My rapper of the last decade Roc Marciano has started the 20s with another phenomenal release titled Mt. Marci. I’ve run out of superlatives to describe his music and his incredible impact on hip-hop in general. It’s been an album I have been anticipating for a while now, and with limited release on his website (it’s still not available on streaming services at time of writing), it was an album I was intrigued to listen to and digest. As with most of his solo work, the project is almost entirely self-produced, with additional production from Jake One and Chuck Strangers. It is a smooth and intricate project, with soulful samples, subtle beats and an emphasis on rich aesthetics throughout.
Throughout the project, Roc Marciano takes the lead with incredible lyricism as expected, and brings a wealth of features to add their own personalities. ScHoolboy Q’s feature on “Covid Cough” is incredible, with some gritty street lyrics that are so effective over the disorienting and eerie beat. Stove God Cook$’ delivery on “The Eye of Whorus” is super impactful, with lyrics that hit and an energy that is unrivaled, complementing Roc Marciano’s menacing delivery perfectly. Trent Truce’s verse on “Wicked Days” is downright spooky, and the beat is one of the strangest yet intriguing things I’ve heard in a while. Kool Keith’s feature on “Broadway Billy” is my personal favourite. His idiosyncratic flow and clever wordplay make for an engaging listen, as he references celebrity icons and puts himself in that category, as he walks down the red carpet of a broadway show. The outrageous and goofy of Kool Keith is countered by Roc Marciano’s usually deadpan delivery, and both are perfect for this beat. The hypnotic beat on “Crockett N Tubbs” is one of the highlights of the project for me, and Roc brings incredible lyricism on this one, with the opening bars being an example of this – “Real bad boys move in silence / Keep quiet fool and do me a solid / Before you shoot the chopper use logic / Before I Knock the boots, a shot of wood root tonic/ Iconic, that was game I give y’all consignment / But don’t mistake my kindness for non violent / Push the Porsche Cayman in the Cayman Islands”. The way he’s able to flow and bring in and use certain words and phrases in his raps is, dare I say Shakespearean. That beat on “Pimps Don’t Wear Rabbits” is incredible too, and the eerie “Trenchcoat Wars” is another clear highlight for me. The rich textures of “Mt. Marci” make it the perfect, aesthetically flawless track, but its the introspection and reflective thoughts he puts into his lyrics that make it such a standout track for me. His closers are always incredible, and this may be one of the best of his career.
With every Roc Marciano release, I’ve got to sit down and digest for days and days, so there’s going to be a lot of lyrics I would have missed, which makes it even more exciting to delve into. Mt. Marci is a bold and poignant release with production that sounds moody and cinematic for the most part. As a solo album this is one of his most complete projects to date, and I can’t wait to re-listen to it on repeat for the next few months. Click the link below to purchase the project and happy listening with it.