Words by Lochie Pike
A dark horse of an MC and producer delivers his fourth LP with the same recipe and ingredients, still tasting ever so good. With hip-hop today being such a diverse melting pot of styles and sounds, it seems to be a paradox – the way New York’s Roc Marci’s brand of traditional raw-form, golden-era boom bap can still be as fresh and exciting as it is. With the album released around February 2017, I figured it would be relevant for me to re-visit this as we await the rumored sequel to this, anticipated to be out sometime this year. Roc strikes me as self-aware, comfortable and confident with his own lane and content to not be re-inventing the wheel, but on this album rather fine-tuning and fleshing out his well crafted familiar sound and formula that I became acquainted with on his 2012 effort “Reloaded” which this album is said to be the follow-up of.
Allthough he experiments with a few flow changes that I didnt hear on “Reloaded” – where he could come across repetitive to some in parts – Rosebudd’s Revenge has all the already established characteristics we can expect from Roc Marciano, a nostalgic gritty atmosphere brought to life by his skeletal, minimalist instrumentals that are mostly self-produced or produced by regular collaborators. Made up of haunting soul samples and loops with delicate drum samples, his tongue-in-cheek but not overly complex slow-flow bars filled with quotable’s detailing a cartoony lavish lifestyle and scenes of hard nosed crime and violence is executed in an infectiously stylish and smooth fashion. He sets the work off with the track “Move Dope” – a suitably grimy introduction with a cold mood that he maintains throughout the 15 other tracks. Only two features being present in the album with the standout appearance being his frequent collaborator and affiliate “Ka” on the 9th track “Marksmen” where they trade verses sounding almost indistinguishably similar to the untrained ear but further enhance each other the way they share teammate like chemistry and trade jaw-dropping punchlines. Other than a few introspective moments on isolated tracks, there is no overall narrative or larger concepts to take away, this album has really given me the most game when I’ve been in traffic or just played as the soundtrack to any relaxing solo activity. While Roc Marciano isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done before, he is proving that he’s one of the more underrated rappers that’s keeping a by-gone sound just as relevant and interesting as anything else going on right now. However, I don’t think this album appeals to all listeners or even all hip hop fans just because of how it sicks to the golden era renaissance, hip-hop fundamentals.
For fans of Meyhem Lauren, Alchemist, Prodigy, Planet Asia, Your Old Droog, Guilty Simpson, Apollo Brown, Your Name