Triple Crown

Artist: Mountain BrothersTitle: Triple CrownRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Francis X Shea

It seems in recent times it has been difficult for hip-hop heads to unite. As fans, we are always asked to choose sides in the civil wars which eat away at our culture like a infection. 50 or Ja? Shady or Benzino? Life of a music lover shouldn’t be so difficult but it’s just gotten a bit easier with the Asian-American trio from Philly: Styles, Peril-L and Chops; collectively known as “The Mountain Brothers", providing a short-term remedy.

The medicine takes shape in the Mountain Brothers sophomore album Triple Crown, the follow-up to their debut Self-Volume I. The album should unite all true lovers of hip-hop as the Illadelph trio exceptionally lays down the basic elements of the culture in the form of solidly constructed lyrics over high-quality beats.

Chops’ beats and production are far closer to those of the hip-hop elite than are the lyrical capabilities of Peril-L and Styles, the lead vocalists of the trio, as the production often times overshadows the lyrics. However, Peril-L and Styles do hold their own, both have capable flows that are only in need of some more seasoning. Fewer battle rhymes and more story-telling would be a good foundation on which to begin.

With that said there are plenty of flashes of vocal brilliance on Triple Crown, particularly on the track “Microphone Phenomenal.” Their most well rounded cut is the single “Hostile Takeover.” The production is solid as are the lyrics, which provides the listener with a thirst for more well balanced tracks from this young triumvirate.

Triple Crown brings us back to the days when hip-hop was fun the and beef was kept in butcher shops and on wax were it belongs. Some may find it troubling that a crew with such obvious talent find it necessary to pepper their album with battle rhymes, particularly when the average “radio-listening-BET/MTV watching” fan has little to no idea who they are. So who in fact are they battlin’ and/or dissin’?

Well to this I have to answer that to fight your way out of the underground takes not only talent but also attitude, as previously stated I’d love to hear Peril-L and Styles Infinite take it to that next level and provide more of a beginning, middle and end to their tracks, however rest-assured you will not have to rock a backpack to enjoy this album.