Review Summary: Doppel leads the horse to the trough.
If you feel like modern hip-hop could use more boom-bap, Hark
, the third album by the ghastly duo, The Doppelgangaz, will satisfy every last one of your boom-bap desires. On The Doppelgangaz third full-length album, Hark
, the duo of MC/producers, Matter ov Fact and EP, create beats that give off dark and grimey soundscapes and rap over them with great skill and finesse.
If you are familiar with the previous Doppelgangaz albums, 2012: The New Beginning
and Lone Sharks
, you probably know that both MCs, Matter ov Fact and EP, will often refer to themselves in third person, and spit lines like, “He got cirrhosis of the liver from the 80 proof, folliculitis make his neck look like a Baby Ruth”. The Doppelgangaz have finally perfected this approach to their sound on Hark
. The Doppelgangaz lyrical approach is also rather unusual. Many of their lyrics tend to lean on the grosser and darker side of the lyrical spectrum; “chode smell” and “we’re all going to hell in a hand basket” are just a couple of the dark and somewhat strange lyrics on Hark
. Despite being serious most of the time, the duo can be fairly humorous with their lyrical approach and wordplay and throw in a funny line here and there; comparing a girl’s face to Alvin Gentry and she is also “the type of girl that you might fist accidentally”. The Doppelgangaz rap about the things that they do in their everyday life, whether it’s about getting food, doing drugs or the hardships of life in New York. Lyrics like those are what separate The Doppelgangaz from most other rappers in New York. The ghastly duo are able to do something with their lyrics that most rappers only dream about doing; they are able to be serious while incorporating a comical approach without sounding forced and abrupt (not unlike the Wu-Tang Clan on their debut).
The beats on Hark
might as well be straight out of RZA’s long lost “Unused Vault of Beats”. These beats paint pictures of being in an underground, graffiti covered, dimly lit tunnel on a cold night. Beats like these haven’t been created since RZA produced GZA’s Liquid Swords
in 1995. Dusty, atmospheric, spacey beats cover the entire 37 minutes of this album, save for a few skits and samples here and there.
What makes Hark
so impressive is that they are able to use the grimy 90s rap style and put a modern twist on it. Hark
is 37 minutes of straight classic underground boom-bap rap music. The dusty beats, the unique flows, and the strange lyrical approach are all a part of what makes Hark
so great and why an album like this is needed in the current hip-hop scene. The Doppelgangaz aren’t trying to bring the 90s boom-bap style back but rather proving that it was never gone in the first place by breathing new life into the style.