M.O.P., Mash Out Posse

Jon Caramanica

By Jon Caramanica

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
This rap duo always rocked; here, they make it explicit.

Known primarily for being the Brooklyn bruisers of hip-hop, M.O.P. have always embodied — knowingly or not — the rock spirit that contemporary hip-hop often attempts to elide with flash and bravado. M.O.P. howl and sweat, stomp and menace: yeoman's work. On their biggest hit, 2000's "Cold As Ice," they sampled Foreigner, a limp move up against the thrashing rock re-workings of their own classics they helm on Mash Out Posse. New York rockers Shiner Massive are a formidable match for Lil Fame and Billy Danze, not cowed a bit in the face of the MCs 'penchant for manic exclamations. From the post-Sabbath on "Conquerors" to the rock steady of "Stress Y'all," it's the rappers who seem like they're holding back a bit, maybe. On "Calm Down" and "Ground Zero," MCs and band are equals, and "Hilltop Flavor" versions off of the Beastie Boys '"No Sleep Til Brooklyn," the best howling hip-hop anthem — until now — not recorded by M.O.P.