Tony Touch - Piece Maker 3: Return of the 50 MC's (Review)

Tony Touch - Piece Maker 3: Return of the 50 Mcs (Cover)

"Piece Maker 3: Return of the 50 Mcs" is the latest album from New York DJ/producer Tony Touch. Like his previous albums, the LP features guest appearances from a ton of emcees and producers ranging from Raekwon to Bun B, from DJ Premier to Psycho Les. The album was released on July 9, 2013.

1) Touch And D-Stroy (Tony Touch and D-Stroy) - The first song on the album features Tony Touch and D-Stroy (of The Arsonists) spitting a few verses over an ill DJ Premier instrumental. The beat is trademark Premo, with some chopped up string samples, boom-bap drums and scratching on the chorus. Tony Touch sounds ok on here, but D-Stroy really rips it. Nice.

2) Ladies First (Freestyle) (Rah Digga and Angie Martinez) - Rah Digga comes through with a pretty dope freestyle over a Psycho Les instrumental while Angie Martinez provides a short intro. Not bad, not great.

3) Double A (A.G. and Masta Ace) - This is better. Psycho Les provides a darker, mid-tempo instrumental for A.G. and Masta Ace to spit some humorous bars about how dope they are over. Both emcees come correct, but Masta Ace has the standout punchlines for me:
"I be the author that wrote the book, you read it
I be that cash in hand, my man, not credit
My energy kinetic
If you got money to spend and this here is my year, you can bet it
I take a dip in the pool and don't need a towel
I can spell Mississippi and don't need a vowel"
Nice track.

4) Hold That (Busta Rhymes, J. Doe, Reek da Villian and Roc Marciano) - The beat on this track, provided by Dready, has a bit of an old school "Flipmode Squad" feel to it, which is a given due to the fact that him, Busta Rhymes, J. Doe, and Reek da Villian are all members of The Conglomerate while Roc Marciano is a former Flipmode Squad member. Roc rips the track, but Busta (who is but a shell of his former self), J. Doe and Reek da Villian are just average on here. This is ok I guess, but I don't think it will get much play from me.

5) You Know You Love This (M.O.P.) - I've always felt that M.O.P. have never really gotten the shine that they deserved in the rap industry. Both Lil Fame and Billy Danze are ill emcees with unique deliveries and Fame is one of my favorite "golden era" hip-hop producers still doin it today. Given that, its no surprise that the beat on this track, by Fizzy Womack himself, has a nice boom-bap feel to it and both emcees rip it. Very dope song.

6) V.I.P. - (Too Short, Xzibit and Kurupt) - The instrumental on this track, courtesy of Koolade, has a nice West Coast vibe to it and all three emcees come correct, but the song as a whole isn't really hittin for me. The only thing it really does is make me wish for the "Dogg Food"-era Kurupt back. Dude was a beast back then. Oh well.

7) Hit This (Freestyle) (B-Real) - Psycho Les provides an old-school feeling break beat for B-Real (of Cypress Hill) to freestyle over. I haven't heard a new verse from B-Real in quite a while, but he sounds like his old self on here. Not bad for a freestyle track.

8) Brooklyn's The Borough (Papoose and Uncle Murda) - Tony Touch comes through with an energetic instrumental with some menacing church bells and hard drums. The beat is pretty dope and both emcees do their thing. I think Papoose actually sounds better on here than he did on "Nacirema Dream". Don't these two guys hate each other though?

9) Random (Sean Price and Guilty Simpson) - Originally I had thought that this was going to be a Random Axe song with Black Milk on the beat, but the song is produced by PF Cuttin instead. Either way, the beat is a grimy, head-nodding banger and both Sean P and Guilty Simpson rip it. This is probably my favorite track on the album so far. Absolute fire.

10) Thought Process (Black Thought) - Psycho Les returns with another upbeat instrumental for Black Thought to wreck. Too bad the beat is nothing special since Black Thought rips it. Thought is a monster, but this is just ok due to the bland instrumental.

11) B.A.R.S. (Styles P.,  Sheek Louch and Jadakiss) - Ok now this is dope. The beat is by JuJu (the other half of The Beatnuts) and its got some threatening keyboards and banging drums. All three members of The LOX are here and they all bring it, especially Styles and Jadakiss. They really need to release a new album collectively. Dope song.

12) World Premier (LikNuts [The Alkoholics and The Beatnuts]) - What a crazy team-up this is. I heard they were coming out with a full project a year or two ago but haven't heard much from them since then. Anyways, the beat on this track, courtesy of Psycho Les, has a lighthearted feel to it and J-Ro, Tash, Psycho Les and JuJu all trade-off bars throughout the entire song. Too bad its only a minute and a half long since its pretty nice.

13) Unorthodox (Raekwon, JD Era, Ghostface Killah and RZA) - This track starts out with an Ol Dirty Bastard sample, which sounds natural coming after the craziness of the LikNuts track. The beat on here, by Tony Touch and Psycho Les, is dark and murky, which is always the perfect soundscape for Wu-Tang emcees to spit over. Raekwon sets it off nicely before his protege, JD Era, comes in and just bodies the track. Ghostface and RZA both come correct, but RZA in particular sounds like his vocals are a bit muffled when compared to the others. Lyrically he is sharp, but the mastering sounds off. Still, this is pretty ill.

