-Hop is far from dead. ‘But Wait’ contains a voice sample of Onyx’s ‘Slam,’ as Torae runs through some of the problems involving today’s society.
Marco Polo continues to match his production with Torae’s lyricism on instant head-nodders like ‘Rah Rah Sh*t,’ ‘Party Crashers,’ and ‘Lifetime.’ On ‘Coney Island,’ Torae takes time out to discuss the part of Brooklyn that made him who he is.
Torae and Marco Polo keep the clips loaded with additional ammo like ‘Hold Up’ (feat. Sean Price and Masta Ace), ‘Crashing Down,’ and ‘Stomp’ (feat. Guilty Simpson).
Unlike most projects, Double Barrel maintains a level of consistency, probably in part that one producer handled it from beginning to end. Whereas most artists run to whoever is the quote-un-quote “hottest” producer(s) for the moment, Marco Polo proves that he’s capable of orchestrating an entire album, rather than just shuffling beats to certain MC’s here and there.
Mixed with Torae’s in-your-face bravado flow and Marco Polo’s expertise for picking the right records, Double Barrel lives up to its name by providing a double dose of much-needed firepower to a game desperately searching for people to take more shots…