I wish that the title of this album, let the right ones in, were the mantra of each record label, independent and major, of each musical artist, and, perhaps most importantly, of each listener. Unfortunately, it seems to be quite the opposite if you turn to what is popular among the masses and on the airwaves (not that there isn’t a lot of really good popular music).
The consensus among hip hop heads near and far, is that the genre has become lackluster. I have spoken to a dozen or so former hip hop fans (were they true fans to begin with..? to be debated elsewhere…) who have said that they just couldn’t move past the 90’s sound, and that they just don’t connect to popular rap nowadays, and oddly, that they don’t want to listen to dope emcees on production that sounds just like their favorite boom bap era beats. They want the heart of authentic hip hop culture, combined with the musical advances technology has afforded.
Enter moe pope + rain. rain’s production is palatable for all: quality, depth and breadth that will keep the ears of the superficial listener, drums, sample selection and instrumentation that beat junkies and golden era aficionados will enjoy, and movement that a composer/producer can respect and enjoy. These anything-but-blank canvases leave abundant space for a progressive, out of the box emcee to meander through meadows of expression and experimentation, while keeping moe pope grounded in authenticity. moe pope doesn’t take the opportunity for granted, nor does he take the title emcee lightly.
Gotham is the lead track and serves as an eye (and ear) -opening statement: “don’t put us inside of your box, whatever said box may be.” This song is not what you would expect from the duo, yet it is perfect. It may catch some by surprise, but Meet Joe Black will remind listeners that dope beats and rhymes are anything but unfamiliar to moe pope and rain. The 17 tracks that follow will continue to take you on a wild ride through the musical mind of rain and the lyrical mind of moe. I would suggest listening when skipping ahead is not necessary, really soak it in. After you have given the album one listen front to back, then jump around to your favorites, but not until you experience what hip hop feels like when the right ones are let in. Listen. Enjoy. Share.
Peace and Love,