April 28, 2009

M.O.P. - Handle Ur Bizness (EP) (January 20, 1998)

Prior to the inevitable burning myself out that will happen after the May stunt blogging effort, I've decided to be easy on myself and review an EP release from M.O.P. Handle Ur Bizness was released in 1998 as a placeholder for fans who were chomping at the bit for another full-length from the Mash Out Posse, and is typically classified as a "maxi-single" in their catalog, which basically means that nobody acknowledges this as an actual album. But the fucking thing has an intro and skits, folks: if that doesn't qualify Handle Ur Bizness as an album, then I don't know what will.

I'm keeping this intro short so that I can rest up before May starts. So start telling your friends now, and start hitting up the comments section as frequently as you can, as the level of reader involvement will dictate whether I'm up for doing something like this again.

Enjoy this taste. I'm going to take a nap now.

After a goofy intro involving the hijacking of a certain "hot" radio station in New York (in an attempt to force more "hardcore" music onto the airwaves), Billy Danze and Lil' Fame appear on the scene rhyming to a boring Laze E Laze beat. The two men sound alright, but once the narrative shifts back to the radio station, the track becomes both confusing (M.O.P. seem to be indirectly dissing Puff Daddy, and yet they would go on to work with the man later) and inappropriate, given current historical context (what happens next is referred to as "worse than the World Trade Center bombing", a reference that wouldn't come close to making it onto an album produced today).

The idea of M.O.P. performing a live show alongside actual musicians is pretty amusing, but ultimately, this is just an interlude.

The vocals sound pretty good; you could probably work out to this shit, since both guys sound as amped as they would, had they been both drinking green tea all day. The Laze E Laze beat, though, is entirely miscast, diverting attention for all of the wrong reasons, making the track a misfire.

Starts off alright, but is taken to the next level by Lil' Fame's hyper-aggressive second verse, making this one of the most underrated entries in the Mash Out Posse canon. Nice!

A spoken word interlude on an M.O.P. album? What the hell? At least the Mash Out Posse utilize the constructs of this form of "entertainment" to thank their fans, so I'll let it slide.

The beat may have sounded better for a pair of artists that elect not to strain their vocal chords when reciting anything, up to and including grocery lists, the "b" section of the yellow pages, and rap lyrics. The contrast is distracting (as it is every time M.O.P. chooses to do this), which is unfortunate, as both Billy Danze and Lil' Fame both sound alright, save for the weak hook.

Not a cover of the Gza/Genius classic, although writing that last statement now makes me wonder what M.O.P. would sound like over some harder Rza production. Anyway, the concept of a "cold world" (along with its philosophical companion, "dress warm") has been a part of hip hop for quite a while, and although neither rapper brings anything new to the table, what they do contribute is still commendable. The beat is incredibly annoying, though.

DJ Premier takes M.O.P.'s lyrics and attempts to provide a better backdrop, but falters uncharacteristically, thanks to the use of what is probably one of the most unconventional Primo beats in recent memory. The remix itself is alright but unsatisfactory, since it's not as if either rapper re-recorded their vocals.

FINAL THOUGHTS: M.O.P.'s Handle Ur Bizness EP was intended to be a teaser trailer of sorts for their next full-length project, First Family 4 Life, but except for one really good song and some surprisingly well-executed skits, the duo may have been better off fast-forwarding to the feature presentation. I realize I'm probably the only guy in the world that will trash "Handle Ur Bizness" (both the original and, especially, Primo's remix), but it just wasn't a very good song, regardless of how animated the respective deliveries of Lil' Fame and Billy Danze are, so of course, in my mind I'm questioning the logic of building an EP around inferior tracks.

BUY OR BURN? There is truly no need to buy this EP. Hardcore M.O.P. fanatics will already have these songs in some form, but for the newbies, this is not the ground floor. This is more like Mash Out Posse 201, and there are prerequisites you need to fulfill first.

BEST TRACKS: "Way Of The World"


Other M.O.P. stuff can be found by clicking here.


  1. Dude ur thinking about quiting the blog?, or are u just taking a rest from it.

    Check out Novablast.blogspot.com cool hiphop site!!

  2. Any advice on a slightly more accessible MOP album to get started with? I realize they're an acquired taste and I've tried to find some stuff I like, but really the only song of theirs I like is Ante Up...everything else seems too slow paced to go with their crazyass shouting

  3. @ refuse to come wack, listen to onyx instead since mop sucks

  4. there isn't an accessible album by M.O.P., ante up was their most commercial driven song which is pretty amazing since its about robbing people, M.O.P. probably ain't for you, and the anonymous dude and onyx can both suck a fat dick, at least M.O.P. are known for being wild in life like their lyrics while all onyx is known for is sticky fingers getting the shit beat out of him by some skinny rocker on mtv

  5. Start out with 'Firing Squad'

    That should propel you from there. If not, M.O.P. isn't for everyone.

    But don't get it twisted, M.O.P. is as real as it gets.

    And at this point they have been in the game 16+ years.