Future classic

Here, sit down and check out Moe Pope
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 1, 2008

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MOE RESPECT: With beats by Headnodic (right), Moe Pope comes close to perfection — so why are Boston heads sleeping on him?

No problem — your crib was on the way to the racetrack anyway. We’ll be able to meet Erik at the Hot Dog Safari in 20 minutes if the traffic holds up. Your cousin told me to ease up on the music around you — something about your not liking a rap album since The Low End Theory — but I’ve got something I promise will restore your faith in hip-hop, my man. Did he tell you I’m a music critic? Yeah — everyone always accuses me of holding people captive, but . . .

Do you see it on the floor somewhere over there? It’s got a black-and-yellow cover — it says Megaphone. Yeah — that’s it. Word, so the dude rapping is Moe Pope; he’s a Boston cat who’s also in this group Project Move. The beats were done by a Bay Area producer named Headnodic, who played bass like eight years ago in this fresh Boston band named Mission that Moe fronted. After not seeing each other for years, they rendezvoused for two weeks in Cali last year to do this project, but don’t worry about all that. Just light this shit up, sit back, and marinate. And do me a favor, try not to burn the seat — my girlfriend already wants my ass for that hole in the dashboard.

I’ll start you off with this track “Burning Bridges.” I know — that piano loop alone is classic. The rhymes are basically about how despite his having dropped two of the highest-quality releases in Hub hip-hop history — Butterfly Theory with Project Move and Life’s a Struggle alongside Insight, Edan, Dagha, Anonymous, and Raheem Jamal as Electric — Moe lacks props on the local rap scene. People respect him elsewhere; he was the only Boston MC invited to South by Southwest this year, and he’s about to do eight stops on the Warped Tour, but Boston heads are sleeping.

We don’t have too much time, so I’ll jump to my favorite track real quick. There are three cuts where Moe swings a heavy sociopolitical sword; this one is called “Durty.” I know this is a bit annoying, but I spoke with him the other day, and I have my tape recorder right here. You’re better off listening to Moe describe it than me: “ ‘Durty’ talks about the things that everybody sees but doesn’t want to talk about. There are a lot of cats who want to talk about the hood, but what are they seeing that I’m not really seeing? There are a lot of guys out there with their shirts off acting tough, but they can’t raise their kids.”

It’s not all serious, though. In Moe’s words, “You only get a little bit of time to say something, because you don’t want to beat people down with the preaching. You want people to have fun with your record as well.” This one is called “Zuh Zuh Zuh.” And yeah, you’re telling me — that’s possibly the catchiest beat ever. This song makes me want to learn how to breakdance.

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