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MED: Push Comes to Shove

MED: Push Comes to Shove

Label:Stones Throw
Release Date:2005
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Makkada B. Selah | Posted 6/8/2005

Not even 10 years ago the MC reigned supreme, but today we live in the age of the hip-hop producer. It takes a very unusual MC to stand out from the sound, as MED’s Push Comes to Shove demonstrates. If you like Madlib’s intellectual, jazz-infused production, buy and bang this CD. Otherwise, use it as a drink coaster.

One problem is that too often Madlib doesn’t tailor his production to fit MED. Tracks such as “Hold Your Breath,” “The Offering Interlude,” “Mary J Interlude,” and “Yeah” contain samples lifted and rehashed from Quasimoto’ s recent The Further Adventures of Lord Quas. It’s like turning in the same term paper for two different classes.

The highlights are four tracks (out of 18) Madlib didn’t produce, with Oh No, Just Blaze, and J. Dilla providing the harder-edged dance-floor extras. “Push,” (J. Dilla), with its “Black Girl Lost” moral, offers a glimpse of MED’s storytelling skills. And with that cut, Oh No’s “What U in It For,” and Just Blaze’s “Get Back,” MED doesn’t have to compete with Madlib’s heavy-handed melodies, chatty psychedelic codas, and sound-bite tangents. The boom-bip minimalist, bass-heavy outsourced tracks allow MED to stand out more in an average, Joe Budden way.

But even Budden has a catchy cadence. It’s difficult to get a good feel for MED’s personality or style. Neither original nor remarkable, he’s mediocre at best, and sounds uptight. Guest MC Diamond D’s right-on timing outshines MED on “Pressure.”

Even his new name is bland. He used to be Medaphoar. While it’s a cliché, it had flair. And as the name now indicates, MED as an MC is only halfway there.

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