Rov the Rebel is back with his ‘freshman solo LP’ having already blessed the hip hop community with the super dope ‘Fire Bomb‘ back in January with Silly Grinn. This time, ‘Baritone Symphony‘ is the vehicle for the vernacular, but the pen game might even be even sharper and the flow is definitely on point as he brings those gruff bars over a variety of dope boom bap style beats to give us this 18 track opus. The New Hampshire rhymeslayer is ferocious and focused as he relentlessly attacks each track with purpose, and ensures that the features which do make the album, really have to up their game to not get burnt on the mic.
When you press play, you enter a really killer pocket, one that isn’t about braggadocious, unbelievable raps, but one that marries the bars and the beats to create dope music, and track by track, the album builds to be one of the more solid offerings of 2022. The relatability is something that Rov brings to every track, and to get an album chock full of authentic, gritty bangers is a huge win for Rov the Rebel and the hip hop culture. Just one play of ‘Hip Hopportunity‘ encapsulates this – honest, introspective bars, spit with passion, riding a dope boom bap beat which makes the head nod. Perfect.
Production wise, the majority of the project is handled by DC the Midi Alien who knows how to craft that quality, concrete cracking score that hip hop is known for – and that a big, gruff voiced artist like Rov needs to really deliver his message. ‘Fire Bomb’ collaborator Silly Grinn drops in a couple of killer scores as well, while Improv the SuperVillain, Brutal Caesar, Baglez and Kemp round out the impressive list of boardsmen. The EXP crew roll super thick as a full feature, and we get some pretty hot sixteens from artists such as 8ch20wens, Bugout, Smitty and more as well to ensure there are a range of different verbal styles to keep the listener tuned in. It would also be remiss to not mention the KILLER cuts on the joint too – shoutout to DJ Slipwax and DJ Myth!
I just wanted to make music I would love to hear and that helped me pick the production team.Rov the Rebel
It’s that simplicity that makes ‘Baritone Symphony‘ such a success. We talk a lot about authenticity in hip hop, and this album and the organic process of curating the beats, enlisting features for bars etc really resonates outside of just the finished product. It’s been a labor of love and passion, with the help of some people who really wanted to not just make music, but to make memorable music people could really vibe to an appreciate. After 18 tracks and over half a dozen spins, this album certainly is chock full of ‘music we love to hear’.
Bangers: Test, Incinerate Fate, Hip Hopportunity, Art of Pain, Marksmen, VIP.
Score: 8.5 / 10. What a fantastic album, chock full of real hip hop bangers and delivered with a sharpness of craft and passion that can often be lacking in larger projects. Rov the Rebel clearly has the knack for beat selection, but also the ability to pen bars that invoke a range of emotions. There is a track on here for every moment of your day / week, much like a soundtrack to your day to day. And the balance of blasting the mic himself, couple with a handful of well selected features, just adds to the appeal of the album. We get Rov solo when we need, and others spitting when it suits the moment. Get this album into your rotation and enjoy true, high quality hip hop.