Roc Marciano

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Marcberg (2010), 6/10
Reloaded (2012), 6.5/10
Marci Beaucoup (2013), 5/10
Rosebudd's Revenge (2017), 5.5/10
RR2 The Bitter Dose (2018), 5/10
Behold a Dark Horse (2018), 6/10
Kaos (2018), 5/10
Marcielago (2019), 5/10

Roc Marciano (New York's rapper and producer Rahkeim Meyer) self-produced Marcberg (2010), an album devoted to old-school hip-hop music with minimal production and focus on the rapping. The relatively rugged sound, the icy slow beats and the relatively bland style of rapping created the feeling of romanticizing the urban world of twenty years earlier. Perhaps influenced by Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part II (2009), Marciano impersonated a flamboyant "Godfather"-style mafioso via an atmospheric stream of consciousness (Snow, Ridin' Around, Panic, Pop).

The elegant mafia boss and the mean street poet were refined with less drama on Reloaded (2012), notably in Tek To A Mack, Flash Gordon and Pistolier. This time he got a bit of help from the Alchemist, Q-Tip and others, and this may explain why the atmosphere was less gloomy.

On the other hand, the 15-song Marci Beaucoup (2013), with a lot of guest rappers, was overlong and sloppily (self-)produced. It should have been just an EP with Drug Lords, Psych Ward and little else. The mixtape The Pimpire Strikes Back (2013) was actually more affective in embellishing his cinematic self-tribute.

He finally employed outside producers for Rosebudd's Revenge (2017), or RR1, a fact that improved the general sound but also somehow stifled the mix of words and beats. Burkina Faso is the notably exception.

RR2 The Bitter Dose (2018) was inferior to RR1 despite the exotic beat of Saks Fifth and the noir atmosphere of Kill You.

The brief Behold a Dark Horse (2018) was wrapped in a decadent and almost hypnotic atmosphere, still clinging to his minimalist style of production, with peaks of pathos in Congo and Trojan Horse (with Busta Rhymes).

Kaos (2018) was a mediocre collaboration with DJ Muggs (save The E Train).

The 15-song Marcielago (2019), mostly self-produced, was another overlong self-celebrating autobiography that rarely achieved the sinister tension of his first two albums (Puff Daddy and I.G.W.T. (In God We Trust) being notably exceptions).

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