Hassaan Mackey, Daily Bread

Christina Lee

By Christina Lee

on 09.15.11 in Reviews
Engrossing and unnerving

Daily Bread could be best described as a conversation between fast friends, revisiting the hunger of their mic-battling days. Producer Apollo Brown’s gleeful boom-bap beats swing like a pendulum as Hassaan Mackey delivers toothy fighting words: “Speak my name and get torn to pieces/ nailed to death, then hung from your features.” But their DJ Premier and Common-inspired euphoria never lasts. As in “Something” and “The Trenches,” Brown reduces his record-store finds (Among them Barbra Streisand’s “Just a Little Lovin’” and Roberta Flack’s “Do What You Gotta Do”) to mere hiccups of sound, creating a tiny soapbox for Mackey as he calmly counts his losses: a father who left, a mother who died and, as he reveals in his own “Lament,” a sister who was shot while she was still a teenager. As engrossing and unnerving as the first season of The Wire, Daily Bread is a conversation in which both parties realize they have nothing left to lose.