Showing Lots Of Stamina – The Don
April 21, 2007, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Album Reviews

I picked this up whilst on a random tangent through Discogs, and the fact that there were a couple of Large Pro beats on here sold it to me (and the fact that it was only a cent on Amazon). Unfortunately, this is a prime example of excited anticipation giving way to a perhaps inevitable disappointment: this ain’t great. However, for Large Pro completists and those interested in the more commercial side of hip hop in the very early ’90s, this may be something that you will be interested in hearing.

To be fair, the cover art alone did ring a few alarm bells, featuring The Don in various ‘party’ style poses (his get-up is straight wack), but then you can’t judge a book by its cover. There is very little information out there on this release which doesn’t surprise me as I had never come across it before or even heard of it, and this is perhaps indicative of the fact that this is indeed a lukewarm release at best (and I mean at best). I assume that this may have been attempting to reach a similar audience as releases such as the UMCs’ ‘Fruits Of Nature’, although this record pales in comparison to what is in my opinion one of the strongest pop rap/daisy age records of the era.

The Large Pro contributions are worth hearing, although relatively forgettable. Given that this was released in 1991, I had high hopes of ‘Breaking Atoms’ style beats that would compensate for below par skills on the mic, but this was not to be. ‘On Tour’ bops along pleasantly enough with a funky little guitar loop and a nice variety of interpolations as the song progresses, but it lacks punch and the necessary depth to get you hyped. ‘Step Aside’ is the other Extra P contribution, and its passable, although spoiled by almost two minutes of shouts and ‘heys’ at the beginning of the cut. Once it finally gets into it, the snares are crispy enough to maintain your interest and as with the aforementioned track there is a nice variety of samples that keep the groove moving.

Elsewhere on the album there is some production from Wolf & Epic, but in all honesty, none of the other cuts have drawn my attention and I do not anticipate this being an album that I come back to regularly, if at all. Still, as a relic of a time gone by in hip hop and with the added bonus of the two Large Pro cuts, I guess I can’t complain for a cent plus shipping: let me know what you think.

Marco Polo ft. Masta Ace – Cut Of The Year So Far?

Obviously there is loads of hype surrounding the forthcoming Marco Polo ‘Port Authority’ album that sees a release in mid May on a rejuvenated Rawkus Records. I got put onto this track via WYDU, so you can check in there for the video.
I love this track, and it has got me seriously amped about a release that I am unsure about at this stage: is it going to be as good as the hype suggests? I’ve avoided getting an advance internet download because I want to cop this when it’s released and pass judgement at that stage. For the moment though, ‘Nostalgia’ is in heavy rotation: the big drums, chilled out summery vibe, Ace’s deep verses and fantastic scratch chorus section have plastered a smile to my face for at least the last 48 hours. Definitely my favourite single of 2007 so far, and almost reason enough in itself to get the album when it is officially released.

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