We’re back celebrating the 20th anniversary of M.O.P.’s “Warriorz” by taking a look back at the Brownsville duo’s discography.
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Lil Red
Album: Dame Dash presents Dream Team (2002)
“There ain’t no party like a M.O.P. party
A M.O.P. party don’t welcome everybody” – Billy Danze
Another song about New York City. Lil Red is a female vocalist, so this is a standard blend of brash masculine rap and light Aaliyah-like singing that ended up on the second disc of the Paid in Full soundtrack.
249. “Monkey Ish”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Busta Rhymes
Album: Return of the Warriorz mixtape (2007)
“Whenever Bus’ and M.O.P. come through – people dead” – Busta Rhymes
M.O.P. and Busta on a track and ain’t nobody heard it? That’s because the production leaves a lot to be desired. A shame, because both artists do their best to carve an identity out for “Monkey Ish” – Busta and M.O.P. still make this worth a listen; I mean, Muttley is sniggering on the hook for God’s sake.
248. “Hood Muzik”
Artist: Memphis Bleek feat.M.O.P.
Album: M.A.D.E. (2003)
“There was never love lost as there was never none there” – Billy Danze
What starts as a generic track with Memphis Bleek posturing morphs into a brutal attack on a certain Tupac clone from Fame, adding some fuel to the 50 Cent vs. Ja Rule feud that was going on in 2003.
247. “Party Like a Rockstar”
Album: St. Marxmen (2005)
“You’re nothin’ like a pimp – you’re more like a chimp” – Lil’ Fame
This is a strange track that is all over the place lyrically, using a stop-start style and relies on the heavy back-and-forth adlibs to carry a plain instrumental. Fame’s verse is hyper-ignorant whereas Billy ups the intensity to admirable levels – it just lacks that X-factor to elevate it.
246. “No Love”
Artist: DJ Clue? feat. M.O.P.
Album: The Professional (1998)
“Your rap style is paralyzed, I can’t feel ya” – Lil’ Fame
Preceding Jadakiss’ “Why?” by six years, this oddly reflective track asks why M.O.P. are the vicious young thugs they are. It could have been an interesting insight into their daily lives, but they promptly reiterate how they accept their role in society and embrace it with both guns.
245. “Fax Machine”
Artist: Rock feat. M.O.P.
Album: Rockness A.P. (2017)
“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah I took you way back
It took all this to say that” – Lil’ Fame
A rare M.O.P. appearance where Fame spits a solo verse but both men are on the hook. A grimy relic of a track between two crews who didn’t work together as much as they should have, this is let down by an irritating instrumental that’s too repetitive for its own good.
244. “One More Time”
Artist: Machel Montano feat. M.O.P.
Album: The Book of Angels (2007)
Much like the random Victoria Beckham track, this is an odd combination of hardcore rap and soca-pop, courtesy of Trinidadian singer Machel Montano that utilizes bars from some of their other tracks. You get the feeling Busta Rhymes wasn’t available for this party track as he would have suited it more – nonetheless Fame does the best he can.
Album: St. Marxmen (2005)
“You can’t feel my pain, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody” – Lil’ Fame
The Brooklyn gunslingers often disperse pain on others but they aren’t shy of talking about their personal anguish and while that hook is a little weak, that second verse is some of their most honest writing. It just lacks the sheer passion and killer production their more notable efforts offer.
242. “Move Something”
Album: Handle Ur Bizness EP (1998)
“I’m gon’ make you feel like you got hit by a truck” – Lil’ Fame
You can keep your Jay-Zs and Nas’, Billy Danze in 1998 was unrivalled. He’s a man possessed on “Move Something”, foaming at the mouth with his aggressive approach to a song all about shoving a rocket up these laid back emcees. “You gotta do something move something, try to make that shit more live for your dogs” – it’s like DMX before DMX truly went down the adlib-heavy riot-music avenue himself.
241. “Gun Boy Interlude”
Artist: Ran Reed feat. M.O.P.
Album: Still Commanding Respect (2016)
“Classic, flow nasty like prison food” – Lil’ Fame
Sometimes rappers disguise interludes as songs but this song is needlessly referred to as an interlude. With underground regular Ran Reed, this moody number is as you’d expect given the clientele: real solid New York rap with an updated approach. It may sound more 2006 than 2016, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing given Ran actually produced it himself.
240. “Who Dat”
Artist: Young Buck feat. M.O.P.
Album: The Empire Strikes Back mixtape (2006)
“My family strong, your moms don’t need this” – Lil Fame
A Lebron James line from a 2006 G-Unit mixtape immediately makes me feel old. Young Buck didn’t really suit this beat and is stomped all over by Billy and Fame but then the volume levels across the three verses deviates. With no real hook or song structure, it’s a nice little reminder how good M.O.P. sound in a mixtape environment.
239. “The Hussle”
Artist: Mr. Cheeks feat. M.O.P.
Album: Back Again! (2003)
“I take it one day at a crime” – Billy Danze
Mr. Cheeks had a hit single in 2002 with “Lights, Camera, Action” so this was from his follow-up album “Back Again!”. It wasn’t good, but this Cam’ron-ish record is harmless enough. The energy levels fluctuate wildly by positioning M.O.P. in the middle of the song considering Cheeks is half asleep when he raps.
238. “Brooklyn Military”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Teflon
Album: Marxmen Cinema (2004)“
Let down by a quirky instrumental, this collaboration with Teflon and an uncredited emcee is on the bonus disc of the Marxmen Cinema mixtape. As vague as the song title suggests, it’s largely an excuse for a pass-the-mic session.
