Undaground EmperorPop Da Brown Hornet

While visiting the TransWorld office, I came across a padded manila envelope from MCA records that contained one Pop Da Brown Hornet CD, along with a portrait and a short bio.

Born and raised on the streets of Staten Island, Pop grew up rhyming on street corners alongside much older MCs, cats who are now recording under the Wu Tang name. “I remember being underage, rhyming on one of these corners out here in a cipher with five or six individuals, who at the time weren’t really known for who they are now. It was all of us. It was the Wu Tang Clan members, even though they weren’t the Clan at the time. I remember stealing the show a couple of times,” boasts Da Hornet.

Many MCs today lack skills; they rhyme about rides they rent, ice they lease, and cash they don’t have. “Rakim once said that MC meant ‘Move the Crowd,’ and a lotta MCs are moving the crowd. I gather that a lot of rappers took that literally. Now they’re busting their guns, and they’re really moving the crowd in the wrong direction. And hip-hop has moved in the wrong direction. In the new millennium, to me, MC means ‘Message Carrier.’ We have so much watered-down hip-hop out there. It’s been a while since I’ve heard an album that sounds like mine, where you don’t have to kill up everybody to sound tough. It’s a lyricist album. I wanted to get lyrical and prove there’s a difference between hip-hop and rap. Really, right now we’ve been dancing and boogying to rap. I wanna see if people are ready for a hip-hop album,” Pop explains.

On that note, I played Pop’s new CD Undaground Emperor in my truck for a week or so straight. Strangely enough, with all of today’s crappy new music, I really enjoyed the disc at first listen, but after that I was sick of it. This may be a lyric-inspired album, but because Pop sounds the same on all the tracks, the music gets boring. If you decide to pick this album up, watch out for track number seven. The song’s beat includes a sample of an annoying squeak that fooled me into thinking something in my truck needed lubrication. I give this album an 8.5 out of ten for the first week, and 6.5 out of ten thereafter.¿Scott Serfas