Published Feb 01, 2005Despite the low-profile nature his name would imply, Ottawa-bred MC DL Incognito wants his props. And so he should, as the second album by this now Toronto-based MC is a tightly constructed and consistent effort worthy of praise. As a virtually unheard of MC when his tight debut A Sample And A Drum Machine dropped, he came out of the box slinging similes and metaphors with punch line swagger, dope self-production and a voice reminiscent of the celebrated late MC Big L, earning the respect of those who heard it. While many of those ingredients are again present, they are tempered by a noticeable personal growth. While hes not shy to remind you of his copious skills, as on head nodders like "Proof and the brass-section propelled "Fully Armoured, he makes sure hes not pigeonholed as an MC. Insistently imparting his concern for hip-hop as an art form yields "Winds Of Change and the certified heat of "Wild Style, where hes joined by Tara Chase and D-Shade; he also drops plenty of introspective lyrical nuggets throughout. "Verbalerity and "This Song show the innocence and pain of relationships respectively, DL Incognitos latent down to earth honesty and vulnerability come to the fore. If he continues to put out the top quality material on display here, chances are he will eventually get the recognition he deserves.
There are few hip-hop artists who can both produce and MC well. What motivated you to do both? I was first an MC and second a producer. I used to go to my boys crib and he had an MPC and Id see him just digging through the crates and doing that grind with him and I always felt I had a good ear for sampling and stuff like that. I was like, "Well if he can do it, I can probably do it too. Production came from the fact I needed beats and that was pretty much the drive. I think that all comes from being in Ottawa, which is very limited. Weve always been forced to do it by ourselves. Theres no industry there to kind of help you. Its either you do it and you do it on your terms or you dont do it at all. So if youre not willing to do those things then youre not going to go very far.
Youve had bilingual tracks on both of your albums. Is it important for you to do this? Some of my favourite hip-hop CDs are French hip-hop CDs. For me I like both elements, the French language has more words than the English language, so they get a lot more intricate with the rhymes but I always want to at least represent that element even if its just one cut or one verse. (Urbnet)