Thursday, July 31, 2014

JustPlayWitIt by MarQ Spekt & Blockhead

     Philly meets New York in the collaborative effort from emcee MarQ Spekt and producer Blockhead titled JustPlayWitIt. If album covers are any indication on what the overall sound of a project may be, then good luck judging this book by it's cover because the eccentric and peculiar cover art on JustPlayWitIt will mesmerize all who stumble upon this diamond in the rough.

     Yes, a diamond in the rough, that is the best ways to sum up this album. That being said, the aggressive lyrics and hard-hitting beats will turn-off, as well as attract many listeners. For those not familiar with rhymesmith MarQ Spekt, just know that he has an uncanny wordplay and one of the best in-your-face-flows around.  

     Spekt has a 90's sound equipped with current lyrics and that really separates him from other rappers. On this project in particular, listeners will notice his versatility, yet consistency from track to track. Throughout  many of the tracks on JustPlayWitIt, Spekt has a gritty energy to his verses that is in almost perfect unison with the beat. At times, it seems that the beat was molded around his voice, and who knows, maybe it was? No matter, Spekt is a lyrical conundrum from his style, tone, and energy down to his lyrics, flow and message. As stated previously, his unique sound will really attract a lot of listeners, but by the same token, it may turn off a lot of ears simply because it isn't a familiar sound. Spekt definitely sounds as if he may be in the wrong era of hip-hop, but either way you look at it, he's still hip-hop.

     Let's talk ones and twos shall we? Blockhead is the man behind the boards on JustPlayWitIt, and his sound isn't much more common than that of his partner's. Blockhead, first of all, has one of the funniest names in the industry, hands down. His beats, however, are no laughing matter. His sound is a fusion of a hard boom-bap backbone, with an array of styles piled on top. One track that really blew my mind was "Sapphires" because of the complexity incorporated in the beat. At one point during the track, the background sounds stop, the main drum is still going, and out of nowhere this piano kicks in and the transition is as smooth as ever. My analyzing doesn't quite do this beat justice by any means, so everyone will just have to listen and hear what I'm talking about.

     Also like MarQ Spekt, Blockhead just doesn't sound like anything from this era, but at the same time, it's almost as if he couldn't sound like anything BUT this era. The entire album is ind boggling, and trying to classify it is nearly impossible. Just know one thing, this album is really good.

     Sure the aggression may not be for everyone, but the head-bobbing factor is present on every track on JustPlayWitIt. The flow from Spekt is so perfect for the beats, and this really is one of the most difficult albums to classify and explain. The only thing I can really say, is that everyone will have to listen to it for themselves, and that's as honest as it gets. Check out JustPlayWitIt and comment what you think!


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