Now when it comes down to it, not many artists in the game today have as refined or distinct of a flow as Roc Marciano. After bouncing around on the rap scene for over a decade between Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad, The UN, and pursuing his solo career, Roc finally made his solo splash in 2010, dropping his critically-acclaimed Marcberg project. Marcberg showcased the Long Island emcee’s revival of the simple, dark, and poetically grimy sound that once brought so much notoriety to classic New York albums like Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx, Nas’ It was Written, and Mobb Deep’s The Infamous. If you haven’t already copped Marcberg, you can listen to it here and buy it here. Also in 2011, he dropped another well-received tape with Oh No and Alchemist called Greneburg that deserves a listen.
Two years later and freshly signed to a new record label, Marciano is gearing up to release a work I find myself more and more excited for each day: Reloaded. Although I was a fan of Marcberg, the releases I have heard so far off of Reloaded serve as testament to just how much Roc’s flow and sound have developed over the past two years. His flow, which at times on Marcberg appeared gassed and frantic, now has been refined into a controlled, while sporadic rhythm that fits perfectly under his gritty tone and Long Island accent. His rhyme style has become more polished and distinct than ever:
I got, Lamborghini dreams, Nissan nightmares,
Movin white, my ice cool as the night air,
Two fives flare, glare through your Cartier eyewear
And knock ya newborn out of the high chair
Perhaps it’s in the timely pauses that he has become so fond of using as of late, or the pointedly sharp rhyme placements that he injects throughout each bar, but I don’t think Roc Marciano has ever sounded more at home on a loop. His conscious streams of spoken word rhyming, interjected with that 5-Percenter New York slang give his flow a semblance of a young Raekwon on Only Built for Cuban Linx. I think it is safe to say that Roc Marciano has progressed tremendously since his last (already critically acclaimed) release. At least from what I’ve heard, Reloaded will prove to be his best release yet.
In Roc’s recent releases he just threw this out this jewel called “I Shot the King.” I’m not sure what this will end up, – maybe on Reloaded, but who knows – but I think it showcases Roc’s masterful ability to put simple rhymes into complex poetry patterns. I’m posting Soundcloud/Youtube links to the recent singles, “76,” and “Emeralds” that have been leaked off of the album, but November 12th is the release date, and Roc Marciano has my vote for the sleeper pick of the year.