Roc Marciano – “Behold a Dark Horse” (Album Review)

Roc Marciano is a legendary underground MC/producer from Long Island, New York who started out in the very late 90’s as a member of the Flipmode Squad. He then went solo in 2008 & has dropped 5 albums since, with his last one Rosebudd’s Revenge 2: The Bitter Dose being released in February of this year. However, he has decided to drop his 6th full-length album out of nowhere exclusively on his website.

Things start off with “The Horse’s Mouth”, where Roc brags about how dope he is over an eerie beat from Preservation. The next song “Congo” contains some gritty street bars over a Roc instrumental that contains some punchy drums & a guitar while the song “1,000 Deaths” gets confrontational over some strings. The song “Diamond Cutters” with Black Thought sees the 2 spitting battle bars over a middle eastern instrumental while the track “Amethyst” talks about being a threat in the streets over a somber instrumental from Animoss, but the hook halfway through was awkward. The song “Sampson & Delilah” gets back on the battle bar tip over a woodwind heavy instrumental from Doncee despite another wimpy hook while the track “No Love” with Knowledge the Pirate sees the 2 talking about trust over a beautiful soul sample from Roc himself.

The song “Trojan Horse” with Busta Rhymes sees the 2 getting mafioso over an instrumental that reminds of me “Wildflower” off of Ghostface Killah’s classic 1996 solo debut Ironman while the track “Fabio” goes at talentless rappers as well as bragging about himself over an instrumental from The Alchemist that starts off laidback, but then switches into something more eerie halfway through. The song “Secrets” gets romantic over a spacey beat from Roc himself while the penultimate track “Whoolers” returns to the braggadocious tip over a soulful horn-induced beat from Animoss. The album then ends with “Consigliere”, where Roc gets into the lavish life once again as well as challenging his competition over an orchestral instrumental from Q-Tip.

As I expected, Roc didn’t disappoint at all. I don’t care for the parts where he’s singing at all, but the beats & the lyrical content are just as gritty as they’ve always been. If you wanna hear a horribly underrated vet sound rawer than ever before, then give this a listen.

Score: 8/10

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