Fight Music: The Best Of M.O.P. (Mixtape)

Artist: DJ Eleven & Spitkicker Present…Title: Fight Music: The Best Of M.O.P. (Mixtape)Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Jamin Warren

Ever listen to M.O.P. for 50 minutes straight? It makes your blood boil. After one spin, DJ Eleven’s Fight Music: The Best of M.O.P., you’re ready to start robbing old ladies and pushing infants down the stairs. Brooklyn’s DJ Eleven has done the world a favor, braving over a decade’s worth of Brownsville madness and condensing the unbridled rage of Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame into a 32-track mixtape anthology.

Eleven leaves no stone unturned. Of course, the classics are here. From the swinging horns on M.O.P.’s first single “How About Some Hardcore” to the re-flipped Foreigner sample on “Cold as Ice,” Danze and Fame’s verbal assaults and threats of stomp outs still give you goosebumps. The transition from the flittering keys and M.O.P.’s speed-rap to the guitar-stomping outro on “Live From Ground Zeo” is the quintessential Mash Out track. Pulsing and furious, only a remix of Jay-Z’s “U Don’t Know” can match its intensity. Just Blaze’s screaming sample never sounded so amazing with Danze and Fame spitting daggers as Eleven deftly slides Blaze’s “P.S.A.” instrumental at the tail end of the remix.

But every retrospective has a black hole. (Rawkus, for example, omitted Pharoahe Monch’s “Simon Says” from their ten-year anthology released last winter.) In this case, Eleven unwisely tinkers with a classic. DR Period’s enormous, bellowing horns on M.O.P.’s swan song “Ante Up” are legendary, transforming M.O.P. into Hip-Hop’s resident angry upperclassmen and bringing their noise to the public square in an enormous way. Eleven curiously abandons Period’s work for a calmer drum and guitar funk loop on his own remix. The contrasting touch is unique, but Eleven’s refreak just can’t touch the original.

One creative mistake withstanding, Fight Music is an amazing primer for M.O.P. beginners and a comprehensive flashback for old-timers. Not to mention, the hilarious remake of Sade’s “By Your Side” is priceless. Fight Music makes you wonder why majors don’t jump on the “Best of…” bandwagon and collect their loot already.

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