14) Bounce (Twista and Bun B) - This song has another instrumental by Psycho Les, this time with an energetic horn sample and upbeat drums. Twista comes first and spits in his trademark rapid-fire flow while Bun B follows up with a surprisingly bland verse. This track is ok, but there are much better songs on here.

15) One Person Thirstin (Thirstin Howl III) - The beat on this track, by Thirstin Howl III himself, has a odd trap music feel to it, which I was not expecting at all. Hmm...I can't get into this track at all. Next.

16) Power Cypha (Willie The Kid) - Now this is much better. The instrumental, provided by A Villa, has a warm vocal sample layered with some cinematic strings and mellow drums. Willie the Kid, younger brother of Wu-Tang Clan affiliate LA the Darkman, flows smoothly over the beat and helps solidify this track as one of the stronger songs on the album so far. Dope.

17) A Queen's Thing (Action Bronson and Kool G. Rap) - Like the previous song, this track is fire. The beat, by Statik Selektah, is energetic with some light synths over a nice backing sample and scratches on the chorus. Both Action Bronson and Kool G. Rap bring their usual street-orientated lyrics and smooth flows. Can't ask for much more than that. I'm really feelin this track.

18) Take It To The Bronx (KRS-One, Fat Joe and Sadat X) - Psycho Les returns with a somewhat forgettable instrumental that features a repetitive drum loop and not much else. It's not terrible and actually hits pretty hard, but it just sounds uninspired to me. KRS-One and Sadat X come correct, but I can't remember a single line that Fat Joe spit on here. This song is just ok for me.

19) Aw Shux (Termanology) - This is one of the few tracks on the album that features production from Tony Touch himself and its not too bad. The instrumental is really just a vocal sample of "aw shux" over a drum loop, but Termanology flows his ass off over it. Not bad.

20) Slaughter Session (Joel Ortiz, Royce da 5'9'' and Crooked I) - Just Blaze is supposedly executive producing the next Slaughterhouse album, so it's only right that he handles the production duties on this track. The beat is dope, with a loud band sample and banging drums, which is in line with Justin's usual style. All three emcees sound pretty good on here while Joe Buddens is missing for some reason (I'm not complaining though). This is dope, but it could have been better given the lineup.

21) Symphony in H (Eminem) - The beat on this song, produced by Eminem himself, is full of that signature Eminem feel. It's got that slightly comical, off-kilter vibe that is so prevalent on most of his tracks. Lyrically he rips it, spitting in a rapid-fire multi-syllabic flow while using the letter "H" repeatedly:
"And kinda like Beethoven composin' a symphony of hate
So much hate woven into these raps
He stitches a bitch, straight sewin'
Shit I'm beginning to hate clothing
I hate overalls cause they remind me of hoes
For Christ sake, they're shaped like an H, woah, and
You know what else starts with H though?
Hockey, shit, thought I had the place flowing"
This is just ok though. I was definitely hoping for more.

22) Let's Go (Redman, Method Man and Erick Sermon) - Red, Meth and The Green-Eyed Bandit spit fire over a dope Erick Sermon instrumental. The beat is reminiscent of Erick Sermons usual sound, but updated a bit for modern times. I really like this track. Hopefully its a sign of good things to come with their next round of albums. They just need to release "Muddy Waters 2" and "Crystal Meth" and I'll be set.

23) Street Corner (Freestyle) (Prodigy) - The beat on this track, provided by JuJu, is interesting enough for a quick freestyle from Mobb Deep's Prodigy. This is ok and Prodigy spits pretty well on here, but it pales in comparison to anything he recently released on his collaboration album with The Alchemist, "Albert Einstein".

24) Questions (N.O.R.E., Al Joseph and Reek da Villian) - Ugh. This song is terrible. The beat is by Charlie Brown, who came up with some of the worst beats on N.O.R.E's "Student of the Game" album, and this one is no better. Forgettable track. I just can't get into that club sound on an album like this.

25) GMI (Freestyle) (Gob Goblin, Starvin B and Spit Gemz) - The final track on the album features a dope instrumental by Psycho Les and freestyles by Beatnuts affiliate Gob Goblin, Starvin B (whom I am unfamiliar with) and Brooklyn/Queens emcee Spit Gemz. Gob Goblin comes correct, but I think Spit Gemz took the track. Not a bad way to close out the album, but nothing really memorable.

I'm going to rate the album

3 / 5

because the album has some really strong tracks, but it also has a bunch of filler tracks. The beats are hit-or-miss, with a few dope instrumentals appearing every couple of tracks. Lyrically the album fares a bit better, with a only a few weak verses here or there while the majority are pretty good. It's not that anything is terrible (outside of "Questions" and "One Person Thirstin"), its just that most of the tracks don't stand out when compared to some of the stronger tracks ("You Know You Love This", "Random", "B.A.R.S.", etc). Still, there are a handful of bangers on here that definitely should not be missed.


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