Roc Marciano - Reloaded (Review)

Roc Marciano - Reloaded (Review)

Roc Marciano is a former member of Busta Rhyme's Flipmode Squad who left the group back in 2001 to form his own group The U.N. A few mixtapes later, the New York based producer/emcee went solo and has since dropped two studio albums and a collaborate EP with Gangrene. His second album, Reloaded, was released in late 2012 and is probably one of my favorite albums from last year. Click to read the full review of Reloaded.

1) Tek To A Mack - The album begins with a laid back track that is self-produced by Roc Marciano. As is Roc's style, there are very little drums in the song and the music is more about ambiance than getting your head nodding. Roc is his usual self and spits some braggadocio rhymes. Nice way to start the album.

2) Flash Gordon - The Alchemist comes through and produces one of my favorite tracks on the album. As on the first track, the instrumental is very laid back and Roc Marciano rips it.
"As a dove flew out the glove of the magician, it was just as I predicted
Reality is prescripted
Trees twisted, autistic
Gorgeous hitmen escort the vixen
Porsches, imported liquids"
3) Not Told (featuring KA and Knowledge Pirate) - Another self-produced track, this time with an ill guitar loop. All three emcees come correct and have similar deliveries, which helps to keep the track consistent since no one sounds out of place. The only downside to this is that the verses tend to blend together a bit, but the track is still pretty good.

4) Pistolier - Alchemist returns with a dope instrumental that brings a bit more energy than the previous few tracks. The drums sound like they would hit hard, but are purposely muffled and toned down a bit to fit into the overall theme of the album. Roc Marcino spits some witty gun talk. Dope track.

5) Thugs Prayer, Pt 2 - This track, self produced by Roc Marciano, sounds like some funeral music with organs, a vocal loop and chopped up drums. The beat is ever evolving throughout the song and Roc rips it. The only bad thing about this track is that it's only a minute and a half long.

6) 76 - This is without a doubt one of my favorite tracks from the album and just happens to be one of the singles.

To me, this song epitomizes the sound Roc Marciano was going for on this album - dope, laid back instrumentals with ill rhyme structures.
"Quadraports slide off through a time warp
Been getting money before dinosaur
Diamonds is on, llamas is worn
Write rhymes on island resorts"
7) We Ill - The beat on here is made up of a crazy vocal sample and Roc Marciano just destroys it. The energy is toned down a bit after the more upbeat 76, but this is dope. Roc has self produced the majority of this album and all of the beats have been consistently ill.

8) Deeper - Another laid back vocal sample by Roc Marciano. This is quite good, but it isn't a standout for me.

9) Death Parade - The beat on here is crazy. It's another vocal sample, but this time there are some violins and the beat is very dark. Roc Marciano rips it.
"Hopping out of V’s with them clean Prada’s
Sip pina coladas with a mean goddess
We eastsiders, jeans is knotted
Niggas don’t want it like the HIV virus"
This is dope.

10) 20 Guns - All of these looped samples and lack of drums combined with Roc Marciano's monotone flow is starting to make the album blend together a bit. That may sound like a bad thing, but it's not. All of the songs fit perfectly with the theme of the album and they are all banging. This song is one of the shorter ones, clocking in at just under 2 minutes, but its still really good.

11) Peru - This is the last of a run of Roc Marciano self-produced tracks and its pretty good. This is not one of my favorite songs on here, but it's not terrible.

12) Thread Count - It's amazing how consistent these beats are when going between self-produced tracks and tracks from another producer. I'm not sure if Roc came in afterwards and modified elements of the beats or if he just selected similar beats to keep theme of the album going. This song is produced by Q-Tip and its pretty dope. Roc Marciano spits his typical braggadocio bars. Not bad.

13) Nine Spray (featuring Ka) - The beat on here, by Ray West, is pretty dark and both emcees spit their gun raps.
"The K put you out the game like five fouls
You outta bounds, I'm outta town runnin with hounds
Dumpin the cow, kick up a dust cloud
The gun is rust brown
Its an oldie, but goodie
I'm looking like Goldie in the hoodie
Rose gold rollie, tech 9's is loaded up fully"

14) Emeralds - Like 76, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album and also happens to be a single.

The beat, by The Arch Druids, is BANGING and Roc Marciano rips it. If you have never heard a Roc Marciano song then you should check out this song to get a feeling for what his style is. I love this song.

15) The Man - This is the last song on the album and its another self produced track by Roc Marciano. Roc spits his usual braggadocio rhymes over a dope soul sample loop. This is a great way to close out the album.

*The tracks below are from the Deluxe Edition of the album*

16) I Shot The King - Roc Marciano speeds up his flow a bit on here. The self-produced instrumental sounds like something that would have fit in nicely on the album, but the tempo is a bit different from those tracks. Maybe that's why it only appears as a bonus track. Either way, its a nice song.

17) Sweet Nothings - Another dope self-produced track by Roc Marciano. The beat is a bit too "happy" to have fit with the darker theme of the album, but Roc rips it.

18) Paradise For Pimps - You can tell that this is an Alchemist beat the moment it begins. The instrumental is CRAZY and is reason enough to cop the Deluxe Edition. Probably one of my favorite songs on here. Very dope.

I'm going to rate the album a

4.5 / 5

since the beats and rhymes are consistently ill throughout the entire album. Most of the beats are dark, laid back vocal samples with little or no drums, but the songs blend together very well. Roc Marciano's flow and delivery is also laid back, but the complex rhyme structures and lack of personality may go over the head of some casual listeners. These are not really knocks against the album, its just Roc's style and its dope to me, but I could see how others may not like it. I'd definitely recommend this album to anyone who enjoys gritty beats and dope rhymes.


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