The Doppelgangaz
Peace Kehd


4.5
superb

Review

by Key USER (2 Reviews)
August 5th, 2014 | 53 replies


Release Date: 02/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Livin' Rugged

If there was one criticism to be made of Orange County (New York that is) hip-hop duo Matter ov Fact and EP, it would be that they have scarcely deviated from their signature sound in the 5 years since their impressive debut, 2012: The New Beginning. In that time, the Ghastly Duo has released, rather prolifically, five albums (two of them instrumental) of excellently produced boom-bap inspired hip-hop along with a couple of EPs. Eventually, there comes a point in an artist's career where a once refreshing sound starts to give way to staleness and stagnation. This is not to say they have reached that point in such a short space of time, but they have been getting close to it, while also straying dangerously close to gimmicky territory. Fortunately it seems the duo have realized this, and have tried to shake things up with 2013’s HARK. While ultimately not doing enough to properly distinguish itself from the rest of their discography, it was at the very least a step in the right direction and a very enjoyable listen. Less than a year after HARK’s release the Gang has returned to craft a release full of summer bangers that manages to freshen and streamline their sound with subtle tweaks across the board, while still maintaining their signature sound.

What is immediately noticeable from the first track in earnest and lead single, "Holla x2", is the slight shift in production style. Peace Kehd sees Matter ov Fact and EP (who both produce) go for a more laid back approach to the beats. Much more synthesizer heavy this time around as opposed to the mostly guitar or piano sample based grooves from previous endeavors, the production on Peace Kehd gives off a nonchalant, almost somber atmosphere. Whereas before there was urgency to the beats as they accompanied the tongue-in-cheek storytelling, they are now more relaxed as they mirror the carefree sentiments found in the lyrics. This transition to a more tranquil atmosphere is perhaps best encapsulated by “What’s Your 20”, a slow tempo cut, backed by a heavily reverb-laden guitar sample that harks back to the debut, and pulsating synthesizer swells. Incredibly serene and laid back, “What’s Your 20” is the soundtrack to carefree, warm summer afternoons spent chilling with friends (which may or may not be accompanied by the use of a certain herb). Overall, the production is more polished and smooth, moving away from the fuzzier, more organic style found on HARK. The drums have more bite, the samples are more poignant and there’s a certain crispness and sheen to the production that previous releases have lacked.

Now while “Holla x2” gave the first glimpse of the duo’s evolution, it was simply that; a glimpse. Almost stuck in a crossroads between the increments, Peace Kehd eases into The Doppelgangaz’ stylistic accretion as opposed to diving headfirst into it. Lyrically it picks up right where HARK left off, depicting a string of robberies the Gang try to pull off while interspersing details of some of their recent dietary choices. It’s a bit of a departure from their usual dumpster-diving, brothel-hopping antics, while still not straying too far and retaining their light-heartedness and sense of humour. The following track “Sh*t Rock” is a hilarious recount of potential sexual encounters that were averted by erectile dysfunction issues. “KnowntchooTahLie” sees the duo treading the familiar waters of detailing their encounters with prostitutes. As Matter ov Fact describes of his fleeting rendezvous with an 80 year old lady of the night: “She’s an old freak on a cold streak/’til we started speaking at Jones Beach/Stay at phones reach, she got four teeth/And her curtains looking like roast beef”. There are similarly vivid descriptions of the Gang’s appreciation for women of unconventional beauty scattered across the album. On “Live Rugged”, EP proudly describes “Peep the mami next to me, on ecstasy/ Lactatin’ with the left breast mastectomy/A pity whiles I trade midi files with this one titty chick/Real gritty wit’ the city miles on her”. Later in the song, Matter ov Fact narrates the trials of kayaking (and almost capsizing) with a bigger girl who “know[s] where the gelato at/that's why her inner thighs darker than her outer thighs/ that shadow cat”. But the lyrics on Peace Kehd truly shine when they personify the atmosphere of the production. Tracks like “Live Rugged”, “Ungodly”, “What’s Your 20” and “Fall Thru” all embody the breezy, “live life to the fullest” attitude The Doppelgangaz seemed to have adopted of late.

