Tony Touch The Piece Maker

Tony Touch The Piece Maker
7
Rap groups aren't as plentiful as they once were, but contemporary solo artists frequently collaborate with one another to capture the constructive chemistry and organic energy that come from a cypher-like situation, or sometimes it's just a business strategy. Tony Touch's new album, The Piece Maker 3: Return of the 50 MCs, is built upon collaborations that have little to do with good business; instead, it's a gathering of 50 MCs the respected DJ wants to hear together. Contemporary artists are few and far between, which is obviously by design, as Tony Toca proves his power by getting boss man Eminem (Touch's main gig is a Tuesday night show on Em's Sirius XM Radio channel, Shade 45) to drop the thrilling Slim Shady cameo, "Symphony In H." When new guys are utilized, they have their work cut out for them. Toronto's JD Era has the honour of being sandwiched between Wu legends Raekwon and Ghostface Killah on "Unorthodox," while Action Bronson trades verses with the father of his flow, Kool G Rap, on "It's A Queens Thing." These choices confirm the root theme of the record: Tony Touch is a hip-hop fundamentalist with a reverence for the art form and the greats that made it so. As much as he has his ear to the street, and the ability to put together something fresher that would garner a bit more buzz, he's opted not to. This album is not for the masses; it's for the heads. (Touch/Red River/Sony)