All City

Metropolis Gold

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    4
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All City's debut album, Metropolis Gold, is a good example of a rap release that has the same problem as some hard bop and jazz-fusion recordings: though you admire the artists' technique, you often feel you're getting too much technique and not enough storytelling. The CD leaves no doubt that Brooklyn MCs J. Mega and Valentine (collectively All City) have strong rhyming technique, but technique alone isn't enough to make it a great album. Most of the time, they're simply content to show off their chops, and even though that can be exhilarating, it can also wear thin. The rappers are at their best when they tell some type of meaningful story instead of just boasting. Reflecting on the harsh realities of life in Brooklyn's ghettoes, "Afta Hours" and "Timez Iz Hard" are among the album's more memorable cuts. But on the whole, Metropolis Gold is an unfocused and erratic example of chops for the sake of chops.

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