Since “How About Some Hardcore” in 1994, Lil’ Fame and Billy Danze have constantly stayed true to that credo. From “To The Death” to 2004’s “Mash Out Posse” album – the Brownsville, Brooklyn duo has maintained their energy over their ten year career. With Roc-A-Fella never releasing their album, the group moved onto greener pastures – namely G-Unit. “Marxmen” was released on Koch, in-between deals, and it finds the two delivering that rough-edged, gritty style that heads have come to know as M.O.P..
Listening to “Big Boy Game”, you’d think that this was during a Roc-A-Fella session with Just Blaze on the boards. But it was Nottz and M.O.P. who produced the track with Fame telling anyone who tries to test that they “ain’t gon’ do me like Half-A-Mil or Freaky Tah, they ain’t gonna do me like they did my friend – Big Poppa“. “Hip-Hop Cops” is not “Charades” – but it does feature Wyclef Jean. Together the three make it clear that if the fuzz “continues to fuck with the hood” that they’ll “burn down the precinct.” With other standout tracks such as “Pop Shots” featuring the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Party Like A Rockstar”, and the 9th Wonder helmed “Instigator” – the highlight of this album has to be the pairing of Brownsville’s grimiest rhymesayers with Marcy projects’ own Michael Jordan – Jay-Z.
“Put It In The Air” really makes the fiends wish that M.O.P. and Roc-A-Fella could’ve gotten their acts together. Jay-Z begins his sixteen by saying, “You’re about to witness the most intelligent, ignorant shit, you’re gonna hear in the miserable life that you’re living, I hope that you dig it.” The album does have its setbacks. Tracks such as the Tommy Tee produced, “Muddy Waters” and “It’s Hard to Tell” seem lackluster and not put together very well. The latter is a solo joint by Foxx and Inf that is along the lines of a hood love song that falls short.
In the end, M.O.P. will always keep it “banned from t.v.” with the rugged rap-rock rhymes. If this album is any indication of what they can do without a headlining producer manning the boards, then the world can only assume what they’re capable of when Dre laces a track.