“What up with Cormega did ya see him are ya’ll together?’ questioned God’s Son some 20 years ago on his now classic tale, One Love. Much has happened for Cormega over that course of time (including a well publicised spat with his aforementioned buddy from The Bridge) but one thing has remained consistent, Mega’s constant growth as a poet and more importantly as a person.
Mega Philosophy is Mega’s fifth studio album (sixth if you include that last joint Raw Forever) and comparing it to the “The Realness” is to do it a disservice. It’s growth, it’s evolution and it’s an album full of Large Professor beats! I won’t break this down for you song by song but if you aint messing with Queens New York then you aint messing with this. Mega Philosophy appeals to those of us that watched the evolution of Mega and while we all hope on The Realness 2, if you’re truly a Cormega fan, you know thats never going to happen.
Just like Nas, you can see that Mega is a fan of hip hop! It’s hard not to compare the two artists when their careers draw so many parallels. Another one of Mega and Nas’ QB buddies shows up for festivities on track six, D.U. (Divine Unity) see’s Nature putting in his best performance in years over some HUGE Extra P drums with swing. Track three, Industry, is a standout in my books. A haunting vocal with some jazzy keys is the bed for Mega to further explain major label slavery and the fuckery at that level. Far from being the newest concept in rap – Tribe told us about rule #4080 well over twenty years ago – its all in Cormega’s delivery and angle, it’s explained poetically and politically but in the simplest possible terms. It’s tracks of this calibre that sum up the album.
After the initial impact of listening to Mega, AZ, Redman and Styles P spitting side by side on the dream team edition of “M.A.R.S.”, you come to realise it’s just four verses on a beat. Four pretty fuckin good verses but nevertheless a posse cut. “Honorable” with Raekwon is dope but I heard it a year ago and I’m not a huge fan of chicks singing choruses and hooks so i wasn’t wild about that element of the album either. But they’re all largely cosmetic gripes and now that i think is about it, that “M.A.R.S.” posse cut is sick, it shits on the first one with Roc Marc, Action Bronson and Saigon, that one felt a little disjointed (Saigon?!?!) but the dream team edition kills that. With Extra P at the boards you know this is a very post 90’s album but for me thats generally a positive thing especially when considering how audiophonically Mega and Large compliment each other (pause) on wax.
Although clocking in at only 33 minutes it feels like it’s over before it begins, kinda short for something we’d waited such a long time for. Mega Philosophy is the continued evolution of Corey, i use the term evolution because Mega has never shown anything other than growth. His stream of conscious flow is as sharp as ever over the course of the albums 33 minutes and his message is never anything less than the upliftment of his people. Rather than the well worn formula of drug deals and street life that Mega hasn’t had any personal involvement with in more than twenty years, you get an honest heart on the sleeve approach from an artist lamenting past decisions, trying to raise his seeds and learning to adapt to a world that doesn’t entirely respect the young black male.
This isn’t simply Queensbridge rap, this is New York hip hop in the vein of Illmatic. It’s fluid, poetic and at times intuitive in its scope while also being largely boom-bap oriented. Its jam packed with a thoughtful braggadoccio that only a human of Cormega’s calibre and development could deliver. This is a must have for 2014 but if you’re a fan you’d already know that.
Peep the video for “Industry” below. Also, ignore the peculiar Amish hat that Mega is wearing, it can detract from the song. In years to come we’ll look back on this horrendous headpiece as we do some of Big Daddy Kane’s less than graceful forays within the world of fashion and style.
Cormega – “Industry”