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REVIEW: Enter The Realm Of Nerdcore In Mark Cooper’s “I Am Player 1”.

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Enter The Realm Of Nerdcore In Mark Cooper’s “I Am Player 1”.

Entering unfamiliar territory I set out to embark on the musical game experience that is “I Am Player 1” with my track by track review of Mark Cooper’s nerd core styled album.

01. Nerdcore –  A silky sounding introduction that stages Mark Cooper in front of a virtual reality video game called “Nerdcore” moments before pressing start. It quick & fitting and sparks an interesting set up to “I Am Player 1”.

02. Tutorials – “Hmm… So this is Nerdcore” here we go, we’re the past the intro & the album is painting the video game landscape in perfect metaphorical form. Of coarse after pressing start logically some tutorials about to get thrown at you next, correct? Mark Cooper ends his verse with the words “mind blown” an encore to his hard hitting opening verse of the project before claiming he still has “the hang of it”. The rest of tutorials brings Pokemon & Zelda references ending in theatric style as you choose to be “Player 1”.

03. Player One – The strings sorta synth sounding opening before the power chorus grabs your ears. If this is virtual reality in lyrical form Cooper has finessed it with bars layered on top a punchy production that had me reminiscent of some late 90’s Dr. Dre slash Warren G type records. This song hits heavy & continues the travels within Nerdcore. Oh, and an Animaniac’s reference. Bringing back the childhood memories as I listen on.

04. Transformers ft. Finale & Mic Jack – Our first collaborative effort brings the likes of Finale & Mic Jack joining along in a triple threat of real rap. As stated you might need to “kick back, rewind this verse”….I have a feeling four tracks in that most listeners & hip hop fans in general would find themselves rewinding this willingly. Another banger.

05. Sabrina the A.I. – Welcome to your artificial intelligence assistance in this skit backed by some ominous piano that creates a sonic build up of intensity all well mixing bits of humor inside the conversation between Mark Cooper & Sabrina the A.I. The production value plays out like a movie and sets the stage for the path towards the all spark required to win.

06. Nick tunes ft. L.Y. – Not familiar with L.Y. before this particular record but definitely intrigued from it & from the opening Mark Cooper tag the producer & rapper showcases what I assume is his own production. The two provide quite the combo & the 90’s kid cartoon references don’t stop with a bar for bar Nickelodeon marathon of lyrical delivery at its finest. He’s not Doug Funny. He’s Mark Cooper!!!

07. Boomerang ft. Crimson Alchemist – To me this came off as the most video game centric sound so far yet tied into some classic boom bap drums. Crimson Alchemist!!! This verse had me rewinding like previously mentioned – & the classic yet simple hook that ties the two rappers verses together just fits. Hard to pick a favorite record amongst the consistency this project has provided but this is one of the shining moments for me.

08. Star Power ft. Monsoon – I related to this one here…Cooper states “but I’m a nerd I’m not compatible with a whole bunch of people..”. Growing up a bit of a recluse myself I played my share of video games when I wasn’t writing for days. This record is less hard hitting as the in your face type sound of previous & brings a more mellow vibe following what have been more intense records. About midway through it adds a welcomed element & continues our trip through the virtual reality realm.

09. Gamer 4 Life – Metroid & Blastoise! Yoshi! Elder Scrolls! Megaman! Halo!….I could go on but Gamer 4 Life speaks as an anthem for all gamers in this lyrical listing of some of the finest video games of all time. “Negative’s in your hard drive, take em out your archive” – one my fave lines on the album – this song made me proud to say I play video games! LOL For real though my best description if this is it’s the perfect gamers anthem.

10. Mortal Combat High ft. Starbomb – Catchy, catchy, right of the bat is what grabbed my attention span in whom I assume is Starbomb lending vocals for the chorus that’ll have the words “Mortal Combat High” stuck in my head. Another standout record for me – the chorus grabs you and as has been evident verse after verse Mark Cooper knows who he is as an emcee & establishes certainly to be an expert in #Nerdcore.

11. Marvelous – HEAVY ROTATION. Eleven tracks into “I Am Player 1” & “Marvelous” honestly feels like a pretty fitting term for what I’ve heard. It’s not often I have to search for my least favorite record. It’s especially hard when their isn’t one. The descriptive writing abilities of Mark Cooper and his knack for creating bars that tell a story is continually evident.

12. Rainbow Road – Speaking of stories is one of the most creative songs I’ve heard in a hot minute, not to mention this album itself. In an ode to what the song title would lead me to believe is Mario Kart plays out as what feels like the most personal and deep record on “I Am Player 1”.  I sensed as if I was listening to some sorta battle between playing video games & pursuing the passions of life? I may be totally wrong though, the song sounds like a relationship under the examination of a microscope…Regardless this song packs replay value & as the closer before the outro helps close down one extremely solid listening session worth of hip hop.

