#ThrowbackThursday Album Review: Mars Ill - Pirate Radio

Street Date: December, 2004


When news dropped that Mars Ill's sophomore Gotee release would be delayed yet again, hip-hop fans were undoubtedly left disappointed. A lot of fans were eagerly anticipating the release of Pro Pain, so its delay meant that Mars Ill would have several months of dead air to fill before its release. So the problem arises: what does a critically acclaimed hip-hop duo do to appease fans in the months before the release of a highly anticipated project? Well if you're Mars Ill, why not put out an independent album while you're waiting? Better yet, make it a fan project and release the CD exclusively through your website.

It's the oldest trick in the book, really. When a band needs to buy time in between releases, they don't want to keep their fans waiting. So they put out a "stop-gap" project - something to tide fans over (and build interest) before they put out the official product.  So as stop-gaps go, is Pirate Radio nothing more than a remix or b-sides project? Luckily for fans, the answer is a resounding "no!" Not content to just sit back and rest on their laurels, Mars Ill pulled out all the stops and recorded fifteen brand-new and unreleased tracks for Pirate Radio.

Besides the beats, the other half of the Mars Ill equation is the outstanding vocal work of emcee manCHILD. Throughout Pirate Radio manCHILD raps with his trademark flow, peppering each track with classic verses and inventive rhymes - paying homage to his hometown on "A*T*lanta" and alluding to the pushed-back Pro Pain on the title track. It also seems that whatever Dust lays down, manCHILD can rhyme over. Whether it's the staggered rhythms of "The Beautiful Hustle" or the sample-heavy "You Can't Stop," manCHILD showcases his versatility on every track - his vocals complementing the production perfectly.

written by Sherwin Frias

 

  1. Pirate Radio
  2. The Beautiful Hustle
  3. Reach
  4. Flirt With Flame
  5. One Run at Midnight
  6. All I Know
  7. Point Blank
  8. Talkback
  9. Mourning in the Morning
  10. Nine Pound Hammers
  11. A*T*lanta
  12. On Her Way
  13. Trade Secrets
  14. You Can't Stop
  15. Just Over That Hill

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