Music Review: M.O.P.-Sparta-Babygrande Records

M.O.P.’s club exclusive hip-hop is an uber-masculine hybrid of the mosh pit and the streets. For 19 years Lil’ Fame and Billy Danze have made music that could hype any sporting event and excuses itself from commercial aspirations despite “Ante Up’s” brief with dalliance with MTV’s audience. Sparta maintains the ground they have always stood on; rowdy, imperious and raw energy meant to feed the id of the rap aficionado. The German-based Snowgoons are at their best when programming horns as foreboding as Judgement Day when the duo is spitting lyrics to “Get Yours.” The overall aural palette is one of epic and fierce emotions that whirl inside silver notes from the MPC orchestra. Greek military themes translate into All-American sounding horn anthems and “Back At It” belongs in any Ridley Scott or Wachowski Brother film. “No Mercy” dresses the grim narration about walking through some of New York’s menacing neighborhoods with panels of melodic steel. And in what could be described as music for walking to the death chamber, “Opium” matches a funeral organ with a lone jazz piano line and booming snare to animate a song about being able to sonically affect citizens like the poppy plant. Drug analogies that compare the Mash Out Posse movement to pure product are proper when discussing the gist of their appeal. Fans continue to follow and revere them because in a mass of pliable artists M.O.P. has held tight to their Brownsville origins. Sparta was a militaristic city concerned with that promoting mental methods quite similar to those of the hood survivalist. Together, the Snowgoons’ board manipulations and M.O.P.’s words have created an urban ode to the ancient locale touting their best work since Warriorz.