Torae and Marco Polo
Double Barrel


3.5
great

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
June 17th, 2009 | 14 replies | 5,803 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Some dope (and refreshingly updated) east-coast bangers.

Double Barrel is depressing: while an impressive take on the quintessential east-coast banger, it serves as further proof that regional innovation in the sub-genre is stagnant. Granted, the shoes of the legendary DJ Premier are a bit difficult to walk in; still, constant imitation throughout the past decade is inexcusable. The fact that Marco Polo ( a displaced Canadian no less) has been one of the scarce few Premo disciples to be consistent is frustrating to say the least. But Torae, label Duck Down, and fans alike are fortunate for this.

From a holistic perspective, Double Barrel may sound dated to those in touch with the goings-on in other regions - and it is, partly. But this is one-half illusion; the record is truly excellent and puts New York back on the track it should have found at the turn of the century. Indicative of the record's tone from commencement, Premier himself readies the audience for the urgent double-barrel blast of the title track, where Polo quickly establishes his head-knocking-hard production style. First single "Party Crashers" finishes the 1-2 punch combo with an aggressive (yet accessible) horn-blast laden foray into the fundamentals of crashing parties (see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMP26a60ymk). Where the beats aren't terribly fresh or experimental, Polo gets bonus points for his incredible consistency and arcane ability to induce subconscious neck-bobbing.

The production team excels largely in providing an acceptable sonic backdrop for Torae to rhyme over; without this (or even DJ Revolution's tasteful cuts on a few joints), he is nearly indistinguishable from other hardcore bent tri-state rappers. In fact, this happens with startling (but welcome) frequency, as Rocc, Guilty Simpson, Masta Ace, and Sean Price steal the spotlight for their respective featured verses, adding a lot to the track. This isn't to say Torae is inadequate - he isn't - he merely appears to approach writing with a bit too much structure and, at times, comes off a bit too static in tone and flow.

But while somewhat uneven, Double Barrel finds the perfect meeting grounds for this classically NY-influenced duo and puts forth encouragement for a revitalizing east coast scene. Duck Down really is at the forefront of this reconstruction effort, with such rapid (and consistent) improvement. Here's a pat on the back, now keep it coming.



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user ratings (7)
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2.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
June 18th 2009



7926 Comments


bangers and mash

gaslightanthem
June 18th 2009



5209 Comments


sounds cool enough

BallsToTheWall
June 18th 2009



44164 Comments


Party Crashers isnt too shabby . I've been emaning to check out more rap from this but havent found any. Likely to find this.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 18th 2009



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

people are kinda hyping this up online, but i didn't like it as much.

scyther
June 18th 2009



1606 Comments


(feat. Masta Ace & Sean Price)

That was a good idea.

gaslightanthem
June 18th 2009



5209 Comments


my rah rah shit didnt download properly :/

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 18th 2009



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's not that great. too bad But Wait downloaded properly... such an annoying sample on that track.

gaslightanthem
June 18th 2009



5209 Comments


gonna listen in a minute whilst i sit down with some fish n chips

SmurkinGherkin
June 18th 2009



1769 Comments



'fish n chips'
nom nom nom


gaslightanthem
June 18th 2009



5209 Comments


ya so but wait is annoying but this is pretty solid overall

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 18th 2009



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this reminds me of EPMD

MassiveAttack
June 19th 2009



2688 Comments


Wow. Finally somewhere around here knows Marco Polo. You listen to his album Port Authority? It's excellent stuff.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 22nd 2009



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, that's why I checked this out... this is definitely a slight bit better than that record.

MassiveAttack
June 23rd 2009



2688 Comments


I loved Port Authority so I guess I'll have to check this out sooner or later.



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