Boston’s M-Dot Has Early Contender for Album of the Year With egO anD The eneMy
The Boston-based MC releases his incredibly potent debut album
The irony behind the greatness of egO anD The eneMy — the brand-new album from M-Dot — is two-fold: either he’s released one of the albums of the year just three weeks into 2017, or he’s set the bar incredibly high for this year’s best hip-hop albums.
Chances are it’s both.
The seventeen-track album has all the crucial elements of a must-listen:
- conceptual storytelling built on clever wordplay
- a remarkable sonic landscape built by some of hip-hop’s finest producers
- a delivery with undeniable passion
The infectious energy the thirty-three year-old Boston MC brings to each and every track on egO anD The eneMy is undeniable; it fuels the record and envelops every single other element of the project — of which the majority already would have created a strong project regardless of the passion from the MC.
Even more impressive: despite several critically-acclaimed projects and mixtapes, egO anD The eneMy stands as the official debut from M-Dot. It’s difficult to remember the last debut filled with an equal amount of passion, synergy, lyricism and simple urgency in every single word and sound.
A member of the highly-respected EMS Crew, M-Dot brings that urgency to every track on egO anD The eneMy — urgency and confidence. Through mutual respect and years of paid dues, egO anD The eneMy is produced by some of the best to ever make hip-hop music. Furthermore, the strength of the project is built on the lack of features; the MC’s who made the cut deserve their placement and only enhance their already-strong respective tracks.
With incredible top-notch production, limited but worthwhile features and an infectious confidence and energy, egO anD The eneMy instantly sounds nostalgic and cutting-edge. The current state of hip-hop hasn’t heard an album — a debut — this thorough in a long time.
Without hesitation, reservation, consternation or trepidation, egO anD The eneMy belongs in the possession of everyone appreciative of hip-hop, Boston, perseverance, self-belief, music, art, creativity, life, breathing.
Read the review below — complete with videos for every single track off egO anD The eneMy!
01. egO Intro
- Produced by: KAN
egO anD The eneMy opens with a melancholy, jazz-inspired near-instrumental, punctuated by distorted vocals and soulful humming. The somber piano keys announce the calm before a storm of an album, with the vocals indicating the eponymous split-persona.
- Produced by: Marco Polo
“I figured out it’s just me / no one’s there to help you / when you’re hanging from your last string / walls came crashing / last thing you wanna see / is people living normally / wanna load up the armory / blast heads off like it’s Normandy”
Hard-hitting drums from the legendary Marco Polo break the serene “egO Intro” and immediately paints M-Dot a canvas he can destroy. Themes of self-dependence and striving for more will be revisited throughout the rest of the project.
- Produced by: Jon Glass
“I tried to tell ’em / my cerebelum spits lines of venom / enemies: I find and end ’em / energy’s aligned with winning”
Disgusting beat, flipping mid-song and coupled beautifully with another killer set of M-Dot verses — intertwining slick wordplay with confidence and energy.
04. Days Are All The Same
- Produced by: Hi-Tek
“Each day’s a cycle / the pattern that we keep / all that matters is the moment / nothing matters in a week / ’cause we trapped in the maze / nights turn to days”
Booming rapid-fire drums from the Cincinnati, Ohio producer — complete with a Snoop Dogg-sampled chorus — surround M-Dot, who seems incredulous to the shallow and surface-level aspects of modern civilization.
- Produced by: Buckwild
“She makes the needle the prescription / in the fetal position / to feed on ignition / she’s dreaming and wishing / for a better life / anything not quite like this / shuts her eyes / escapes the world when she slice a wrist”
Five tracks into egO anD The eneMy and each builds upon the momentum set by the previous one; “Chrissy” being the first story told within a song. M-Dot calms his urgency down just enough to use one verse as an invitation into the brutal life of the drug-addled, desperate title character. Heavy track with a beautifully-constructed chorus.
06. Nomads f/ Krumb Snatcha
- Produced by: Khrysis
“Boston / that’s the place that we call our home”
The first of few features on the entire album, M-Dot recruits fellow Boston hip-hop royalty Krumb Snatcha to jump on a skittish Khrysis track. A braggadocio cut perfectly closed out with expert scratching and Boston-themed samples.
07. The Empathy
- Produced by: Large Professor
“Still though, it’s not enough / and the dough ain’t stacking up / family, friends laugh it up / saying, ‘stick to packing trucks’ / like I used to do / back when I was a roofer, too”
One of the strongest cuts on egO anD The eneMy, M-Dot glides over another hard-hitting track — this time from the master Large Pro — and speaks on struggling to maintain relationships while trying to balance his desire for success with family and friends. Incredible energy and passion throughout this one.
