Album Review: Roc Marciano – Reloaded

Posted: November 19, 2012 in Album, Dyscyplynary Action, Music Review

Artist: Roc Marciano

Album: Reloaded

Release Date: November 13, 2012

Record Label: Decon

Roc Marciano is a student of the game. Since breaking away from Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad and working with Pete Rock as a part of The UN, Marci has built a following with his vivid street tales and smooth cadence. In 2010, he released his debut Marcberg to critical acclaim, bringing a vintage yet refreshing 90s boom-bap sound in his production and witty metaphors. With New York underground rap reemerging in a strong way with the likes of Action Bronson, Troy Ave, and Mayhem Lauren, Roc is undeniably the flag bearer. Following up with his second LP, Reloaded, Roc Marciano is refusing to step off track.

“I’m back for the crown, baby” is the first line heard on this gritty 15-song collection from the luxurious opener “Tek To A Mack”. Roc is in his own groove, spitting humorous similes (Pierce your rib with the spear like Shaka Zulu), having ménage a trois on Fridays, and standing tall in his “beef & broccolis”. With it is an entrancing sample that loops the horns over a sinister string set and bassline. You would think he stepped out of a time machine from 1995 with the allusions and pop culture references being as nostalgic as Knight Rider reruns, but Marciano is as lively and current with his writing as “what he do with the pen is stupendous.”

The majority of the production is handled by Marci himself, with only a few contributors from Alchemist, Q-Tip, and The Arch Druids. Though the records here aren’t as heavy as their predecessor, the music still holds onto the trippy mindfuck of psychedelic guitar riffs, blaxploitation excerpts, and wintry street cinema. Marciano is extremely comfortable with the sound he chooses and the helping hands come through correctly adding to the aesthetic. The warped, grainy organs of “Pistolier”, the 10cc piano flip on “76”, the funky loop on “The Man” gives Reloaded a more stripped down and pimp-ish feel. You can pop this onto to any Grand Theft Auto soundtrack and roll through Liberty City empowered.

Marciano holds true to his OG sensibilities with his second effort, continuing to imbue the gully lingo filled with quotables. There hasn’t been that many in the East Coast rap scene that has worked as hard as he did and now receiving the recognition. As many would look at this as more of a traditional throwback, it is another example of how rap is evolving as well as going full circle.

Rating: 8/10

• “Tek To A Mack”
• “Pistolier”
• “76”
• “Death Parade”
• “Thug’s Prayer Pt. 2”

  1. […] year, Roc Marciano’s Reloaded could have been the rap album of the year if it wasn’t for some guy named Kendrick Lamar. Still, […]

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