Saturday, February 23, 2008

Float into spring with "Megaphone"

Underground Hip Hop gets a bad rap (pardon the pun) often times as to nerdy or to conscious, with people calling the fans “backpackers” in reference to the backpacks always found strapped to them, even if they are empty. But the one thing about the underground is it provides artists with freedom to make music exactly as they want.

Enter Moe Pope & Headnodic as Megaphone. As former members of the much hyped Crown City Rockers this emcee and producer duo is taking it back to the essence of Hip Hop but with some nice twists to make it all their own for the two double 0 eight!

Headnodic handles all the beats here and shows that he is certainly a well rounded producer and digger pulling samples from many albums and producing live instruments on tracks like “Firelude.”

On top of delivering an album that would make the legends who have inspired Headnodic’s music proud the whole crew (Project Move) comes in for three “Homework” sessions where they break down the best producers paying tribute to everyone from J Swift to Pete Rock to Mantronix and end with the one and only J Dilla! As they say “This cat doesn’t make beats man, this cat composed music.” Headnodic must have taken this to heart because this is a great example of a producer directing the music of an entire project.

Moe Pope is a good emcee who can ride Headnodic’s beats well. Even though he is from Boston he has a bit more of that Bay area sound to his voice which is complemented well by Headnodic’s beats with a more early 90’s west coast Alkaholiks/Pharcyde feel. From the “Intro” you are sucked in with a nice choir humming in the background and some sparkling piano keys. Moe Pope comes right in and tells y’all what it is you have popped into your stereo and from there it just keeps on rolling.

The mood changes from high intensity bangers (“Grit” & and check out the uplifting horns on “Durty”) to mellow self reflection as Moe Pope is just a regular cat trying to spit some rhymes and speak to the people.

This doesn’t mean he can’t have fun either though as him and Zion I get down for the ladies on the aptly named “Ladies.” With a fun beat, Headnodic chopped up some good flute sounds for the loop and drops in some nice trumpet work from what may be Miles, but don’t quote me! Far from just a cheap attempt to cross over, Pope and Zumbi speak about the woman in their life who have really helped them grow and become men. “A special shout to the superwoman,” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Megaphone is an album to remind you that Hip Hop can be fun. It’s arriving at the end of winter, a time when many retreat and stay out of the public and the elements. As spring arrives Moe Pope & Headnodic have delivered a record that can get you inspired and help move this slow start to a year in Hip Hop along.

Moe Pope & Headnodic "Drop"

Moe Pope & Headnodic "Grift"

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