Miami Beat Wave is a hip-hop production team that (as their name implies) hails from South Florida. “#B2B” is their acronym for “Back 2 Basics,” a movement where quality hip-hop comes first and posturing bullshit comes dead last. Combine the two and you’ve got the album that matches their movement’s name, which is available either as a free download or via #NYOP for as little as 50 cents (plus three dollars shipping).
Now it’s possible this is your first exposure to MBW, even though we have mentioned them here and there on the newsfeed, so you’re probably wondering about their credentials and why you should be interested in the album. In some respects the line-up of this nearly hour long CD/DL can answer both questions. The range of people they work with is fairly remarkable, from mainstream superthugs like N.O.R.E. on the angry pianos of “2 Gun Salute” to long time politically militant rappers like stic.man on “Stay Alive.”
MBW do tend to skew a little bit further toward the underground on this one – from Strange Music crew ¡MAYDAY! on “So Cold” to the straight up ruggedness of Skam2? on “Anti-Heroes & Super Villains,” one of this album’s best cuts. Skam is definitely the kind of rapper who fits in the “anti-hero” mold – someone you can cheer for as he fights for a good cause, even as he might do some unkind things to his rivals (on the mic or otherwise):
“Third verse is goin down
Heard there’s a new villain in town, and they want my crown
They can HAVE that shit along with this ass-whippin
Man you blind and trippin, you don’t know what you stepped in
I’m an omega level pyrokinetic telepath
Damn straight, take the cake, wipe my ass and laugh
I accept your challenge, you better get, an outfit
you wanna be buried in, so consult your stylist!”
There’s an undeniably hispanic aspect to the presentation and noticeable in the guest list – from SoFla’s “Decleration” to Garcia’s “Stolen Soul” featuring J NICS & Bernz. This is welcome and makes “#B2B” stand out from the hundreds of self-produced mixtapes that come across my desk on a daily basis. Many of them come with such poorly worded press releases that they get filed in the recycle bin on sight, but either my familiarity with the guest list or a hard working publicist got me to take a second glance at Miami Beat Wave – and I’m glad of it. Though I’m only just getting to know some of the more obscure artists on this compilation, nobody here strikes me as a waste of time, and MBW’s production rates as “slicker than the typical beat maestro” – so it’s definitely worth more than 50 cents.