Album Stream: Sean Price & M-Phazes’ “Land Of The Crooks”

    Brownsville, Brooklyn meets Melbourne, Australia for this short, but sweet collaboration.  Land of The Crooks has hip hop veteran heavy-hitter Sean Price teaming up with M-Phazes, a producer who appeared on “Bad Guy” off Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers EP 2.  Right from the start, the project brings chuckles with the catchy hook: “The bag with the shit got shit on the bag.”  But, that’s not to say this project is a joke—in fact it’s project to be taken seriously.  M-Phazes’s production strikes an intelligent balance of contemporary and purists-friendly boom bap.  In other words, there isn’t anything nostalgic about this project, but rather it feels like an updated version of hip hop roots music. 

    Although the project ends with two versions of the same song, the two renderings separate from one another enough so that—if you don’t look at the track list—you probably won’t even tell they are the same song.  The first version of “Murdah Type Thinkin” features Roc Marciano while the remix not only replaces M-Phaze’s production with Philadelphia beat-maker Small Professor, but also features a verse from Sean Price’s Random Axe partner Guilty Simpson. 

    This inclusion of Guilty Simpson and Small Professor makes sense considering the CD version of Land of Crooks will be sold as a “double A-side set,” packaged with Guilty Simpson and Small Professor’s Highway Robbery which came out in late September.