Underground rapper Marquis lets his liquid smooth rhymes flow with a sense of Detroit-centric attitude on the two tracks found on this Intuit-Solar 12" EP. Detroit hip-hop may be primarily associated with psychotic artists such as Eminem, Kid Rock, Esham, and ICP, but Marquis comes from the city's thriving underground scene filled with other rap artists such as Slum Village, Paradime, Da Ruckas, and Hush. Like these latter artists, Marquis doesn't turn to the glamorized cliches of bud, bitches, and bank rolls that Detroit's superstar rappers represent to varying degrees. Furthermore, Marquis retains a good-mannered sense of self-pride as emanated in his feel-good rhymes that seem truly sincere and void of characterization or posing. "Rock the Beat" features the Detroit rapper laying down lyrics about having a good time in his hometown without focusing on ghetto themes but rather optimistic motifs that envision a laid-back city to chill in. On the flip side of the EP, Marquis drops a fun party tune that should incite plenty of joy in listeners and will work well in any festive context. Both songs and their accompanying instrumental versions are only strengthened by some soulful production that looks back to the heart-bleeding aural sentiment of Motown and to the clean, upbeat production found on the albums of East Coast artists such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, as well as Detroit producer Jay Dee. The lack of decadent themes and major label backing may not ever propel this single outside of Detroit, but anyone favoring the optimistic rhymes and let's-make-hip-hop-a-feel-good-music-again attitude should absolutely love this EP.
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