The M-Pire Strikez Back, O.G.C., 1999
Hip hop is going back to the 90's more lately and I like it. In my post about Heltah Skeltah, I promised to keep people up to date on the great albums that just came out and the great albums from the 90's. Nocturnal was the first step and this is another album from Duckdown Records that is worth your time.
Where do I start with this album? The M-Pire Strikez Back is a classic O.G.C./Duckdown album that dropped in 1999. After Da Storm introduced the world to the lyrical skills of O.G.C., they followed up with this solid sophomore album. Each member has their own style. Starang Wondah (Big Will, Big MF Will, Hurricane Starang, Da Beast From Da East) is a clown and his always cracking jokes, acting crazy, providing ad-libs into songs and showing his skills with the Brooklyn bravado that is a common characteristic in the borough. Louville Sluggah (Louie, Henny, Hennyville Guzzla) has always sported his "duke, I'm a smack 'em with a bat, so my hands don't sting" attitude, with the short guy that can hold his own confidence. Top Dawg (Big Kahuna, Top D-O) has a knowledge is power, dread-lock image, balanced with the raw battle style that O.G.C. (Originoo Gunn Clapaz) is known for. Taken from the Duckdown.com website, Louiville describes O.G.C. in his own words:
O.G.C. is one of the original groups from Duckdown since the 90's and they released two projects as O.G.C. and they add vocals to the Bootcamp Clik albums too. They teamed up with Heltah Skeltah (Rock and Ruck/Sean Price) to make the Fab 5 and I had always wanted to see that project become a reality. I am not sure what happened with that, but O.G.C. has been MIA for some time now. Since 2005, I haven't heard anything come from O.G.C., but I have heard albums come from the other founding acts/groups from Duckdown (Black Moon, Buckshot (solo), Sean Price, Heltah Skeltah, Smif N Wessun, etc.). I really had no idea what happened to them until Duckdown posted something on Facebook about Dru Ha visiting Starang Wondah in jail. Here's a link to see the story.
Regardless of the legal problems that Starang had in the recent past, The M-Pire Srikez Back is a great album. So many artists/groups don't come as strong as they did in their first album and even fewer step their game up. O.G.C. stepped it up on this album and it is worth it to mix the album in your rotation.
O.G.C.'s style is tough to isolate to a couple words because each group member brings their strengths to form a cohesive group. As a group, they fit best into the Duckdown/BootCamp mentality where they keep their family close, build with them and protect them. On The M-Pire Strikez Back, they stayed away from the natural disaster theme or, or a theme in general to show their raw skills. They show their lyrical versatility over tracks by several producers. Similar to Da Storm, where Big Tigger from Rap City introduced a track, they had Joe Clair (formerly from BET's Rap City) on an interlude talking some ish! Besides that, the only thing that is similar to Da Storm is that O.G.C. kept the group together.
Musically, The M-Pire Strikez Back represents Brooklyn by mixing some Caribbean drums into their hip hop beats. It represents Brooklyn because there is such a large Caribbean population there (Haitians, Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans, Trinis, etc). Top Dog's style plays off it well and connects those dots. The whole album doesn't sound like reggae though. It is without a doubt a hip hop album that has influences from the Caribbean.
Lyrically, O.G.C. masters the art of the tag-team game. Starang Wondah plays tag team with himself and Louville and Top Dog. I say that because he throws one rhyme out and then he comes back with a response the way an mc would in tag team, but its the lyrical style that Starang has mastered. Beyond the three mc's lyrical differences, each mc has a unique quality to their voice. It makes them easily identifiable, but it offers a change in pace and approach which keeps each song fresh until it ends.
Shoot To Kill, M-Pire Strikes Back, Sometimey, Shit Happens, Bounce To The Ounce, If You Feel Like I Feel, Slo Mo, You're Not Sure To See Tomorrow, Suspect Niggaz (featuring Buckshot and Havoc), Dirtiest Players In The Game (featuring The Fab 5), Set Sail and Boot Camp MFC Eastern Conference.
Featured Track-set Sail
[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/boywithstick/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/16-Set-Sail.mp3|titles=16 Set Sail_OGC_The M-Pire Strikez Back]