Roc Marciano - The Pimpire Strikes Back (Review)

Roc Marciano - The Pimpire Strikes Back

 "The Pimpire Strikes Back" is the latest mixtape from New York emcee/producer Roc Marciano. The mixtape features guest appearances from Action Bronson, Willie the Kid, Meyhem Lauren, Cormega and Knowledge The Pirate as well as production from Roc Marciano, Madlib, Alchemist and others. It was released for free on November 5, 2013 over on DatPiff.com.


1) Intro - Skit.

2) The Sacrifice - The first song on the mixtape features a head-nodding Madlib instrumental with some jazzy horns and soulful vocal samples. The beat is real ill and Roc Marciano rips it, spitting some pimp shit in his unique nasally voice and drowsy flow. I'm feelin' this one. Dope way to kick off the mixtape.



3) Doesn’t Last - This song features another soulful vocal sample loop, this time with some backing strings and minimal drums. The instrumental is self-produced by Roc Marciano himself and its really smooth. Lyrically Roc comes through and bodies the beat, rapping about how things in life never last, among other things. Very dope.

4) Slingers (featuring Knowledge The Pirate) - Mic Raw and Roc Marciano collaborate for the instrumental on this track, which features a smooth flute and organ sample over sparse drums. The beat is ill and both emcees sound really good over it. I don't know much about Knowledge The Pirate, but he comes correct on here and spits in a similar style and flow to that of Roc. Another dope track.

5) I.D.K - Roc Marciano comes through with another self-produced soul sample instrumental, this time with a little more energy than the previous few songs. As expected, Roc sounds really good over the beat and kicks some more of his usual braggadocio and boastful rhymes. So far all of the songs have been pretty dope, but they are already starting to blend together for me a little. Hopefully we get a track that breaks the mold soon.

6) Take Me Over - Well the tempo is still the same, but the prominent vocal sample, guitars and pianos on this song set it apart from some of the others so far. The beat, by Evidence of Dilated Peoples, is banging and has got my head nodding a bit despite the lack of any real drums to drive the song. Roc glides effortlessly over the beat and has me hoping that him and Ev collaborate more in the future. This is one of my favorite tracks on the mixtape so far. That beat is nuts.

7) Higher Learning - Roc Marciano returns to the production duties on this song and delivers another guitar-based instrumental that is a bit darker than the beat on the previous track. The instrumental is real mellow and suits Roc's laid-back flow nicely. It's not the best song on here, but it's still pretty dope.

8) Sincerely Antique (featuring Action Bronson and Willie The Kid) - Alchemist shows up for the first of his two contributions to the mixtape and delivers a laid-back, soulful vocal sample instrumental that sounds like it came straight from a 50's song. The beat is banging and all three emcees rip it, showing amazing chemistry together on the mic. I'm really diggin' this little circle of emcees that Alchemist has built up around himself in the past few years. Anyways, this shit is fire and is one of my favorite songs on here.

9) Ice Cream Man - Roc Marciano kicks some drug raps over another dreary, self-produced guitar loop. The beat is really desolate and sparse, but it's quite ill. I'm not really feelin' his singing on the chorus, but the rest of the song is dope lyrically. Nice.

10) Skit - Self-explanatory.

11) Ten Toes Down (featuring Knowledge The Pirate) - Alchemist returns with a funky guitar loop with some light chimes and sparse drums. So far the mixtape has been very consistent in style and content, but that consistency is definitely starting to make the mixtape feel like one long track. With that being said, everything on here is pretty dope as individual tracks if you are a fan of mellow beats and laid-back flows. Eh, not bad.

12) Velvet Cape (featuring Action Bronson and Meyhem Lauren) - This song has a slightly darker self-produced instrumental with foreboding strings and soft piano keys that actually sounds unique on the mixtape. The drums are still minimalistic, but the feel of the song is different than many of the others. Lyrically all three emcees rip it, as should be expected, and make this song into another one of my favorite tracks on the mixtape. Very dope.

13) Shower Posse (featuring Knowledge The Pirate) - The beat on this track, courtesy of Arch Druids, has a dope ass horn sample and rolling drums that should get your head nodding a bit. For the vocals, Roc teams back up with Knowledge The Pirate as both emcees kick some violent street stories to compliment the militant feel of the instrumental. Nice.

14) German V’s - The self-produced beat on this track is full of somber violins, upbeat drums and deep bass as Roc kicks some more street stories about that pimp shit. The beat is nice and Roc sounds good over it. Not bad, but not the best on here.

15) Bruh Man - This song is listed as being produced by Lord Finesse, but I don't think it was produced recently since it seems to be a straight jack from the intro to O.C.'s "Jewelz", off of O.C.'s album of the same name. The liner notes for that album mention DJ Premier as producing the intro while Lord Finesse produced the actual track so I'm not quite sure. Either way, this shit is dope since I've always wanted to hear someone rap over that beat ever since O.C. just used it as an intro. Fire.

16) Ruff Town (featuring Cormega) - The final song on the mixtape is actually a track that was released a few months back and its quite good. The self-produced beat is full of jazzy horns and boom-bap drums that give a smooth, yet rugged feel. Lyrically both emcees are on point, with Roc coming with the best verse in my opinion. Cormega's lyrics are dope, but he seems to fall a tad behind the beat in some spots. Regardless, this is ill and is a good way to close out the mixtape.



I'm going to rate the mixtape

3.75 / 5

because its very good, but a few things hold it back from being great. The beats are pretty ill throughout and have a consistent theme and feel despite Roc Marciano sharing production duties with a handful of other producers. Lyrically the mixtape is pretty strong as well, with Roc and all of the guests keeping with the street/pimp/hustler theme of the mixtape on every track. The thing that really holds the tape back from being classic is the overall lack of energy and the fact that many of the tracks are similar sonically. Roc Marciano rarely changes up his flow and a handful of the beats lack any kind of impetus or drive. I know this is Roc Marciano's style, and I definitely appreciate it, but I can see how some people may consider the mixtape a tad boring. Despite that crticism, I actually really enjoyed the mixtape and am definitely looking forward to Roc's upcoming "Marci Beaucoup" album. Head on over to DatPiff.com to download the mixtape for free.

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