After four long years, Roc Marciano is finally back with his brand new album, Rosebudd’s Revenge.
The follow-up to 2013’s Marci Beaucoup, Rosebudd’s Revenge features 15 new joints, including collaborations with Ka, Knowledge The Pirate and—for the very first time—Knxwledge, who once called Marci “the realest dude in my existence on this earth.” Hard to argue with that.
Rosebudd’s Revenge is currently available on all platforms, including Roc Marciano’s website. For those yet to check it out, here’s everything you need to know.
Three Standout Songs:
“History” (Prod. by Don C of Arch Druids)
Just three tracks in, “History” contains some of the best imagery and references on the whole album. Over lush strings and a drum loop that’s as unruffled as Roc Marci himself, the Long Island spitter somehow threads a needle between Barbara Bush, Dorothy Dandridge and Christina Applegate, name dropping all three with varying degrees of flattery. If “History” proves anything, it’s that Roc’s simile game remains unparalleled, whether he’s brutally murdering you (“Pull out the pump, let it sneeze once / Put the axe to your back like tree trunk”) or doing the dirty with your girl—presumably after you’re dead, just to add insult to injury (“Your bitch lick the pre-cum right off the D-cups / My nuts hang like ribs in a meat truck”).
“Marksmen” ft. Ka (Prod. by Animoss of Arch Druids)
Ka has become a fixture on Roc Marciano albums, and his latest appearance doesn’t disappoint. A spiritual sequel to Reloaded’s “Pistolier,” “Marskmen” finds Ka and Roc Marciano trading double-barrelled bars over steely production from one-half of the Arch Druids. “You either cookin or jukin’, that’s how a crook fathom / 'Cause they said the judge judged, soon as he looked at ’em / While he plea, could hardly read — still threw the book at him,” raps Ka in his typically pensive prose. Roc Marci, meanwhile, spends a whole verse making sweet music out of his automatic weapons: “My stick came with a drum but I don’t play percussion / Not to toot my own trumpet, let the Kal-Tec off in couplets.” “Marskmen” requires careful attention to catch all these bars. Pause for a second, though, and their gauge pump will turn your brain to mush.
“Pray 4 Me” (Prod. by Roc Marciano)
Rosebudd’s Revenge is a largely grim affair, but the self-produced “Pray 4 Me” creates a much brighter mood towards the end of the album. Featuring a gorgeous flip of Wanda Robinson’s “My Father Is Dying,” the track finds Roc Marci in a rare moment of reflection, remembering his early days “bagging up, trying to catch the morning rush.” This is also Rosebudd’s Revenge’s most unrestrained moment as Marci drops in and out of the beat with the freedom of a guy who went from selling drugs to driving drop top Porsches. He even breaks out into song on the hook, because no pimp is too cool for crooning.
The biggest question hanging over Roc Marciano’s head when he announced Rosebudd’s Revenge last April was: can it top Reloaded? The answer, sadly, is no. However, that says more about Reloaded’s quality than Rosebudd’s Revenge’s shortcomings.
What this album lacks in standout songs like “76” or “Emeralds” and star producers like Q-Tip or The Alchemist, it makes up for in endlessly entertaining rhymes. His pen as sharp as ever, Marci’s metaphors, similes and imagery will make you stop in your tracks like Wee-Bay (“Two hammers do duets and Willie Manchesters / You hit the notes flat, my whistle blow and make the crystal crack”) and chuckle like Bunk (“I’m good money, lil buddy I’m no Huggy Bear / I have you in Huggies just like the ones a pet monkey wear”).
Like all of Roc Marci’s releases, Rosebudd’s Revenge is cohesive in sound and consistent in quality. The album remains fiercely loyal to the gritty, sample-based aesthetic Marci has mastered over the last seven years, while humorous references to Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert and Birdman (“Y’all finished or y’all done? / I might dunn you with the small bun”) keeps things fresh. Although no one expects Marci to step out of his slick-talking pimp mode, whatever he’s been up to for the last four years remains a mystery (beyond "getting chubby on a sunny beach," of course), not least because he charges “five bands just to sit down” for an interview.
Perhaps Rosebudd’s Revenge's biggest flawis the poor mixing. On songs like “Burkina Faso” and “No Smoke” (which features an underwhelming Knxwledge beat given the hot streak he’s been on lately), the production overpowers Marci’s subdued delivery. “Gunsense,” meanwhile, requires a high noise level warning. Whatever classic image he was trying to create in our heads only backfired on our ears.
There’s no denying Roc Marciano is an acquired taste. For those who find his beats too boring or bars too abstract, there’s nothing out-of-the-box on Rosebudd’s Revenge that will convert the non-believers. However, this album will satisfy everyone else whose stomachs have long been rumbling for new Roc Marci.
Let’s just hope it isn’t another four years until the next one.
By Andy James. You can follow him on Twitter.