"Masterpiece Theatre" is a collaboration EP between Michigan emcee Willie the Kid and my favorite producer of 2013, Alchemist. The EP features guest appearances from Roc Marciano and Action Bronson and is fully produced by Alchemist himself. It was released on July 23, 2013 via TheMasterpieceTheatre.com and has the honor of being Alchemist's first independently released album.
1) Opening Credits - Skit
2) Shake Dice - The first song on the album has an ominous instrumental with some threatening synth layers over hard-ass drums. The beat can be off-putting at first, but once the drums kick it around the thirty second mark it all comes together nicely. Willie the Kid, whose older brother is Wu-Tang affiliate LA the Darkman, spits a quick minute or so verse before the song fades out and transforms into a short Alchemist instrumental that's really nice. Lyrically Willie the Kid comes correct, spitting some violent braggadocio bars in his usual energetic flow. This song is nothing mind blowing, but it's still really dope nonetheless.
3) Halal Tuna- This was the first song released from the album and its absolute fire. The beat is a laid-back horn sample looped up with static and some very subtle drums. It has a heavy mafioso feel to it and Willie the Kid rolls with it:
"The Bruce Wayne Beamers, the James Bond watchesI'm really feelin' this track. Very dope.
This cognac taste ancient
I don't laugh at all the riddles, a true villain like The Riddler
Deprived of my Ritalin, get you riddled with bullets, rather vehicular
For Val Kilmer money, a killer like Phillip Kipland
I'm on the pier with my peers, pouring vodka, pear-infused, wearing jewels
Pet names for my uzis, floozies, jacuzzi tubs, milk baths
Bad bitches laugh, Lagavulin, Haliburton money, who you foolin?"
4) Bad Mistake (featuring Alchemist) - This song has another foreboding instrumental more in line with "Shake Dice" than "Halal Tuna." The synths give it a dark, sinister feel that would sound right at home on the soundtrack to a horror movie. Willie the Kid and Alchemist himself both spit their verses before the beat fades out and comes back as piano instrumental that sounds like something you would hear in a fancy restaurant. Lyrically both emcees come correct, with both of them spitting some humorously violent bars. Alchemist has never been my favorite emcee, but he is on point here. Dope track.
5) Medusa (featuring Action Bronson and Roc Marciano) - This was another of the songs that was released in promotion of the album. The piano instrumental from the previous song slowly fades into the beat for this song, which has an ill vocal sample loop with some soft acoustic guitars and minimalistic drums. The beat is nice and all three emcees rip it, with Roc Marciano spitting the hardest in my opinion.
"Fleet as the bullets who freed at good foot speedVery nice.
And breeze, the need to see you bleed is appeased
Victory seized, the displeased live with the disease
Please give me forty feet like a centipede"
6) Gettysburg - The beat on this song is full of spacey synths and layered samples that give it a sort of breezy feel. Despite the lower tempo of the beat, the track is only slightly less intense than some of the previous songs. Willie the Kid does his thing and bodies the beat. He is definitely one of the most underrated emcees out today. While never spitting anything mind blowing from a technical standpoint, his lyrics and flow are pretty much always on point and he hardly ever spits a weak verse. This is really good and is probably one of my favorites on the EP.
7) Let The Money Stay - The final track on the EP samples 21st Century's "Remember the Rain" and its really dope. The beat has a soulful vibe, but its still pretty dark and would sound perfect on a rainy day. Once again, Willie the Kid comes correct and rips the beat. I'm really feelin' this track as well. Definitely a good way to close out the album.
I'm going to rate the EP
4 / 5
because its really dope. Alchemist comes through brilliantly with the beats, as always. He is easily one of the best hip-hop producers in the rap industry today simply due to the sheer amount of quality music he puts out every year. Willie the Kid sounds great on here as well, spitting dope rhymes on every track on the album. The only real criticism I have with the EP is the general shortness of some of the tracks, with half of the songs hovering around the three minute mark and only having one verse. That being said, the album is still really good and is definitely worth the $5 they are asking for it. If you are a fan of either Willie the Kid or Alchemist, make sure you head on over to The Masterpiece Theatre website and cop the album.