Last month, Long Island rapper Roc Marciano shared a free release, The Pimpire Strikes Back, that he insisted was an album, but was more akin to a mixtape in the method of its release. Today, we're treated to a release by Marciano that everyone can agree is indeed an album: the incredibly-titled Marci Beaucoup. Stream it in full above.
Unlike The Pimpire... -- which featured production from big names like Madlib and The Alchemist (the latter of whom appears as a rapper on this album) -- Marci Beaucoup finds Marciano producing every track, and my, is his production cool. Having produced the majority of his prior two albums, he's no newcomer to the beatmaking game, but Marci Beaucoup's got a more cohesive, fuller sound than anything Marciano's made before. There's the eerie, music box plinking of "Didn't Know," the psych-rocking "Drug Lords," and the amazingly obscure, mournful vocal sample that drives "456," and that's all within the first half. This is the rare hip-hop album that's better suited to headphones than large, bass-heavy speakers.
Then there's the guest list, a who's-who of East Coast underground rap, featuring Action Bronson, Ka, Guilty Simpson, Freeway, Blu and many more. Each guests spits with ferocity akin to the MCs who competed for features on Wu-Tang Clan members' classic solo albums ten to fifteen years ago. With subject matter and sonic landscapes just as gritty as those on any Wu-Tang release, Marci Beaucoup makes the case for Marciano as some sort of second-wave RZA, overseeing production and expertly curating guest verses. Above all, Marciano makes it clear that, like the Wu-Tang Clan once said, he ain't nothing to fuck with.