Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter Breaks by Bop Alloy

     Months ago Bop Alloy (Substantial and Marcus D) conducted a Kickstarter campaign with the intent to raise $7000 to help fund their album Another Day In The Life Of... Well, the fundraiser was extremely successful, as they more than doubled the initial goal, which brings us to the duo's newest album, Winter Breaks. As the donations were pouring in, BA made a few stretch goals, and one of one of these promised a holiday album if that specific stretch goal was met. It should be clear that they did indeed meet that stretch goal, and below is the review to the album that followed.

     Those familiar with Bop Alloy know exactly how dope they are, and those who aren't, need to reevaluate their lives. Bop Alloy is comprised of legendary emcee Substantial, and extremely talented, yet underrated, producer Marcus D. Together, they're an unstoppable duo that has yet to release a song less than above average. They are consistent and fun, and to sum it up, they just make great music, and Winter Breaks is no different.

     Substantial is one of the best rhymers around, and he displays his lyrical range on this project, as he keeps his subject matter thematically cohesive and rarely sways off topic. Most rappers can't even make a single song with a theme other than weed, and Substantial just dropped an EP about the holiday season. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair, but I'll save that rant for another day.

      While the lyrics were solid throughout the duration of the project, some of his best content on Winter Breaks is on the track "Resolutions Per Minute" because there's a point in the song where Stan literally just lists off the cliche' new year's resolutions, and his delivery on this specific verse is just so flawless, that it just may blow some listeners minds. He just floats over the beat the way Miles Davis did with his trumpet. His flow is so clean and pure that it often goes unnoticed simply because he's made such a habit of delivering all of his verses with a crispness that can hardly be described. The guy kills it every time, and even on a short holiday EP, he shows why he's among the best emcees around.

     The thing that makes Bop Alloy so great, is the fact that they have the beats and the lyrics covered by two of the best in the industry. Yes Stan is great, but Marcus D is an all-around beast, and Winter Breaks made me love his sound ten times more than I did before. Marcus has his style and he stays consistent with it, however, his sound includes such a vast (and seemingly limitless) collection of styles, that his sound is ever evolving all while staying consistent. 

      The only question I had going into the album was, "how does one make hip-hop sound like winter?" The answer is simple, let Marcus D handle it. He just used such a soft and subtle elegance within his beats, that you could hear winter, if that makes any sense at all. No the beats weren't infused with the overplayed Christmas jingles I may have secretly been hoping for, but he added all the necessary parts to send this album's sound over the top. Marcus D's production really stole the show on Winter Breaks, and that's not a knock on Stan, just that these beats were pretty freaking awesome.

     Bop Alloy just has this "it" factor that makes listening to their music so enjoyable. They've got songs for every occasion, and now they have a holiday album, so yes, they literally do have a song for every occasion. My only gripe is that the EP wasn't six tracks longer, because it was simply a fun listening experience, from start to finish. Great work Bop Alloy, can't wait for that Valentine's Day EP!

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