OGUN: R.O.P presents B’More Live 2005
Real on Purpose does it again this year and drops another mix-tape CD that’s one of the better, if not the definitive, local showcases. The 34-track album features the likes of Mully Man, Tim Trees, Tha Plague, the on-the-bubble Clayway, and a host of R.O.P veterans, including Ogun and Profound. Skarr Akbar, meanwhile, one of the most slept-on locals, rides an up-tempo track in which he shreds his way through the entire alphabet with cleverly gruesome lines like, “G-God is so graceful he gave me a gift and I’m grateful/ you think I will graze you I’m good wit a Glock I grave you/ F.” And the 15-year-old grown man Ammo uses a dramatic, pounding beat highlighted by cinematic violin strings to spotlight his lyrical ferocity: “Beef? You don’t really wanna do that there/ ya whole team will curl up, like pubic hairs.”
B’More Live’s most rewind-worthy track comes from Backland, the ’round-the-way MC who managed to earn national props with a stint as BET’s 106 and Park freestyle champion before being sidelined by a car accident last summer. He tells off past champions—“I’m better than Posterboy, better than Jin/ and I forgot this chump’s name, but I’m better than him”—and shows off his battle savvy with cutting lines like, “Clown stop, this title is not for sharing/ you ain’t half the man that I am so stop comparing/ I’m a pimp, ya girlfriend let me caress her/ I’m big as the Klumps and she swallowed my Nutty Professor.”
Through the hourlong album, there are more highlights than lulls, and even the dull spots float by easily; none of the tracks is longer than two minutes. Major props to anyone who can get this many locals—popular or unheard, signed or unsigned—to participate in the progression of B’more hip-hop.