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Monday, May 25 2009 | 12:32 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

4927Rapper Torae & super-producer Marco Polo have joined forces to release the New York rap album that fans of raw, hardcore hip hop have been waiting for. When it comes to beats and rhymes, Canadian producer Marco Polo and Brooklyn MC Torae don’t play, just check the résumé. On his 2007 critically acclaimed album “Port Authority”, Polo recruited a who’s who of MCs like Kool G Rap and Kardinal Offishall to ride over his hard-hitting instrumentals. Torae, on the other hand, has certified his rep as one of the game’s illest lyricists in a similar fashion, with remarkable wordplay on his highly touted 2008 street album “Daily Conversation”. So, in the spirit of great hip hop duos, the producer and the MC signed with Duck Down Records to release their collaborative album “Double Barrel” in June 2009.

“He’s bringing the hardest production that he can bring, I’m bringing the hardest rhymes I can bring; together its like a double barrel blast”, says Torae of the album’s persistent theme.

The two first hooked up when Marco tapped the MC to guest on his Mick Boogie-helmed mixtape, “The New Port Authority” in 2007. In turn, Marco went on to produce “Casualty” on Torae’s “Daily Conversation”.

“I think we just had a connection in the studio”, says Polo, “we wanted to make an album that we wanted to hear, with banging beats and aggressive rhymes.”

Sonically “Double Barrel” pays homage to New York’s mid-’90’s rap scene, when artists like Gang Starr and The Wu-Tang Clan reigned supreme. The album’s lead track “Party Crashers” is a definite standout, harking back to that era with its chest-thumping percussion and rock-solid rhymes. So rather than trying to fit in with hip hop’s pop set, Torae & Marco chose the unconventional route.

“I think the sound of the album is not the most popular or trendy, but we’re going to crash the party”, says Torae, “we’re coming in with this sound and we’re coming in doing what we want to do.”

Songs like the dramatic “But Wait” and the free associative “Word Play” display Torae’s forward-thinking conceptual abilities, while the rock-infused “Danger” stands as one of Marco’s finest productions to date. Overall the album is chock-full of the street-influenced rap that fans have come to expect from the two hip hop upstarts. Torae sums up the collaboration perfectly when he spits: “He makes violent beats, I’m from the violent streets / That “Double Barrel” sound, that’s where violence meets.”

Torae & Marco Polo will also be hitting off the vinyl heads with both a 12″ and LP of the album; the 12″ line-up will include “Double Barrel”, “Hold Up” feat. Sean Price & Masta Ace, and “Combat Drills” (an exclusive cut not found on the “Double Barrel” CD).

Features include Lil Fame of M.O.P., Rock of Heltah Skeltah, DJ Premier, Sean Price, Guilty Simpson, Masta Ace, Saukrates, S-Roc, and cuts by DJ Revolution!


01. Intro feat. DJ Premier
02. Double Barrel
03. Smoke feat. Lil Fame of M.O.P.
04. Party Crashers
05. But Wait
06. Lifetime feat. DJ Revolution
07. Rah Rah Sh*t
08. Danger
09. Stomp feat. Guilty Simpson
10. Word Play
11. Hold Up feat. Masta Ace & Sean Price
12. Coney Island
13. Get It

The album Marco Polo & ToraeDouble Barrel” (Duck Down) is going to be released May 29, 2009.

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