Marvel No Streets…Just the World

Rakim’s mantra "It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at” may be an oft-invoked lyric, but the truth is most MCs hold on tightly to their geographical affiliations. Count Toronto MC Marvel as one of the mic controllers aiming to aspire to the spiritual exploration alluded to The R’s legendary words. As an MC who first emerged as a member of 90’s Toronto hip-hop crew The Circle, Marvel’s wordy intricate style was often overlooked, a fact not helped by the very few records he issued at the time. But the fact that Kardinal Offishall, Saukrates and K-OS as well as top notch producers such as Mr. Attic and MoSS have deigned to appear on this album should give you an idea of the high regard in which he is held. Marvel’s strength lies in his powerfully insistent delivery and intensely visual lyricism found on the Saukrates-scored "Skankin’” and the rewind-worthy "No Streets.” While Marvel technical MCing skills and his self-production skills are undeniable it’s also evident, he has an eclectic conceptual bent. Lyrically, he espouses freedom on diasporic, mental and spiritual levels, consciously seeking to cross conventional boundaries. Impressively consistent as his words are, "Palm Wine,” an instrumental fusing traditional Trinidadian steel pans with futuristic synths is a definitive distillation of Marvel’s powerful artistic intent. (Mumbleshiphop)