I’ve talked about artist growth in the past and how fans have become a hindrance to it this century. On one hand you want to please your faithful supporters. The other side of that coin is a creative risk that may steer your day one supporters away from your work but it also has the potential to bring in new fans. Playing it safe will get you killed by critics as will experimenting with sounds that possibly don’t fit your audience. Marc Andre has been clever enough to deliver a bit of both on his “Allure 2 EP”.
On the new recording he has delegated production to a diverse set of producers and handled a couple by himself, whereas on the original “Allure EP” he almost entirely curated the production himself. So in a way we get Andre’s regular rapping skillset and production to push him outside of his comfort zone – An equation that more often than not brings out the best in emcees.
Across the EP 12 tracks, Andre’s nuanced rapping, the willingness of the production to be team players cohere into an affirmation for his fans. If this record was all a listener heard, it would seem obvious that Marc Andre is a more than competent emcee, which can very well be verified on his other releases that span more or less seven years.
Marc Andre’s slithering flow and weathered, blunted voice gives us the perfect stoned emcee on some tracks and then in an instant he can switch into a ballistic, gorilla-esqe delivery that rips any beat to shreds. Laced with internal wordplay, Andre can rhyme in a purely technical sense and then deliver balls-out pop referencing humor that brings out the more stand-out moments of the record.
And yet, despite the difference in his varying deliveries, the chemistry between production and rapping is what makes this EP work. It brings an intriguing sort of dynamic to the record, whether it’s being low key or roaring out loud.
From track one, “Not Supposed To Be Here [Prod.30 Below]”, we hear Marc Andre throwing verbal kerosene across a towering sonic fire built around a heap of modern bass driven beats. As a whole, Marc Andre’s lyrics and flow reflect the beats he raps over on “Allure 2 EP” much better than the “Allure EP, which gives the entire project more cohesion than its predecessor.
This is evident on standout tracks such as “PlayOffs” [Prod.G-Sco], “From Paris To The 301” [Prod. by Marc Andre], “Dedication ft Jimmy Levar” [Prod.Marc Andre], “My Little Secret” (Ode 2 Xscape) and “Get What You Deserve” [Prod.Marc Andre].
The “Allure 2 EP” is a strong push toward the future that should attract new fans without alienating those who have been following Marc Andre since the beginning. Andre proves he can spit well over any production, be that his own or that of others.
The “Allure 2 EP” is a worthy addition to Marc Andre’s extensive discography and should comfortably take a position near the top of most fans’ lists, if not right at the very top!