egO anD The eneMy
(Own Lane Music)
Featuring: 7L; B.A.M; Camp Lo; DJ JS-1; Djaz; Dominique Larue; Jaysaun; Krumb Snatcha; LP2; Marley Marl; Method Man; Tribeca
Producers: Buckwild; Es-K; Hi Tek; Jon Glass; KAN; Khrysis; LP2; LX Beats; Large Professor; Marco Polo; Marley Marl; Snowgoons; Soulplusmind; Whatson
The man got a joint produced by Marley Marl. That could be the review. That should speak to M-Dot’s style and skill and street cred enough to make you know to buy this album. But there is so much more to egO anD The eneMy, drenched in skilled multi syllabic bars and storytelling lyrics and boom bap beats all through the record.
There a few issues or distractions one can list with this album, if any. M-Dot spews lyrical dexterity and skill relentlessly throughput this album. egO anD The eneMy is long at 17 tracks averaging 4 minutes each. But nothing drags here, each track bangs. M-Dot utilizes this extensive outlet to touch on many aspects of life; channeling his anger and frustration and appreciation. He explores many facets of life. He tells sad tales of people’s self-destruction on a few tracks. He highlights the love of his daughter. M-Dot also reminds you of his skills and lyricism and tenacity repeatedly. He is frank and personal like Brother Ali or Slaine or Esoteric, exhibiting traits that portray flaws and vulnerability as well as skill and mastery of this rap game. With the Boston accent and delivery, it’s hard to not think of Slaine. But M-Dot shines on his own that the thought is fleeting.
The beats are amazing, cultivating dope beats from all areas of hip hop. There is soul, reggae, jazz, blues all accented by dope scratches and hooks. The first track (after the intro) is “Dreamscape”, Marco Polo’s beat is so dark! A slow, doomy guitar line; something you would hear from La Coka Nostra or DJ Muggs. It swirls and looms as a jangly piano line jingles in the back to contrast. Another guitar line of a squeling solo is layered over it too, so bad ass. “Foreign” is a popping beat, by Jon Glass, with elements of pitched vocals, dreamy strings, and sloppy drums. Its hypnotic and and pounding, the accordion chop is dope and adds that unique flavor. “Days Are All the Same” carries a theme repeated often in my world of punk rock. The anti-cubical, anti-corporate, anti-9 to 5 and materialism and consumerism is a refreshing spark in hip hop. Second verse attacks the world which females can get trapped in when they subscribe to vanity and selfish technology. Hi-Tek’s dense beat is killer. The choral voices and the scratches over atmospheric waves and organ loops provide a stellar foundation to approach these subjects.
Marley Marl’s “Gleamin’”, featuring B.A.M., is a jazzy gem boasting a crunchy trumpet. “Give It to Me” is a banger, the dusty beat with super scratches and samples provide a ample boom bap for M-Dot to proclaim why he ain’t leaving the game anytime soon. Fellow Boston ripper, Jaysaun, joins M-Dot on a Jamaican inspired thumper. The main hook is heavy while the verse is a small sparse pluck; both angles deliver on that bumping track must. M-Dot’s lyrics flow and slip through a plethora of multis. Jaysaun spits short but potent. His razor tongue is rarely paralleled. I wish he would drop a proper studio album. Meth comes in and ignites the swing of “Shine”. Tical still got it and he brings his signature charisma and wordplay to the track. It’s an uplifting track with Dominique Larue spitting ferocious on the second verse. The sung chorus is a positive vibe, which usually turns me off, but it’s cool here.
M-Dot, on “No Excuses”, says “You either want it or you don’t”. That sums up his drive and fortitude as he writes. You can hear his hunger in his bars throughout the entirety of egO anD The eneMy. There is no doubt that talent is innate, but work is earned and proven by labor. M-Dot has created another level for himself on this superb album. M-Dot touches on fun subjects and dark ones. Divorce, strained relationships, raising children, travel, rap as a business, drugs, drinking guns, society. Every beat is a landscape of potent emotions to hit visceral paralleling his words. While the digital release came out on January 27th, the hard copies come out on March 17th. Celebrate St Patty’s Day with this Boston MC tearing up wax.