Chops Virtuosity

Chops Virtuosity
As a member of Philly hip-hop group the Mountain Brothers, Chops is an anchoring presence with his jazzy production and baritone MCing. But his desire to express himself outside of his group has been apparent for some time now, having released a solo instrumental album and working more often with different artists. On Virtuosity, Chops’ beats are matched with a wide range of MCs ranging from the whispery-voiced Bahamadia to the manic energy of Phil Da Agony. However, for the most part these MCs aren’t showing up to spit layaway rhymes they could have contributed to any mix tape. The respect for Chops’ production is manifested in the contributions of notables like Raekwon, Mystic and Kanye West. However there’s still room for the mic-wrecking posse cut "Blockbuster Smash,” where Chops passes the mic with Grand Agent and the faux-classical "Comin From The Lower Level,” which features Ras Kass and Talib Kweli. Through it all, Chops demonstrates the growth in his production. As the title implies, Chops has accentuated his compositional prowess and demonstrates this flair on interludes that bridge the tracks on the collection. Added to his established focus on scratch-augmented choruses and sample-free funky beats, Chops ensures he’s never overshadowed by his guests on this distinctive outing. (Vocab)