Release Date: Dec 10, 2013
Record label: Man Bites Dog
On 2012’s Reloaded, Roc Marciano was part-hustler, part-crime boss, a new-age street poet made in Kool G Rap’s image. He was Michael Corleone and Gustavo Fring—a coolheaded ambassador with sharp business acumen and an understated mean streak. On Reloaded, Marciano didn’t knock you out, but he won with subtle lyrical jabs and quiet confidence.
Slipping under the radar of Roc Marciano fans still drooling over last month's mixtape The Pimpire Strikes Back is the Long Island rapper/producer's Marci Beaucoup, his debut album on Man Bites Dog Records, to which he was just signed as VP of A&R. Already established as a master of grimy rap, and a very capable, soulful producer through one of the best rap records of 2012, Reloaded, Marciano lyrically sticks to what he does best — drug references, threats of violence, dreary narratives of fiends and whores and the grandeur of a life of crime — all delivered with the believability and nonchalance of a man who's spent as much time in the streets as perfecting his craft. Roc Marciano has been around the block, and when he says he's going to "Knock ya fuckin' block off," believe him.
Roc Marciano works in details rather than large, dramatic brush strokes. Like fellow New York MC Ka, Marciano's voice rarely rises above a conversational purr—you need to really lean in close to get the full effect. He doesn't build narratives as much as construct small, distinct images and then stack them on top of each other. Even his beats are designed to shade, rather than color, his songs.
Roc Marciano’s latest album, Marci Beaucoup, is a lush collection of self-produced, sample-driven instrumentals, with a splattering of verses from Roc himself, as well as a number of familiar guests, and hip-hop artisans in their own right: including Blu, Boldy James, Evidence, Action Bronson, Ka, Alchemist, Maffew Ragazino, Freeway, and many more. Marci Beaucoup comes fresh off the heels-only about a month, actually-of the Hempstead MC’s stellar mixtape, The Pimpire Strikes Back, a cohesive, narrative-driven score of a modern day pimp, laden over a selection of sensible, 70’s-sampling backdrops and thoughtful interludes that help round out the thematic greatness of the project. While it was The Pimpire Strikes Back, that was released for free as a “mixtape,” it almost feels more appropriate to label Beaucoup of that title, at least in the linguistic sense.