Wordsworth - Mirror Music: The Deluxe Edition

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Album: Mirror Music: The Deluxe Edition
Artist: Wordsworth
Ranking: 8/10
Label: Halftooth Records

"Everybody and their grandmother love rap now,
And everybody and their grandmother try to rap now"

-Classified, The 5th Element

Halifax's Super MC Classified is a very wise man, everbody and their grandmother do indeed want to rap now. And with the all the modern technology that makes bedroom studios as common as Raiders hats in an NWA video, everyone and their grandmother actually can rap now and even put out an album. That leads to a flood of hip hop albums, which in turn leads to good albums being slept on. One such album is Wordsworth's Mirror Music. When it was originally released in 2004 I didn't check it out, even though I'd heard good things about it. Well lucky for me & you, Halftooth Records has re-released Mirror Music, but in a deluxe edition.

Wordsworth has been around the hip hop biz for quite a while and is known for his affiliation with the Lyricist Lounge when it didn't suck and being one half of the battle ready duo Punch & Words (with Punchline). According to his bio on Halftooth's site, Wordsworth has an English lit degree and wrote all of his assignments & essays in lyrical verse - that's comittment people. He's also a gifted MC who is quite comfortable addressing a wide array of subjects. He's kind of like a battle-hardened J-Live, which is quite a complement in my book.

Mirror Music is a solid hip hop album. It's clever rhymes over quality beats throughout the entire album, which isn't readily available these days. Right Now is a classic intro jam with great punchlines and a banging beat from Ayatollah. Trust is a song that features Wordsworth's introspective side, telling his daughter that men are dogs but you need trust because men can change like Wordsworth himself has. Be A Man is another very personal track where Wordsworth talks about maturing and the issues he dealt with pursuing his music dreams, like having to ask his mother for money. Not what you're used to from your neighborhood rapper. Guardian Angel has a solid beat that freaks organ keys to provide the backdrop for Wordsworth to talk about his dead father looking out for him from above. Evol gets bonus points for a Masta Ace cameo plus a solid beat that uses the "Now That We Found Love" Third World sample made famous by Heavy D.

The deluxe portion of the album is mainly the bonus disc that features remixes by Philly producer Oddisee. Oddisee has worked with Jazzy Jeff's Touch Of Jazz production house and has a more soulful sound than you normally get from hip hop producers. The Trust remix mixes bongos, stuttering organs, guitar licks and thumping drums - dense but smooth with some soul samples chucked in for good measure. The remixed Point Blank has a beat unlike any hip hop song I can think of, the simple snyths, finger snaps and drums are complemented by two different, constant cymbal-type sounds that pan back and forth. It's makes for a very interesting sound. Oddisee's take on Run is another solid beat, think chunky drums, pianos and more cymbal sounds - even a new-school Watch Roger Do His Thing style synth solo at the end of the song, bonus points for that. After listening to this remix album, Oddisee is a producer I'll be checking for in the future.

Mirror Music is a solid slice of modern New York hip hop and thankfully Wordsworth and Halftooth Records are giving us all a second chance to hear it. I didn't sleep on it this time, and now that you've read this, you don't have an excuse not to check it out.

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