featured REVIEW

Moe Pope & Rain Let The Right Ones In Brick Records • 2013

Who? Roxbury-born rapper Moe 'Depeche Moe' Pope and Beantown beatsmith Rain
What? Their second collabo album, all live instrumentation
Our opinion: Best album of the year - so far

Samples and rap have a long history together. Naturally: it's the backbone of the music. It's the soul of a rap song. But you don’t need samples to have soul. Anno 2013 still a lot of rap artists struggle to throw off the sample cape. With decades of technical progression and a boost of musically schooled artists, you'd might expect more artists going ‘live’.

Enter 'Let The Right Ones', Moe Pope and Rain's sophomore release, the follow-up to their 'Life After God' LP. A sample-free record with bumping basslines, electronic twitches and Moe Pope doing what the Boston lyricist already did with Crown City Rockers (Mission at the time), Electric and Project Move; puttin words to rhyme in a metaphorical yet ad rem manner. Abstract or in your face, Pope writes words like he paints his paintings.

Moe Pope draws sketches of his interests and surroundings, with pop culture references -movies, lifestyle brands- some gothic elements - check ‘Meet Joe Black’, ‘Gotham’ or ‘Annie Mulz’ with punchlines like ‘If hip-hop is dead, than we are the zombies’ and a wink to Q-Tip.

‘Let The Right Ones In’ mixes uptempo drums and bumps (‘Buh-Boom’), solid snares and slaps, lovely chants -by Tea Leigh, Dua Boakye and Julia Easterlin- and clever choruses. Boston cohort Reks joins in and opens up on 'Spit vs Ramo' -’I'm just trying to leave a legacy to my seeds, you silly pops’, while Moe Pope -not selfish- leaves the headnodder beat of ‘Loud Enough’ to John Robinson ‘Unleash the threshold, the cadence is extraordinaire’.

‘Let The Right Ones In’ shows how hip-hop can do without a sample. With multifaceted musicians like Pope and Rain, how could it ever be dead?

POSTED ON 02|10|2013 by cpf

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