Deadly Combo is here. Producer/Rapper Michael Barber and Rapper Matty Moe have finally released their duet project, and we got an exclusive listen to it 2 weeks before it arrives online for consumers.
The ten track album is a mix rap beats, hip hop driven sample tracks, hick hop, and hard rock. A pure blend of several genres all mixed together just like the Midwest that the two hip hop Hoosiers call home.
The introduction brings the listen in with the samples and old school drums, but it really kicks in as a real intro after Tupac himself is sampled saying, “Deadly Combination,” followed by his famous laugh. Matty Moe drops the first verse of the album and he doesn’t disappoint with razor sharp bars letting the world know what is in store.
“Deadly combo that’s what this is, eyes so low all you see is lids, back in the O so you know the biz”
The track continues to pump until the drums fade and a violin is playing the Lannister theme from Game of the Thrones. The intro which also feature a short few bars from Barber is a solid way to open the album and the Lannister ode is a reminder that the boys from Indiana are here to stay.
Segway into track two rightly titled, Indiana Boys, Barber used a John Mellencamp – Tom Petty sample to bring an awareness to their home state, but the album really kicks in on track 3, Moon Rocks.
Michael brings in the song with poppy guitars and his opening lines are a perfect setup for the song, “the more I learn, the less I know.” The middle verse by Matty Moe might be my favorite by the Bloomington native.
“Spread my wings, fly away, no looking back on yesterday/ take off my shades, set them aside, take a look into a real man’s eyes….”
The moon walk, moon rocks, and Michael Jackson was stuck in my head for at least 12 hours. The guitar solo at the end of the song is the perfect ending to my favorite song on the album. The repeat value is high on this one.
Track 4 wasn’t one that stuck to me, but tracks 5 and 6 stood out like a midget in an NBA game especially track 6, Crash into a Bottle. The hook sounded a little flat, but the realness in the songs lyrics including that hook set up a perfect visual. The guest feature on track 5, from Buffalo Stille of Nappy Roots, stole the show on the country themed bourbon beat.
Track 7, Skywalkin’, wasn’t great but wasn’t bad as it featured Wu Tang Clan rapper, Streetlife, who adds to verses to a pretty solid song that just isn’t my cup of tea. Track 8 might be my favorite behind Moon Rocks, and the second feature from the Grammy nominated group, Nappy Roots, might be the best verse on the entire album. This time by Nappy member, Fishscales. His flow sounds like a southern Jay-Z, smooth, laid back, but the picture he is painting is as visual as a movie.
“I’m in my pops old pickup, trying to lift up,
to a better romance, see the world only dicks us
I don’t complain, let it rain, I’mma to twist up
to be happy what I got to get rich for?
when I been poor
I was happy with a buzz and my kinfolks
I believe if God brought us to it
that he can bring us through it
So what you worried for the rent for?
lighten up, light ’em up, got plenty weed
spreading love to my loved ones and enemies
and to the big corporations giving bread back
this year all of my yagers growing they dreads back
I admit that I’m living my life hybrid
smoke like a fire, still drink like I’m Irish
but I always keep it Nappy
smoke until I’m happy
I’m riding to that other side, catch me I’m….”
His bars matched with the beat and the saxophone that joins him makes for my new favorite Nappy Roots song. The break down of the beat at the end adds to the greatness.
Track 9 Chemical Dependency is a mix of rap with hard rock guitars on the hook, and the song’s topic fits right in with the album and the overall theme of the album.
The last track, Day Dreamin’ is a make you think song to end the album that Barber sets up on the hook and with his first line of the song, “Thought I had bad cards, until I met a guy with no hands.” The play on words is as heavy as Big Pun. (Pun intended) Matty Moe shows his bars on the song, and his rap voice is filled with a confidence behind every bar.
Overall I give the album 4 out of 5 stars.
amazon pre-order link as the album comes out March 17th
Former Death Row Records recording artist, Michael Barber, teams up with fellow Hoosier rapper, Matty Moe, to bring out their highly anticipated album, Deadly Combo. Barber provides all the project for the ten song album, and brings in guest features that include Grammy nominated, multi-platinum rap group, Nappy Roots (on two songs), official Wu Tang Clan member, Streetlife, and upcoming Kentucky rapper, Renzo St. Charles.
Barber also appears vocally on every track, but just on the hooks for Walking in the Dark and Buzzard Bourbon. He also doesn’t appear on the song Indiana Boys, but provides a catchy track sampling Tom Petty that the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team is now using for pre-game hype.
Matty Moe is the catalyst of the album rapping on every track. The 27 year old MC is from Bloomington, Indiana, and one of the top rappers in the state. Barber, who is from Evansville, Indiana, was the Indiana Music Journal rap artist for the state two years in a row. Besides being the last signed artist to the infamous Death Row Records, Barber is also the highest selling rap artist in the state of Indiana most notable for his song, Sofa Bed and Another Sofa Bed on the Nappy Roots album.
For a free hard copy of the Deadly Combo album visit http://www.DeadlyCombo.com/Free
Michael Barber on twitter @TheIrishJesus facebook http://www.facebook.com/pursuitofMichaelBarber
Matty Moe on twitter @MattyMoe812