After a dozen years of solo projects, the standard-bearers of the Columbus hip-hop scene finally drop their debut album. Aside from 2001’s Table Scraps, the Megahertz have somehow managed to avoid a proper release, yet they have maintained their fanbase by grinding out multiple side projects. Despite the loss of founding member Camu Tao, Copywrite, Jakki da Motormouth, Tage Future and RJD2 put together a record Mu would be proud of. His death prompted the addition of “Legacy” to their title but the formula stays largely the same. Fans of quick-witted wordplay and hard beats will not be disappointed, even if they did wait a decade.
MHz’s in-house producer RJD2 needs no introduction but then again neither do the guest producers on the album. The ‘hertz procution list looks like a hip-hop beatsmith all-star ballot with offerings from J Rawls, !llmind and Harry Fraud just to name a few. The collaborations don’t stop with producers either, with guest verses supplied by Danny Brown, Blu, Slug, Oh No and more. That’s not to say the hertz don’t hold their own. One of my favorite tracks “Gone!” showcases Copy and Tage’s effortless flow. Surrogate production is handled by SP1200 afficionado Surock. The disheveled, stabby beat is matched with lo-fi drums for that early nineties appeal and provides the purfect backdrop for each rapper to shine. Right off the back, Copy displays his wordplay:
Its been a minute innit’ / But I’ve been spittin longer then sinnin’ is been invented / Sin a gimmic in the clinic / Carry the torch /To the game I’ve been married divorced /Reengaged, married tyrany’s carrots went horse
Another standout track is the upbeat “Somewhere (2099).” The synth heavy beat, complete with an angelic female hook, sounds like something from producer RJD2’s “Since we Last Spoke.” Tage sums it up best when he says “I’m not sure if the radio’s gonna count this/ but technically there’s nothin’ underground about this.” Other notable tracks include “Tero Smith” which reunites Icebird, the duo of RJD2 and crooner Aaron Livingston. The touching tribute to Camu Tao details the lyrical creativity he possessed. The late rapper appears posthumously on “Spaceship,” a trippy, drug-fueled collaboration with Danny Brown featuring production from the up and coming Harry Fraud who seems to have a beat on every mixtape this year.
MHz Legacy is long overdue but hopefully once fans hear it, all will be forgiven. As much respect and success each artist has had on an individual level, this album will undoubtably help all their careers. At 17 tracks, it’s a healthy mix of what we look for in a record. It’s got guest collabs that make sense without being overbearing, a few genre defying styles that go from almost dancey to instrospection and back but it never loses track.