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Music Review: Marco Polo & Ruste Juxx – The eXXecution

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There’s little room for error on The eXXecution, a ruthless bombardment of beats and rhymes from the diabolical collaboration of Ruste Juxx and Canadian producer Marco Polo.

Juxx is a dogged, sharp-witted rapper from Brooklyn and he’s mastered slick, quick turns of the phrase. Polo’s inclination towards shady, gloomy, atmospheric production is the perfect match and The eXXecution becomes as much about mopping up the blood and stumps of the competition as it is about topping the charts.

Marco Polo is one of those hip hop producers gifted with a bent to bump up the game of those he works with. He’s knocked out some home runs as of late, especially with Masta Ace, and is a formidable force on both sides of the border. It stands to reason, then, that he knows all the right buttons to push to dig the very best out Ruste Juxx.

The basis of The eXXecution is that producer/rapper relationship, so Polo’s ability to hammer home the beats while Juxx hammers home the bars makes for some truly phenomenal shit. With a few guest spots tossed in for good measure, it turns out that The eXXecution is a damn fine record.

The album hits the ground running with “The eXxecution Intro” and “Death Penalty,” both cuts featuring DJ Revolution and clattering, slamming beats from Polo. “Death Penalty” is an up-tempo chunk of hardcore rap guaranteed to rattle a few cages. It forms the philosophical basis for The eXXecution.

It isn’t until Juxx and Polo look in the “Rearview” that shit really takes off, however. A murky, moody piano-tinged piece of work, this cut lets Juxx unleash his flow with no interruptions. He cuts loose on his competition, punching out metaphor after metaphor while Polo fills the room with smoke.

Other tracks find Juxx dropping intimidating, doom-filled rhymes (“Bread On Ya Head”) and charging up the energy levels (“Take Money”).

It’s when Sean Price gets involved that things really climb to another level, though. Both “Fuckin Wit a Gangsta” and “Wings On Your Back” find Juxx elevating his game over Polo’s deep street ambience. The tracks essentially serve as warnings to Duck Down’s competition and, from the sounds of things, these warnings are well needed.

With The eXXecution, Ruste Juxx and Marco Polo prove their spirit yet again in the world of underground hip hop. The raw rhymes and slick beats argue a compelling case and the duo fly past a jury of their peers in terms of superior collaborations. All that’s left, I suppose, is The eXXecution.

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