08. Gleamin’ f/ B.A.M.
- Produced / Cuts by: Marley Marl
“Notice I’m a potent poet / flows across the ocean / toe-to-toe with bosses / coping / that I’m winning / lost and broken”
Legendary hip-hop vet Marley Marl provides a smoothed-out mid-album cut for M-Dot and B.A.M. Halfway through the album and it becomes abundantly clear how strong of a debut this is for M-Dot.
09. Give It To Me
- Produced by Jon Glass
“Jon Glass / M-Dot / we got another one”
Another absolute banger from album production standout Jon Glass, “Give It To Me” features M-Dot resuming his chip-on-the-shoulder approach to everything he touches. An incredible amount of fire within this one.
10. Fugazzi f/ Jaysaun
- Produced by: LX Beats
“Suspect fakers / you must ask favors / to touch my status / otherwise / roll dust in papers”
Jaysaun — another Boston MC — joins M-Dot for this reggae-inspired up-tempo cut. Songs like “Fugazzi” further prove M-Dot can light up any track with any collaborator; he’s a problem for the future.
11. No Excuses
“I remember the first time I heard a rap / I wanted it / no feet up on the ottoman / no days off for partying / I studied it / crafted a style that nobody spit / not focused on the money / ‘cause I was focused on the love of it”
Damn. German-based production team Snowgoons brutalized this one and M-Dot left it for dead.
12. Shine f/ Method Man & Dominique Larue
- Produced by: Soulplusmind
“I’m writing to you / if you can relate to rising up through / the relying on brew / nights sleeping inside of the stu’ / it’s nothing trying to be cool / but you’re not 19 anymore / with timing to lose / got kids that rely on you for food / you ever wanted something so bad / every second you imagine that any second you’ll have it?”
The strongest track on the album, “Shine” originally came out in 2015. Despite it’s age, “Shine” stands to remain as one of 2017’s best tracks — hip-hop or otherwise. Simply put: this is a classic song, with M-Dot delivering one of the best verses of his career — and of the entire year.
13. Meow Mix
- Produced by: Jon Glass
“What I’m thinking, though? / flat-screen / big pad / three-car garage / backseat lifting back / amps with the kickers / hands counting figures / sold out the city / ya’ll camped out for tickets”
Jon Glass comes correct again — this time with an updated take on the classic G-funk sound of the ‘90’s combined with a Goonies — inspired melody. Back to holding down the track solo, M-Dot doesn’t relent from his fervent flow.
14. True Lies f/ Camp Lo & Tribeca
- Produced / Cuts by: LP2
“Dammit / can’t stand it / when amateurs damage the image / with lyrics and glamour / appearances mirrored of that of a cervix / it’s sad when you hear it / embarassing, really / since it’s apparent / your status is actually inferior”
With Camp Lo in tow, “True Lies” has the sound of an instant classic. M-Dot shows his ability to traverse over a variety of sonic landscapes, this time keeping pace with the legendary duo over a soulful must-rewind.
“It’s hard to sleep without consuming you before I rest / you’re in my pours and flesh / best friend / more or less”
A sober look into M-Dot’s struggles with alcohol, “Reliant” brutally illuminates alcoholism and addiction without sugar or gloss. A tough but necessary track, “Reliant” is a must-listen when considering M-Dot’s prolific output thus far.
16. Death To Raquel
- Produced by: Soulplusmind
“Eyes turned red / don’t care if I’m alive or dead / my mind is set / to go and pry your head / off your collarbone / call up holmes / tell ’em I’ma sprawl his bones / across his college dorm”
A horrorcore-style track inspired by heartbreak, “Death To Raquel” is M-Dot’s most visceral and vicious track filled with disturbing imagery and gruesome fantasies based on the titular “…Raquel”. The beat is another banger from the up-and-coming Los Angeles, California-based project stand-out Soulplusmind, including an opening sample from the classic American Psycho.
- Produced by: Es-K
“It gets better, too / more than sad and blue / go insurgent / searching / having tattoos removed”
M-Dot finishes his incredible opus with back-to-back love-gone-wrong tracks, with “911” ending egO anD The eneMy on a bleak note. Es-K samples “Never Be The Same Again”, the incredibly slept-on Ghostface Killah song from 2001 as well as the equally slept-on 2004 Ghostface track “Save Me Dear” to balance out the suicidal themes of “911”.