The fabled teacher by day, slick rapper by night has returned in Hip-Hop*, the latest album by New York rapper MC Bravado. Sounding cool and poised all throughout, Hip-Hop* is a swaggeringly raucous piece that will vaunt MC Bravado up your list of indie rappers to check out this 2017.
MC Bravado is not shy when it comes to letting his stylishness ooze from the album, making a point of his coolness right through the first half of the record. “Michael Larsen Impression” aptly kicks off the record, showing off the rapper’s fiery flow before rolling into the upbeat cut “Gone” featuring Koncept and McNasty. Meanwhile, “This Is Gold” featuring OnCue is one of the easier tracks to vibe to on the record. OnCue’s melodic chorus adds a welcome melodic and radio-friendly taste to the cut. Listeners will enjoy the accessibility and hookiness of “This Is Gold,” making this one of the more radio-friendly tracks of the album.
“Homegirl” is a surprisingly sweet cut that has the flair of an old cool serenade. The message is simple; MC Bravado has fallen for someone and wants to protect them. With tongue-in-cheek songwriting and a saccharine performance, “Homegirl” is sure to be a fan favourite.
MC Bravado then sounds inspirational on “Take The Risk,” a cut topped by one of the more anthemic choruses on the record, sung by Mollie Jay.
“Unfiltered” rounds out the first half of the record, a mega collaboration that is introspective and masterful. Featuring the likes of Nitty Scott, MC, Real Deal, and Time Police, “Unfiltered” is a skillful team effort that preaches about dreams and living.
The second half is a much more emotional endeavour, with MC Bravado sounding angsty in “Try-Polar.” The composed rapper unravels a little and shows off a surprisingly snarky side to his demeanour as his cutting rap vocals dish out one of the more desperate-sounding tracks of the album.
“Dead Man’s Dream” is an introspective cut that has MC Bravado reflecting on himself as both a person and a musician, a surprising track that will also inspire listeners to peer inwards as well.
“Go Westbrook” is an anthemic, inspirational morale booster that encourages listeners to carry themselves like the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard. A catchy chorus embellished by cheeky samplings of Westbrook interviews and a welcome amount of basketball imagery surrounding the messages and themes of working hard makes “Go Westbrook” an appealing cut.
MC Bravado goes dark and violent in “Human Torch,” an aggressively angry track that has the New York rapper finally unravel into someone visceral and unrestrained.
The album ends with good vibes in “Glossy,” a wonderful cut that smoothly leads the album to its peaceful conclusion. “Glossy” is a fantastic way to round out the album, with MC Bravado ending his largely upbeat and emotional journey throughout the album on the same note it begins: animated and celebratory.
Hip-Hop* is MC Bravado’s love letter to the fabled genre. It is downright admirable how the New York rapper ensures that every thread of this record is laced with his essence, sparing no expenses and ensuring this piece embodies his soul. The charismatic rapper rules, claiming Hip-Hop* as his rightful throne.
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