Famed for their 2000 hit "Ante Up", M.O.P. broke through onto the Hip Hop scene after having their hit single "How About Some Hardcore?" included on the 'House Party 3; soundtrack. The Mash-Out Posse, with members Lil' Fame and Billy Danze were able to then establish themselves amongst many other operating in the underground East Coast Hip Hop world with their hardcore Brooklyn style.
1. "Crimetime 1-718" (Intro)
2. "Rugged Neva Smoove"
The album gets off in a hardcore way as we see just how raw their material is, and how no one at the time could really be compared to the sort of music that they brought as here they deliver things as a mix of the East and West Coast styles to great effect. This is the sort of thing that many were looking to create but no one else had the roughness to be able to work out how to make the right music to get it out properly.
3. "Ring Ding"
As things are moved on here, we see that we're greeted by some dense percussion before the two MCs jump in and get down to things. I thought that it made for some great results as they show just how intense their style in that they can get by without particularly impressive rhymes and instead the way that they get hardcore headbob-inducing beats means that you have to enjoy what they offer here.
As ever, DP Period is behind the composition here and he ensures that he gives this pair exactly what they need to get busy. It seemed as though they were full of energy as here we see that they come up with a lively tune where they take us through a typical tale that you'd expect from a young Brooklyn act at this time. It makes for some nice results, and the "Ante Up" chants draw in comparisons to where they would go on in the future.
5. "Blue Steel"
The chanting continues as they get into this one and I felt as though it was just the sort of thing that was needed in order to create the perfect atmosphere to contain their street material. Here they make for great results as Lil' Fame and Billy Danze work off each other's hype and try to outcompete each other at every step along the way to show that they are always in competition and are always ready for action.
6. "Who Is M.O.P.?" (Lude)
7. "To The Death"
As they come off the interlude, it appears that the two of them haven't changed a thing as they go as hard as ever. We find that here they are given a lower-paced piece of production to back them up, but all this does is give them the opportunity to pack yet more into each bar and dish out more of their rough rhymes. This is a heavy track from them as we see that they get into some of the contemporary, region Gangsta Rap from out of Brownsville.
8. "Big Mal" (Lude)
9. "Top Of The Line"
We see that here they go in even heavier than we're heard at any other time prior to this. I thought that this would be almost impossible, but the steady pace that the drums are thumped away at means that your head bounces harder than you will have ever felt. Their material gets grittier as it goes along and we see that they just get more and more ruthless with the rhymes that they come up with.
10. "This Is Your Brain" (Lude)
11. "Drama Lord"
We get another impressive track from the two of them here as we see that for this one they decide to come out with yet more material where they show that they are a force that shouldn't be messed with. Listening to this, taking into consideration their consistency, makes you wonder why few paid as much attention to their music until they broke into the mainstream for "Ante Up" and "Cold As Ice".
'Fake A*s Gangsta' sees the pair get into a track where they complain about those in the game who claim to be gangsters when in fact they don't lead the sort of lifestyle that they know. Recorded at a time when a few in the game were uncovered as fakes, this was the first time when this started to come through in Hip Hop system as 'realness' was essential to get any sort of recognition from others.
13. "How About Some Hardcore"
A track which really stands out here, here we have an intense piece and one that saw them gather their first mini breakthrough (one which wouldn't return until around six years later). Here they do a great job at showing exactly what they are about as they introduce themselves to the game as people unlike those who were on the top at the time.
14. "Positive Influences" (Lude)
15. "Guns N Roses"
They end the album on this one as they perform a track where they make a strong lasting impression on the listeners. This one seems to take on much more of the contemporary trends than the rest of what's found here (as they usually take things a few levels higher). We see that they come out with something that draws everything to a relevant place of closure as they steadily calm things down after lots of killer tunes.
An album I can't personally find any faults with, I can't see why this record wasn't given as much attention as the other albums which dropped around this time. Each tune on the thing is a killer and they show that they had the ability to take on any other acts at the time with the raw msuci which they brought.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Crimetime 1-718
2 Rugged Neva Smoove
3 Ring Ding
5 Blue Steel
6 Who Is M.O.P.?
7 To the Death
8 Big Mal
9 Top of the Line
10 This Is Your Brain
11 Drama Lord
12 F.A.G. (Fake Ass Gangsta)
13 How About Some Hardcore
14 Positive Influences
15 Guns N Roses