M.O.P. M.O.P. Salutes the St. Marxmen

In the mid-’90s, the Mash Out Posse (Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame) hit the scene hard, greeting you like a .44 magnum slug in the chest. There was no gloss, no glitter, only the grime accumulated by New York City street living. They continue that sentiment on this disc, whooping and hollering their way through 12 tracks without a hint of abandoning the street level perspective. Wyclef, Jay-Z and the ODB contribute verses and 9th Wonder hands them the beat for the album’s best track, "Instigator.” Punctuated by a cry from some downright badass horns and a sample that incites them to action, M.O.P. get ugly — anger is the only colour in their palette. A Timberland boot on the side of your head or a gat in your back are the situations in which they, and we, should feel comfortable with on wax. When they stop yelling or when the beat fails to reflect the violent tension of their ’hood, it ain’t hardcore, which is why this disc remains raw. (Koch)