Albert Einstein’s famous E=mc2 theory of relativity was a major contribution to physics, but didn’t do a damn thing to improve music. Now, however, a combination of MCs from New York and Milwaukee have formed supergroup EMC and are set to change hip-hop’s physics.
Consisting of New York’s Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth, and Milwaukee’s Stricklin, the members of EMC are known as some of hip-hop’s most creative and prolific lyricists. Their new concept album, The Show, drops April 8 on M3 Records, and includes 24 songs and skits that describe every aspect and detail of life on the road for a mid-level hip-hop act.
The Show starts off with EMC stranded at the airport, waiting for a promoter who is two hours late to pick the group up. The album continues to describe, in songs and interludes, events leading up to the show–radio interviews, driving around city, backstage drama. The music throughout is stellar, with beats from Holland’s Nicolay, 9th Wonder, Ayatollah, Marco Polo, DJ Premier, and other heat makers.
The Show’s tour theme enhances the overall project, rather than overrides the songs, and musically it’s an incredibly consistent and classic-sounding boom-bap document, with sonic lineage to Little Brother, The Roots, and Main Source.
Masta Ace is no stranger to concept albums, having produced 2000’s Disposable Arts and 2004’s A Long Hot Summer, each of which had a running narrative and skits galore. Ace also owns M3 Records, founded in 2003 after his former label, JCOR Records, folded. EMC is a tremendous return to form for not only Ace, but also his Lyricist Lounge vets Punch and Words and Midwest sensation Stricklin.
1. Who We Be
3. Leak It Out
4. The Check In (Skit)
5. Traffic feat. Little Brother
6. Say Now
7. Message (Skit)
8. Don’t give Up On Us feat. ADI
9. Git some feat. Sean Price
10. We Alright feat. Strickie Love
11. Radio Station (Skit)
12. EMC “What It Stand For”
13. Angry Mech. Guy (Skit)
14. The Grudge
15. Make It Better
16. The Lobby (Skit)
17. Winds of Change
18. The Show feat. Ladybuy Mecca
19. Back Stage (Skit)
20. Borrow U feat. Strickie Love
21. Once More
22. U let Me Grow
23. Feel It feat. Money Ham
24. Bonus Track