Roc C & IMAKEMADBEATS - The Transcontinental
Roc 'C' fans were anticipating his next release, but without the Stones Throw sound, can an emcee with a lukewarm-received debut, All Questions Answered, elevate his profile on the second go-round?
Roc 'C' and IMAKEMADBEATS have joined forces to create The Transcontinental. With up and comer IMAKEMADBEATS manning the boards for the entire project, the Oxnard, California heads in a new direction from his previous work with Oh No, J Dilla and Lootpack's DJ Romes. Roc 'C' fans were anticipating his next release, but without the Stones Throw sound, can an emcee with a lukewarm-received debut, All Questions Answered, elevate his profile on the second go-round?
Those worried about the instrumentation of the album need not fret. From the album's first track, IMAKEMADBEATS makes sure to live up to his name. His samples are often smooth and mellow, bringing to light a ("Introduction," "Still Here"). The young producer's versatility allows his drums to hit with a sharp bang to get more of a sinister sound and feel with "Warriors" and "Whisper Music." A Dilla influence can definitely be heard through a song dedicated to him in "All I'm Asking" and later in "The One U Love." IMAKEMADBEATS' production also shines on the sample-driven melodious hit "Imagine That." Throughout this effort, IMAKEMADBEATS shows why he was chosen to make the beats for the entire project.
Roc 'C's not alone behind the microphone. In fact, he shares mic time with a slew of guests but many steal the show. Rapper Big Pooh [click to read] and Chino XL take the shine on "Warriors" while Rakka Iriscience and Prince Po [click to read] do the same on "Won't Fall." Moreover, Midaz the Beast outshines him on "Blakout." That isn't to say Roc 'C' isn't a talent in his own right, even though is rhymes can improve ("You the lady that brings me joy / You the lady that's the real McCoy"). When he is alone in the booth, such as on "By Any Means," Roc 'C's flow can stand on its own.
Overall, the album sometimes lacks a cohesive chemistry that is crucial when an emcee and a producer link up for an album like this. "Official Smash Mouf" and "Struggle" show that the two can craft great music together, but "Warriors" is an otherwise well done track that is weakened by an off key, out of rhythm hook. "Struggle" is a beat that isn't utilized as well as it could have been with Roc's flows sometimes ignoring the drum pattern that's set. IMAKEMADBEATS and Roc 'C' have their positives and negatives but together, they aren't as powerful as they should be.