Album Review: M-Dot – egO anD The eneMy (2017)
Album: egO anD The eneMy
- Days Are All The Same
- Nomads (ft. Krumbsnatcha)
- The Empathy
- Gleamin’ (ft. B.A.M.)
- Give It To Me
- Fugazzi (ft. Jaysaun)
- No Excuses
- Shine (ft. Method Man and Dominique Larue)
- Meow Mix
- True Lies (ft. Camp Lo and Tribeca)
- Death To Raquel
It is no secret around these parts that M-Dot is a much respected name. We feature nearly all of his music. But it’s also been a minute since he has released an album and in the end it’s time to take account, because creating an album is a much different endeavor than dropping singles or mixtapes. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
But in the end, M-Dot, met and exceeded expectations with egO anD The eneMy. The album remains potent from track one to track seventeen. There is no “fluff”. There are no trivial skits. There are no weaknesses to be found in the music.
It wouldn’t be fair to the album’s greatness if I wasn’t to mention the slew of great producers it contains, such as Marco Polo, Khrysis, Large Professor , Buckwild and Hi-Tek. That’s some pretty heavy hitters on the boards. But that’s what M-Dot needs. His lyricism is in the upper echelons and that needed to be matched in kind with some superior production.
The song that typifies this concept of ‘greatness-inspiring-greatness’ is the Hi Tek collaboration, Days Are All The Same. The sonic textures that Tek uses in his production are gorgeous. The synth, the drums, and the vocal samples create the perfect layers for M-Dot to spit three sixteens of relevant material into your eardrums. This first sixteen really spoke to me, not just on the skill level, but on how he tackles consumerism and image.
You a number, you a slave in this rat race / Say you got it rough and you’re in a bad place / Had to have those Nikes though with the fat lace / Corporate America eating off your fat face / It’s repeated from sun up to sun down / They got you on against the wheel, go and run now / Consume! Consume! Go and get the gun now / License to carry, barrel holds one round / It’s sad and sickening, they tell you what to get / GNC commercial say your belly needs to rip / You ain’t up to date your celly six / And there’s not enough likes on selfies and your pics / Nothing’s good enough you need to have your gear ill / they chuckle, they laugh, they point and they stare still / Your depressed and the pills help the stress / Never the less it builds in your flesh.
The Empathy is another track that stands out in an album, chocked full of them. The venerable, Large Professor blesses M-Dot with some serious illness. The snare snaps while while an acoustic guitar rift rambles through the rhythm. It is that very same rhythm and music that drives M-Dot to pursue his career and music and cope with the sacrifices that entails. It’s the relationships that can break under the stress of pursuing your dreams, and the emcee is clearly familiar with that aspect as you can clearly hear on the cut.
Another example of an exemplary element of M-Dot’s repertoire is the track Reliant produced by Whatson. And while Watson may be a lesser known quantity than some of the other more celebrated producers, his track is no less potent. Here the song’s title can also be used synonymously with dependency. M-Dot deftly narrates the feelings of being dependent on alcohol and the effects it has on one’s life. It’s a great articulation of often a difficult subject that many are all to familiar with.
There is a fluidity in rhyme M-Dot clearly has that surpasses almost all others. No matter the pace, delivery, or context he connects words and thoughts seamlessly. It is among his most impressive of gifts. I notice it in every song, and on egO anD The eneMy, he creates a masterpiece with that very element. This album has all the trappings of being that word that hip hop heads hate to utter out of pure deference for the Golden Era. Time will be the true testament, but I think we may have struck classic material here.