Meanest Man Contest Merit

Oakland’s Meanest Man Contest are one of the many outfits that slowly build themselves up in the underground, piecing together seven-inches and dropping tracks on compilations until they compiled enough to drop their first full-length, Merit. The duo of Quarterbar conducting beats and Eriksolo dropping rhymes have managed to produce a quality debut, sometimes reaching a stage of sheer beauty with their organic beats filled with soft guitars and piano. Merit is essentially an instrumental hip-hop record with vocals only being worked into a pair of cuts, but thankfully crafting atmospheric rhythms seems to be Meanest Man Contest’s strong point. The beats on Merit can be simplistic at times, so you’re not going to really hear anything overly intense or groundbreaking here — just a really catchy or beautiful hook looped for your pleasure. Though a little simplistic for a rapidly growing genre, Merit has set the foundation for what will hopefully be a great expansion for this California duo. (Plug Research)