- “The Empathy”
- “No Excuses”
- “Shine” feat. Method Man & Dominique Larue
One of my favorite things about music is the ability to create alternate realities. Hip-hop artists want to make you believe that everything they emulate in their raps they’ve done in their life. Depending on who you talk to, they may believe that everything an artist says is authentic. This is one reason why many parents have used hip-hop as a scapegoat, claiming the music molded their kids into bad people. I chalk that up to bad parenting. Art is open for interpretation but it’s your job as an adult to figure out if it’s purely entertainment or if this was someone’s reality at a certain point in life.
Hip-hop is about painting mental pictures so you get a visual image of what the artist is rhyming. With lyrical hip-hop on a decline due to the climate of the music industry it’s always great to see an artist who embraces the storytelling aspect of the genre. Boston’s M-Dot has been doing this for years and this is why he’s an award winning artist in his city. The veteran MC released his latest album on January 27th titled egO anD The eneMy and it’s rooted in the boom-bap/traditional style of hip-hop.
M-Dot takes us on a lyrical journey through dreams and nightmares throughout the 17 track album. While it does run a bit long for today’s standards the quality and effort he put into every song stands out. He sets out on his magnum opus with the Marco Polo produced “Dreamscape” where he blurs the lines of reality and dreams in front of an electric guitar and drum filled melody. The shift between nightmares and dreams is constant in the album. One minute M-Dot is bragging about being better than you (“Foreign”) then you get the Hi-Tek produced “Days Are All The Same” where it sounds like purgatory. Dot talks the harsh realities of being a slave to corporate America, fulfilling our wants instead of our needs.
“You a number you a slave in this rat race/say you got it rough and you’re in a bad place/had to have those Nike’s though with the fat lace/corporate America eatin’ off your fat face” -”Days Are All The Same”
Things get even more depressing with “Chrissy”, a vivid tale of a girl that M-Dot was intimate with at one point. He uses his lyrics as a brush to convey a woman who sought fame and ended up heading down the wrong path. We learn that Chrissy went from being loved to being a woman that began coping with reality by becoming a sex worker who got hooked on drugs and alcohol. As you can tell, this story doesn’t come with a happy ending. M-Dot showcases some of the best storytelling in hip-hop with this record which goes back to the quality of the project. You can tell that this album is one he’s been dedicated to over the last few years. Each bar has meaning, each beat has a place, and the sequencing strings the roller coaster along at a fast rate.
egO anD The eneMy gives you everything you can hope for from a lyricist. The guest features from Method Man and Camp Lo bring nostalgia while production from Large Professor, Buckwild, Marley Marl, Hi-Tek, Marco Polo, and others help create the dream and nightmare sequences that M-Dot has created. Art is left open for interpretation for many but M-Dot makes it clear what he’s painting with every song on this album. This album is filled with turmoil, grief, depression, while balancing it with happiness, cockiness, and joy. Hip-hop fans will be able to appreciate this album for what it is: a guy dedicating himself to his craft to give us his best work yet.
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