Raw Side Hip Hop

Experience the ‘Broken Swagger’ of P-Ro & CLOAQxDAGGER

Broken Swagger

Broken Swagger‘ is the second full-length solo album from Boston, MA emcee P-Ro as he teams up with fellow Knuckle Dragguz production team CLOAQxDAGGER (Crack Sizzlack & Mathias) to bring back the true essence of Boom Bap they’re all synonymous with.

This joint was deadly. I had to ride with this from start to finish just experiencing it before I even thought of reviewing it. This is my kind of hip hop – it’s authentic, but it’s fun, clever, engaging….. and that production is on POINT. The thick drums provide the stage for the soulful, jazzy samples and it’s music you can feel right in your bones. P-Ro on the mic is in his ‘happy place’. His crafty, clever wordplay, light-hearted mood seep through the lyrics like a smooth whiskey – it’s tasty with a bit of fire!

Kicking things off is ‘The Get Up‘ which is a funky intro to set the tone. ‘Fight Back‘ is one of my favourite joints on the album and just has me vibing out to the sick soundtrack while P-Ro does his thing. ‘Salma Hayek‘ is hilarious, but also an authentic ode to those women who made us ‘stand up’ through our teenage years, while ‘Drunken Master‘ is dark, grimey, dusty hip hop that could have been recorded in the Wu Tang basement. The ‘P.S.A (Interlude)‘ is epic, because I feel like P-Ro is talking right at us. No, not the wack ‘pay for play’ guys, the REAL cats who just want to give back to the culture and show love and support because it’s the right thing to do and is a passion for us. Either way – it’s a funny shout out and a clever little way to break up the album.

Live Art‘ and ‘Livin Boring‘ are two more well-crafted, semi-introspective tracks that keep that light-heartedness which allows you to just enjoy the music. Then ‘Mic Check‘ comes on with its kicking drums, festival feel and sinister overture. It’s yet another highlight from the album as P-Ro continues to show his versatility of flow and delivery. ‘The Speak Easy‘ transports you to a dingy little corner club, with jazzy keys, gruff commentary and a funky little ditty to cleanse the palette.

To round out the album, we get another high-funk joint in ‘She Got You‘ which is a dope story-telling track, a guitar-lick boasting, almost bluegrass feeling song with ‘I Miss You’ that completely feels like it belongs on a Roots album while the album concludes with the grimey, synth-laced ‘Smash n Grab‘ featuring Tali Rodriguez which is a tough as boot leather, riot inciting anthem.

Bangers: Mic Check, Fight Back, Drunken Master, Smash n’ Grab

Score: 8.5 / 10. This is a really great product. It brings back that well produced, drum heavy production that makes you slap on the steering wheel, table or whatever is nearby when you pop this joint on. Lyrically, it sits in a different pocket, as it’s clever and crafty, well written wordplay without trying to be too technical or intricate and that’s refreshing because it’s a genuine feel. Give this a spin and I’m sure you’ll dig it.

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