MKV and Concept - When The Pieces Come Together (Review)

MKV and Concept - When The Pieces Come Together

"When the Pieces Come Together" is a collaboration album between Chicago born emcee MKV and New Zealand producer Concept. The album has no guest features and is fully produced by Concept himself. It was released for free on October 19, 2013 via the groups Bandcamp site.

1) The Path - The album begins with a quick sample from O.C.'s "The Chosen One" before blending into a beautiful instrumental with light horns, chimes and a sprinkle of piano keys over boom-bap drums. This is my first time hearing any of MKV's work and he sounds really dope on here, kicking some thought-provoking rhymes about how the details of your future may not always be clear to you, but don't despair since everything will work out in the end. Very nice way to start off the album.

2) Live By The Pen - This song has a more somber instrumental with some atmospheric horns and drums that are a bit harder than the ones on the first track. The beat is banging and MKV rips it, spitting some heartfelt bars about his lifelong dedication to hip-hop and about how music sets him free from the harsh realities of life. This shit is fire and is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

3) Struggle (Instrumental) - This is just a short instrumental interlude by Concept, but it's dope and keeps with the jazzy feel of the album so far.

4) When The Pieces Come Together - MKV raps about making timeless classics over another ill Concept instrumental, this time with a subtle guitar loop over head-nodding drums. MKV's delivery and lyrical content seems like a perfect match for Concept's boom-bap instrumentals. Hopefully they continue to put out more music in the future. Anyways, this shit is dope.

5) Stay Strong - This track has another fire instrumental with a soulful vocal sample interwoven throughout the pianos, guitars and energetic boom-bap drums. As expected by the song title, MKV comes through and kicks some rhymes about staying strong though the rough times. You gotta stay fixated on the positives and try not to focus too much on the negatives of life. Another banger.

6) Lost Souls - Concept delivers a guitar-heavy instrumental that also incorporates some soft pianos, subdued violins and a female vocal sample on the chorus. MKV sounds great over the mellow beat and spits about those "lost souls" that are too busy looking for love in all the wrong places, but end up turning their lives around in the end. Very ill.

7) Past & Present (Instrumental) - The final song on the album is another head-nodding, piano-based instrumental by Concept that is a nice way to close out the project.

I'm going to rate the album

4.25 / 5

because its dope as hell. The beats are lush and vibrant throughout, with many having a strong "Golden Era" vibe to them that I'm really feelin'. Between this album and his collaboration album with Ed Rowe, Concept has really made me a fan this year and I can't wait to hear more music from him in the future. Lyrically the album is just as impressive as it is sonically, with MKV displaying both thought-provoking lyrics as well as a smooth flow. The story tracks are nice and mostly all of the songs have a positive message to them, which is something sorely lacking from hip-hop these days. My only complaint about the album is that it is so short and left me wanting more. Regardless, iIf you are a fan of dope boom-bap beats and witty lyricism, look no further. Check out the full album below.


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