M.O.P., Warriorz (2000)
Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame represent hip-hop at its most obnoxious, its most isolationist; their music is for people who don’t listen to anything but rap music and its various connective tissues (old school funk and soul, jungle, bebop). True to their name – Mash Out Posse – Warriorz stomps the competition with tracks so ridiculously infectious even a wallflower can pump his fist to it. Under the pseudonym Fizzy Womack, Lil’ Fame loops a guitar lick from Sly and the Family Stone’s “Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey” on “G Building”; on “Cold as Ice,” he speeds up Foreigner’s corporate rock classic and raps over it with Billy Danze, bragging, “I perform lyrical heat waves that will keep your brain warm.” As terrorizing as M.O.P. aims to be, Warriorz is full of swaggering energy, thanks to production by Womack/Fame, the ubiquitous DJ Premier, and Nottz, the latter who patches together a swinging “Home Sweet Home” that would make Lester Young proud. The net result is a deranged version of Fight Club. M.O.P. aren’t the most articulate rappers, and at their best they replicate polar opposites in a bloody beatdown, the high-pitched, ear-bursting shriek (Lil’ Fame) and the thick grunts of two fists being heaved and thrown (Billy Danze). At one point, Danze chants on “Home Sweet Home,” “Bucka-bucka-bucka-bucka,” his vocal gat squeezing out aural bullets. Eventually, though, M.O.P.’s mean mugging grows tiresome, and the end of Warriorz whopping 70-plus minutes sounds less like a triumphant victory dance than a wheezing last call full of bruised and bloody stragglers, even as the duo hollers on, oblivious to the dwindling crowd. Heed DJ Premier’s warning: “The time is now, yeah, for all real niggas to step up. Fake niggas, step the fuck back. This is not for you.” D.R. Period produced Warriorz’ breakout hit, the rowdy classic “Ante Up.” Loud.