Marco Polo PA2: The Director's Cut

Marco PoloPA2: The Director's Cut
The press release for Toronto producer Marco Polo's latest project, PA2: The Director's Cut states that "if you have A.D.D. then this album isn't for you." At a generous 19 tracks in length, this collection of pure, unadulterated boom bap is the follow-up to Polo's 2007 Rawkus Records debut, Port Authority, and it bangs. With narration by New York City actor Michael Rapaport and a stacked list of contributors including everyone from Blaq Poet, Preemo, Gangrene, Large Professor, MC Eiht and long-time associate Masta Ace, this album is quintessentially golden era NYC hip-hop (with the exception of Cali smoke sesh "West Coast Love") but with a distinct Canadian flavour. Tipping his toque to some of his fellow Canucks, Polo throws in a few Bob and Doug McKenzie soundbites and includes another beloved native son, Kardi, who laces "What They Say" with his trademark frenetic bars alongside Fizzy Womack and Styles P. But it's album opener "3-O-Clock," featuring a reunited Organized Konfusion (Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po), and "G.U.R.U," the touching tribute to the late Gang Starr emcee featuring Talib Kweli and DJ Premier, that really knock this release out of the park. Kudos to Marco for putting together a project that simultaneously pleases the heads, pays homage to the art form as a whole, and shows off just how well his skills as a beatmaker (and networker) have improved since his last record. (Soulspazm)