Regular readers may be aware of how fond this website is of The Doppelgangaz, or more accurately, how fond I am of the duo. Matter Ov Fact and EP have spent over a decade building a reliable brand of peanut butter rap. What do I mean by this? Well, their style is often smooth musically but has a nice crunch to it. Sometimes they lay it on thick, other times it’s more understated. At times you’ll feel a bit dirty after overdosing on their music when you realize what they are rhyming about. Either way, a Doppelgangaz record is now guaranteed to entertain you on both musical and lyrical sides, but the seemingly endless instrumentals they release (including appearances on the popular Chillhop compilations) are a reminder that their production is what many pay their admission fee for. “White Label Singles” is a selection of six songs along with their instrumentals – six of one, half a dozen of the other. This is immediately mentioned on “6 of 1”.
Like all of their albums, there’s often one or two individual moments that will have you annoying your neighbors. This time, it’s the sumptuous “First Blush” with its bass and crisp snares slapping so hard I imagine Marco Polo would rock a screwface when he hears it. Add it to the list of Best Doppelgangaz Speaker Smashers. What is that list? Let’s briefly stop and take a look:
- “Barbiturates” (2013)
- “Doppel Gospel” (2011)
- “Balderdash” (2020)
- “Mootah Feekah” (2018)
- “E.W.W.” (2017)
- “2 Ghastly” (2021)
- “Holla x2” (2014)
- “First Blush” (2022)
- “Salacious” (2020)
- “Coffin Nails” (2019)
Those are my choices. Let me know if you disagree, of course! While the ‘Gangaz is much more than dope beats, those ten tracks are all guaranteed to melt your face. Recently, the two have experimented more with funkier, almost G-Funk-like basslines, but these so-called white label singles are more conventional Dopp-Hopp. “Concord Grapes” is a tough head-nodder packed with black humor, continuing EP’s infatuation with obscure kink-rap. The production is predictably sumptuous, proper top-tier material, but it’s the lyrics will have you chuckling away if you possess a similarly warped sense of humor.
“Still Fine” celebrates the sexual fascination with easy women, with the signature Doppelgangaz frames of reference. Bluntly descriptive with distinctive imagery and vocabulary carefully crafted to both confuse and amuse. It’s not quite as brutal as their “Doo-bai” song telling the story of pornographic pursuits of lovely ladies the duo come across (pun intended) but I admire just how hard they are now leaning into the world they have created. It’s essentially a trademark feature of their releases – if EP’s not getting off describing the perfect manicure for a handjob, he’s convincing Matter Ov Fact to reference specific stages of the menstrual cycle. I really like the emphasis on scientific vernacular – these are two intelligent wordsmiths and it’s clearly overlooked by many rap fans.
With an established fanbase and their own universe populated with cloak-adorned rap heroes, rural backdrops, and debauchery-driven dark humor, The Doppelgangaz is to hip-hop what SEGA’s Yakuza series is to videogames. Everything just packs a visceral punch, shows wild creativity, and is often genuinely funny. “White Label Singles” is no different.