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Splice Today: Mullyman’s Harder Than Baltimore


So yeah, more off-site content…but I was really happy to get to rant about the new Mullyman album somewhere other than this blog anyways, because Harder Than Baltimore really deserves some praise. It might be my rap album of the year–at least the best thing since Starlito’s Renaissance Gangster–and I think I touched on Mully’s weirder qualities, which are pretty much always overlooked.

Also, Harder Than Baltimore really functions as a kind of meta-commentary on the major label rap album–something I don’t mention in the review because I’m tired of rap reviews that just straw-man the industry/scene to big-up one rapper–as it’s basically all over the place, but never compromised. The dance songs are Baltimore Club-informed (and produced by DJ Booman no less), so they aren’t cheap dance tracks, they’re talking to a dance genre that’s as hard as hip-hop.

Both the title track and the last track, “Deal Or No Deal”, do that thing where you steal a really famous rapper’s voice for your hook, but here, they’re almost commentaries on those rappers. If Jay-Z can brag he “go[es] harder than Baltimore” on a song, well Mullyman’s from the city, you know? If Drake, a former child actor with apparent industry connections is going to fucking brag “Everybody got a deal, I did it without one”, well Mully can actually say that–he started Major League Unlimited right when majors were courting him. The song’s a quiet affront to big-shot self-loathing, self-mythologizers like Aubrey. Mostly though, this is just a really brave, fun, and impeccably put-together album.

Mullyman is a hard-assed, occasionally sensitive rhyme obsessive, who shines on street tracks but possesses the rarefied talent to make pop and dance raps that are just as sharp. Like Baltimore’s version of T.I., he’s versatile but consistent, and keeps his content relatively simple—mostly bragging and stories of growing up in Baltimore—while exhibiting a wider and weirder frame of reference than is really necessary…

Written by Brandon

July 6th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

3 Responses to 'Splice Today: Mullyman’s Harder Than Baltimore'

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  1. Man, hadn’t heard of this cat but I checked him out. this sh*t go donkey! (that’s a good thing in the Bay) I think he’s got a winner. And, I feel him on the Drake thing, but that fairytale “Did it on my own without being a child start” bs sells, so I can’t knock him. Mullyman has a good album though and I give him his props.



    7 Jul 10 at 10:40 pm

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