237. “Ring Ding”
Album: To the Death (1994)
“Stevie Wonder can see you n****s can’t fuck with me” – Billy Danze
Sometimes music just evokes a place and style and “Ring Ding” is a difficult one to not nod your head to. Billy and Fame prioritised their flows on their debut, utilising chants in their hooks and opting for prominent bass lines. It certainly rattles the speakers, and could well be higher placed.
236. “If I Ever Knew”
Artist: V-Nova feat. M.O.P.
Album: R.A.P. 2: Koch Era (2018)
“I had the same chain as Big Daddy Kane when I was thirteen” – Lil’ Fame
V-Nova sounds eerily like Royce Da 5’9” which is unfortunate, given Royce is one of the greatest emcees, but this is one of the better collaborations between a new artist and the Brownsvillains. Solid production that sounds like an M.O.P. track. Billy Danze, in particular, “does a Bumpy Knuckles” and murders the third verse with some graphic attacks on wack rappers.
235. “New York Giants 2”
Artist: DJ Absolut feat. M.O.P. & Chris Rivers
Album: n/a (2014)
“I hit the car wash, rims gleamin’
Rollin’ with some of the grimiest goons in the town” – Lil’ Fame
Having worked with Big Pun, M.O.P. returned with Pun’s son (Chris Rivers) for a more subdued sequel to their raucous original. Chris’ performance is more calculated than his father’s machine-gun approach to rhyming and is tucked away right at the end of the song, so it’s effectively a M.O.P. track featuring Chris.
234. “Welcome 2 Brooklyn”
Album: Street Certified (2014)
“They call me the Great Gats-by
I’ll put your chest where your back be” – Lil’ Fame
The only reason this track is so low on the list is the hook. Maino’s a far better emcee than he is a singer, and after the brutal savagery of 2011’s “Sparta” album, this single for their next record was a disappointment, particularly as there are better tracks about Brooklyn in M.O.P.’s catalog alone.
Artist: Guru feat. Stikken Moov & M.O.P.
Album: Guru Presents Illkid Records
“Now I got to put on a suit… and salute!” – Billy Danze
One from Guru’s forgotten Illkid Records compilation, a traditional New York hip hop record that appeared to counteract his jazz projects in the mid-90s. Little is known about Stikken Moov, but Guru and M.O.P. have always had a unique chemistry. Billy Danze delivers a memorable performance, contemplating his parental responsibilities and how he has to put a brave face on amongst all the funerals he attends.
232. “Facing Off”
Album: First Family 4 Life (1998)
“Silly motherfuckers gettin’ carried away
But they fuck around with Fame and get CARRIED AWAY-” – Lil’ Fame
The prequel to the phenomenal back-and-forth “Face Off” that appeared two years later, this album-cut from the underrated “First Family 4 Life” is an odd listen. The two beats that were chosen are unremarkable – unconventional even – but are delightfully stripped back to the barebones, which is something M.O.P. do just as well here as on their more bombastic backdrops.
231. “BK 2 LA”
Artist: Xzibit feat. M.O.P.
Album: Man vs. Machine (2002)
“I’ll send you to God with no shoes” – Lil’ Fame
What should be the hardest song ever recorded ends up as a missed opportunity – “BK 2 LA” suffers from an underwhelming instrumental and a hook from X that’s too damn polite. There’s just something lacking, chemistry perhaps? Either way, it disappointed on what was ultimately an underwhelming Xzibit album.
230. “Stomp Rappers”
Artist: Apathy feat. Celph Titled & M.O.P.
Album: The Widow’s Son (2018)
“I’ll squeeze the juice out of a rapper like a Capri Sun” – Lil’ Fame
This is like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” as Apathy flexes his lyrical wizardry, Celph Titled is halfway rhyme animal/half goofball, and M.O.P. do just as the song states – stomp over the beat like Godzilla.
Artist: Kurupt feat. Roscoe & M.O.P.
Album: Against the Grain (2005)
“It’s about to get hectic, for all races and creeds, foreign or domestic” – Lil’ Fame
A rare glimpse at a Dogg Pound x M.O.P. crossover ultimately let down by a generic production. Billy and Fame breathe life into the record on their trademark third verse, but that weak hook lets down what could have been an interesting combination. Instead, we’re left with a forgettable moment, from a well, forgettable Kurupt album.
228. “Another Time”
Artist: DJ EFN feat. Inspectah Deck, Guilty Simpson, M.O.P. and Bernz
Album: Another Time (2015)
“I got some shit that will knock down an elephant” – Lil’ Fame
DJ EFN; more famous nowadays for his Drink Champs podcast alongside Noreaga, dropped a star-studded compilation in 2015 and M.O.P. were on the song of the same name. Fame reels off some hilarious one-liners (“You’re half donkey, half bird like a unicorn”) that highlight just why the duo work so well together. Billy always playing it straight, but turned up to eleven, is arguably even more enjoyable.
227. “My Way”
Album: St. Marxmen (2005)
“Got homies that will climb up out of the sewers when we ride” – Billy Danze
This bonus track from “St. Marxmen” is actually really solid despite that dreary adlib technique that’s used. Lacking the scathing one-liners to really distinguish it from other mid-2000s M.O.P., the heavy kicks and crashing snares carry it.
226. “Gangsta Boy”
Artist: Jake One feat. M.O.P.
Album: White Van Music (2008)
“G-Unit has allowed me to be addressed as Bill Gates now” – Billy Danze
Revisiting this Jake One album reveals how starstudded and ultimately overlooked Jake One’s “White Van Music” compilation is. Superior songs from Little Brother, Elzhi/Royce and the immaculate Brother Ali/Freeway collaboration immediately usurp “Gangsta Boy”, which feels outclassed and outdated with references to G-Unit despite having left the label eight months before this record dropped.