A couple months ago saw the release of two M.I.B. releases, both with the same name, but meaning two different things. Drowningn00b will take a look at both, starting with the underground rapper named Huckleberry P and his first full record release, ‘Man In Black‘.
Check back for Part. 2 of “The Search For MIB” series.
In a year full of depressing and nostalgic hip-hop albums (Verbal Jint, One Day and Tablo), ‘MIB’ is full of bravado, personality and swag. Hand-claps, hooks and bright notes are common place here, with enough grit and record scratching thrown in to make all those pop elements fit the street style Huckle is going for. Huckle is at home when he’s aggrandizing his own persona on tracks like “More Than A Dream”, the most technical rap styling on the record; to more upbeat tunes like the back and forth with Olltii on “Freestyle Tutorial” and the tat-tat-tat laden “남자의 자격”. Huckle’s rap flow is more rhythmic than most rappers, opting to create a song than to show off any technical prowess. That said, ‘MIB’ could have used more of that technique throughout its tracks because you come to expect his sing-song flow and are left to wonder if “More Than A Dream” and “History Is Made At Night” are outliers rather than part of Huckle’s bag of tricks.
“Man In Black”
‘Man In Black’, as a complete product, harkens back to a time when samples, DJs and massive guest rosters reigned supreme in hip-hop, and nowhere is that more apparent than in its standout title track and corresponding remix. A great bass track, drum beats all over the place and hooks to shout along to, “Man In Black” is a lot of fun to listen. Huckle adds a throaty quality to his voice on the chorus to keep the song from sounding repetitive. The roster for the remix adds another dimension to an already great track. Jerry.K’s 16 bars is full of stops and starts, while Minos has that “gnarl-on-the-face” quality that I’m a fan of right now. Not to be outdone, Vasco and Paloalto destroy the track. Vasco’s cool and smooth delivery is complemented to an amazing degree by Paloalto’s deep voice. The pairings are great and the beats are fantastically produced, making this a don’t-miss for fans of this style of swagger hip-hop.
Like all rap records, there are a couple of tracks on ‘MIB’ that profess the hardships of life (snooze…). On “The Battlefield”, the atmosphere is dark and melancholy, with pretty good flute and string-plucking loops sprinkled throughout and a vocal loop that grates on the nerves. On “History is Made at Night”, the mood is pensive, with strings swelling throughout the entire track. These tracks highlight the fact that Huckle can rap on slower tunes, and his speed rap skills return on “History”. On this track, Simon D lays down a set that’s so good it’s a shame his latest project wasn’t as inspiring to listen to. Even with all their good points, these two are just stop gaps until the album-ender.
The MIB initialism is so prevalent in Western culture that I was surprised it took till now to see it reappear. Huckleberry P has taken the reference from the movie of the same name, attempting to move hip-hop away from its very blue and self-inflicted chokehold. He does a good job doing so, bringing a self-boasting attitude that works as a complete record. “Man In Black”, its remix and “More Than A Dream” serve as a reminder that life can be enjoyed through the pain and the bullshit.
Hi! My name is Xtian, and I’m a total pop music whore. I’m from NYC and can be seen dancing in the streets with headphones permanently glued to my ears. I may not have had a musical background, but I’m a lover of all things music, so I’m excited to be bringing a new voice to the McRoth’s funhouse. Y’all can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or better yet, follow me on twitter, where I do most of my social media-ing, @drowningn00b. See y’all lataz.