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Music Review: Marco Polo – The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo

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Canadian producer Marco Polo returns yet again with The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo. As one of the most capable and prolific producers in the game, Marco Polo has a lot to live up to each time he puts out a record.

With this adventurous release, he’s assembled a lively and entertaining group of performers to grace his beats with sleek, punishing rhymes.

Marco Polo has produced and created tracks for the likes of Boot Camp Clik, Masta Ace, Ruste Juxx, and KRS-One and his solo release expands his art with the addition of talents like Large Professor, Torae, and the fantastic Skyzoo. Some surprises, like Skoob from Das EFX, also pop up.

The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo almost functions like a sampler of underground hip hop, but the beats and production values create a cinematic sense and that adds up to a remarkably complete record. Marco Polo’s work is clean and clear, as always, and he manages to clip and snip in all the right places to keep a solid flowing rolling throughout.

“Buggin Out” kicks off the album. The cut features Bushwick rapper D-Stroy and Brooklyn’s Bad Seed and unloads a slick, head-nodding beat punctuated by vocal outbursts. The energy is infectious and the lyrics feature some vintage cues alongside Bad Seed’s expected humour.

Main Source founding member Large Professor owns it on “The Radar Remix.” His lyrical attack is exacting and deliciously old school. Marco Polo provides an eerie backdrop for Large Professor’s engaging tone.

Ruste Juxx, the sharp Brooklyn rapper, hits it hard on “Bomb Shit.” Backed by a light, funky bounce from Marco Polo, Juxx includes a reference to his iconic “Vic Flair” in his inspired assault.

Surreal’s take on the nature of hip hop is the subject of “So Basic.” Marco Polo’s introduces some vibes to the cut, paying homage to how “basic” the game can be with four-tracks and Radio Shacks. The track reveals just how exacting Polo is in assembling his tracks, with jazzy drum rolls closing out the bars and a smoky bass line grooving along sweetly.

The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo really is a journey through diverse musical possibilities. The producer proves he can deliver jagged edges alongside silky grooves, showcasing his skills alongside the talents of some of the underground’s best talents. This charming blend of immaculate beats and captivating lyrical ability is impossible to ignore.

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