Another area of The Doppelgangaz’ sound that has undergone a subtle refinement is the delivery of the two MCs. Their signature complex rhyming schemes and clever use of double entendre have largely been eschewed in favour of a more casual flow to match the album’s atmosphere. Also making way is any rigidity in their delivery. Not content with sticking with the same flow on every song, the duo’s delivery has become malleable, showing their continued growth as MCs. The two most notable examples of their ability to adapt their flow are on the songs “KnowntchooTahLie” and “Come Down Awn Eht”. On the former, they sport a flow reminiscent of classic UGK while the latter sees them try their hand at the flow popularized by Atlanta group Migos over a bangin’ trap beat. It adds an extra dimension to their impressive repertoire, and some much needed variety not only to the album but to their catalogue as well.

There is a buoyancy and vibrancy to Peace Kehd that perhaps reflects where The Doppelgangaz are in life. This is in stark contrast to the grittier almost regretful tone to albums like Lone Sharks that echoed a more unglamorous lifestyle (however fictitious), which saw MoF once lament, “this black cloak lifestyle ain’t nothing to write home about”. Now they defiantly proclaim “Fuck it, I live rugged. Do what I want, ‘til I kick the bucket”, and it’s precisely because of this aloof mindset that Peace Kehd is such a refreshing listen.


user ratings (36)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Keyblade
August 5th 2014


15025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally got around to writing this. Oh and we can finally talk about this

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Alium

tommygun
August 5th 2014


24989 Comments


omg a key review!

pos will read now

tommygun
August 5th 2014


24989 Comments


comes a point in an artists’ career

artist's

also if you wanna get around the swear filter put a [i ][/i ] or similar (remove the spaces) between
two of the letters in the offending word

good review man write more pls



Keyblade
August 5th 2014


15025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah shit thanks for catching that tom, will fix it now. I'll try to get in a few more reviews by the end of the summer. Got a few in mind, just need to get around to em..sigh

tommygun
August 5th 2014


24989 Comments


nah dude i meant like between the c and k (not around the k), then it will look identical to the other text without italicising any letters

will get me hands on this all key jams are the best jams

Keyblade
August 5th 2014


15025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah nice, that's a cool way to get around it. Yeah get this dude, it's a fun as hell. Great for car rides especially

tommygun
August 5th 2014


24989 Comments


coding is a right pain in the arse yea

downloading now man

what other revs you got in mind?

Keyblade
August 5th 2014


15025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thinking of rev'ing the new Alvvays and moumoon records soon. I'll try to do some of the newer releases that aren't getting a lot of attention before hitting up some of them ~forgotten classics~ that need revs

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2014


14748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet pos will read tomorrow when (hopefully) feelin more lively write more pls [2]

Digging: Off Minor - The Heat Death of the Universe

thelastsignal
August 5th 2014


1370 Comments


Awesome review, pos. This sounds right up my alley, definitely need to check this out.

ExplosiveOranges
August 5th 2014


3160 Comments


New Key review? Insta-pos.

Digging: Winterfylleth - The Divination Of Antiquity

Rhyme
August 5th 2014


1071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really good review man pos

currently in my top 5 albums this year

Digging: His Hero Is Gone - Fifteen Counts of Arson

Keyblade
August 5th 2014


15025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man. Probably my favorite of the year so far

FourthReich
August 5th 2014


17874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

PEACE KEHD 3 QUID FOR THA CONCERT

ShitsofRain
August 5th 2014


5911 Comments


better late than never

Digging: Round One to Round Five - 1993-99 Main Street Records

Keyblade
August 5th 2014


15025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

True story who's debunkin that?

Nikkolae
August 5th 2014


4860 Comments


what a great album is this, tottaly forgot about it

Digging: Cursed Graves - Western Blood

ShitsofRain
August 5th 2014


5911 Comments


nice dig nik

FourthReich
August 6th 2014


17874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

ratings chart looks awfully swell for this

Keyblade
August 6th 2014


15025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just needs a 5



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