13. Major Upset – Game over? well…..I can’t tell you that much! You’re gonna have to listen to “I Am Player One” to uncover that answer……

In closing “I Am Player 1” is cohesive, sonically sound, & packed with heavy hitting verses. Guest appearances that fit, add value, & come together to form fantastic collaborations. I’ll be honest my only complaint about this project is that I didn’t hear it in full earlier. Outside of mc chris I’m not personally very familiar with the sub genre of hip hop #Nerdcore. However one thing certainly is sure to me after listening to this album. That thing is that this may not be for everybody but regardless of your nerdy traits or not this is some true to form hip hop that I believe any true fan of lyricism can appreciate. A movie like buildup of skits & Mark Cooper’s bar frenzy of verses all come together in what has amounted to one of my favorite listens of the year.

COMMi$$ION’S RATING: 9/10

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Mark Cooper aka Player 1 in “THE ALLSPARK”.

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There is commentary from the album's host throughout as we hear the analyzation's of Player 1's own life & lessons.

The nerdcore specialist is back at it again! Player 1 Mister Mark Cooper brings us along for a hip-hop infused audible video game in his incredible follow up to last year’s stellar “I Am Player One“.  Incredible indeed! Well traveling through the game Player 1 gets “super lost” on his way to discovering “THE ALLSPARK“. Aided by Optimus Prime & fused with the lyrical creativity of Mark Cooper’s storytelling & production the produces quite the gem. Crown Royal, Magic ft. Key Jay, & Frame Data were some of the early standouts in the first half of “Allspark“. “Frame Data” was like an in your face retro arcade game beat of gold before sliding into the more mellow “Stormtroopers”.

There is commentary from the album’s host throughout as we hear the analyzation’s of Player 1’s own life & lessons.  As we traverse deeper through the game alongside his daunting task to capture the Allspark & return home we are doused with different sounds that scream depth, tying together all the elements & executed precisely in the theme provided.

Super Saiyan” felt like theme music to the ’80s & was a favorite, when we get verses they fit & and truly help build the songs. This album does justice the mashing of different elements outside the verses themselves to provide a cinematic feel that carries a wide range & packs a punch for the listener.

The remainder of the album finishes out just as strong as it’s beginning & middle, I don’t want to spoil the story so you’ll have to listen for yourself to find out if Player 1 ever found his way & got home.  One thing is ensured if you do decide to play the game, it’s one you might just have to play over & over after the first playthrough in this excellent offering from Titan Records Mark Cooper.

Stream/Purchase: https://songwhip.com/song/mark-cooper/the-allspark

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Filthy Rockwell presents “FILTHY AMERICA”

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Filthy Rockwell

Depending what time of year it is, unfortunately things fall thru the cracks when the staff here is getting things in order for the Underground Hip Hop Awards. This project is definitely one of those. Filthy is a Grammy Nominated, Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum producer, songwriter, arranger, composer, music executive, A&R, and entrepreneur based in Detroit Michigan. Having worked with the great of old and new Filthy has a wide history of music to pull from.  Stepping from behind the scenes he creates a musical sign of the times with “Filthy America”

There is only one vocal performance on this project via the song Behold a Pale Horse which Underground Hip Hop Awards nominee for best artist delivers a lyrical onsluaght from start to finish, no breaks needed.

With that said this project is mostly a instrumental album with sound bites scattered thru out  album. Starting off with the Inauguration its fitting to hear the voice of the late Coleman Young making his vision clear for the city of Detroit. We the people which is the song featured in the visual in this post feels like a soulful time warp. Sit back and enjoy the ride. We will leave it to you to discover the rest.

Every soundbite, every vocal snippet was strategically chosen and meticulously placed on the track(s) in a way to craft a narrative, maximize effect and evoke thought/emotional provocation.

You wont be disappointed

 

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Leaf Erikson “Canvas of Hope” Album Highlights

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A Canvas of Hope artwork

A Canvas of Hope sounds like the title for a inspiring piece of art that you would find on a gallery wall. But this work of art created lyrically by Leaf Erikson and the help of some talented singers and emcees backed by a sonic landscape put together by Meftah and fine tuned by Eddie Logix is a work of art like none other.

The intro ’76 Ford LTD to this project sets the tone and lets you know there i something real about to take place while the outro Augustus leaves you with the feeling there is something yet to come. Leaf informed us that this first project was 1st in a 3 part series. 2 great bookends for something epic in between.

Stand out tracks on this project include Fine Tuning feat Jah Connery, Fore Closure feat Smoke and H20 feat the emotion filled voice of Blue Raspberry. We also felt like D.R.E.A.M. was a song for repeat as well.

We encourage you to give this project a moment of your time. It sounds and feels like a true Classic

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