UK Hip Hop: Artists & Discographies
Blackmobb - Twin Powerz
Blackmobb - Twin Powerz
1.  Live On [Q.B.]
2.  F**k The Police [D21]
3.  Life On The Line [TwinPowerz]
4.  Mob Ridin frestyle [D21]
5.  Runnin On E [Q.B.]
6.  My Life [D21]
7.  Hit Em Hard [Q.B.]
8.  Bronx Wassup [D21]
9.  Palm Tree [Q.B.]
10. Made Me [D21]
11. He Wrote It [Q.B.]
12. There Go One [D21]
13. Time Is Now [D21]
14. D21 [D21]
These guys need some exposure, however I'm a bit confused as to who is who. The full title is BlackMobb presents TwinPowerz d.a.t.a. (dontacceptthealternative). So I'm assuming the label or larger crew is BlackMobb, that the group is called TwinPowerz and that the release is 'd . a . t . a . (don't accept the alternative)'. The group consists of two brothers from different mothers, D21 and Q.B. aka Q. Boogie emerged from the Bronx and developed their talent in New York amidst the day-to-day hustle of urban realities. They are fuelled by a passion to personify realness and have not only national credentials, but have a truly international dimension to their make up. National having taken their sound to Los Angeles, California and sparked a recording fury, joining forces with Japanese hitmaker, Kaz Hamatani to blaze cross-continental thunder.

But, the depth of the crew doesn't stop there. Deep and broad, BlackMobb also spans the Atlantic as well, with D21 now being located in London producing mix CDs here in the UK. Hence part of the reason for the Name the TwinPowerz and this multiple location approach enables the crew to get over in several areas simultaneously. D21 is currently aiming to topple the UK scene with unmatched skill and intensity and has already has some success infiltrating UK radio when in October the previous single Gangsta B received airplay on 1Xtra. The group have come out with a real barrage of material. Directly prior to the release of the LP the group who are labelling themselves with the lofty title of 'premier rap duo of the decade - bar none' released two mix CDs.

Now they are dropping the 14 track album "d.a.t.a. (don't accept the alternative)" which comes with the following warning:

"This is not Hip Hop, Hip Hop Soul, Pop, R&B, Alternative Rock or any other watered down form. This is Rap true and pure how it originated". 

The TwinPowerz certainly don't hold back in their self promotion, but to be fair they certainly try to live up to their admirable ideals and they ask that the public, 'wake up, stop what you're doing, and listen up'. Anyone who does this will be treated to some raw beats and conscious lyrics. Across the fourteen tracks the Twin Powers always remain hard hitting, evocative, sometimes poignant, and always real. Although the duo are a group the LP is more a collection of solo tracks with only one track featuring both Q.B. and D21 together on the vocals. The title of the LP as with so much of the TwinPowerz work, works o at least two levels. Within the content of their music they are imparting a great deal of information and knowledge, i.e. Data, but the acronym they have decided to make with the initials indicates how one should try to gather ones own information to make up your own mind rather than believing what the people in charge tell you.

The LP opens with a gunshot which is symbolic of the d.a.t.a. that is about to shoot through your head entering through your ears. As the thunder subsides the first track Live On kicks in and it is a sort of upbeat affair with a lightly plucked guitar and strings etc. The clap of the snare, elements of middle eastern nasal horn and chanted "ow's" in the chorus all set up a heavy opening for Q.B. to get busy over. Not surprising considering his origins but this cold be compared to other Queensbridge residents like M.O.P. for example, this is just as accomplished, but in a sense a touch more classy as well. Fuck The Police opens with an Irish geeza dissing each department of American Law Enforcement. A bit like J-Dee's tracks of the same name the snare is the main element of the production with some Stranglers type organ to prop it up. A dangerous statement in today's times, but there is a message to be said here and when D21 compares the po po to a terrorist group I have to find myself agreeing. For me it is track 3, Life On The Line where the LP really gets going. A dangerous guitar sample is magalated through the sp, a super heavy bass takes over every four bars and for the first time Q.B. and D21 go back to back over the low tempo banger. The lyrics are super deep and kinda emotional as well when combined with such a sublime beat. The track is long at nearly 5 minutes, but why would you want to curtail auditory perfection?

Mobb Ridin comes in rather abruptly after the previous track with its mad samples from Queen's We Are The Champions. One these have subsided and the track runs proper we can once again hear how these guys chop up their samples and get busy. The double speed shaker pushes the track on, but it is the use of the chopped female vox as an instrument and the nice pianos that make this so original. Runnin On E brings s back to what we would expect more. The beat is is not dark at all and the lyrics have a kinda story feel although they remain very observational. My Life brings us some typical Hip Hop singing, but this isn't Biz Markie, the lyrics are of the utmost consciousness and given time to breath over the slow piano riffed backing. D21 explains how he has never been a gangster on the mic and has always done what he can to further himself.

Hit Em Hard returns from the introspection back to fat smash and grab beats. This along with Life On The Line is a track that has that little something extra that makes it special. Of course having the right string sample will always help, but it is the complete package that counts. On here Q.B. has also enlisted the talents of Mechi and Don the Jeweller to help on the back up vocals. Bronx Wassup needs a bit of effort to listen to. It is one of those tacks where the vocals are purposefully muddified. The beat is pretty much all highs and therefore rather harsh. The bassline which is minimal is also pretty disconnected from the rest of the track and doesn't quite work for me. Once again the LP swings back to a fuller mix and the skippier more happy sound of Kaz' beats for Palm Tree. LaTisha features on the chorus courtesy of Grindin Entertainment.

He Wrote It is a bit of an indie affair with its distorted guitar wall of sound effect, but the drums come through loud enough to make sure that you are in no doubt that this is a Hip Hop track. Not may favourite beat on here but it works better than one might anticipate. Q.B. delivers a crime and murder based rap. There Go One opens with some chanting before another low tempo track gets going. This one gives me a feeling of something off Ice T's first LP, but unfortunately this one got fast forwarded after 2'45". Time Is Now seems to follow a very similar pattern to the revious track, but for some reason works a bit better, mostly I thik t is simply due to the fact that on this D21 drops his lyrics with much more feeling. Rounding up the last three tracks from D21 D21 possibly starts off the craziest. Its a very noisy track and it is where D21 takes his turn to big himself up. It is funny to hear references to 21 seconds, although it does fit with his mane, but unless I'm wrong there are also Big Brovaz references, and D21 sets to work on 50 cent as well. D21 states he's gonna be serving punks and there are several I can think of who he would take out with ease, but it can be guaranteed there are others who'll give him a run for his money.

Across the long player there are several producers. Kaz Hamatani produces the lion's share with four tracks (3, 5, 9, 11) and other affiliates such as Josh Black (1), Bones Of Get Beats Productions (2, 6, 14) and Danny of Dirty Geeza Productions (10, 12, 13) all get a look in or two. D21 also lays his hands on the boards (4) and collaborates with Bones for a co-production (8).

So, the TwinPowerz crew are making full use of their global connections which span as far as Japan, LA, NY and the UK and have a highly desirable release on their hands. They have their sights on spreading their name far and wide and if they continue in the same manner there is no reason why that should not happen. TwinPowerz together are re-igniting rap, their style pulls no punches and doesn't shy from humour or irreverence. For the duration they never lose a grip on what the mainstream has lost. Pick it up. Listen. Generally it is hot although there are some lower points towards the end. Twinpowerz is poised to dominate the game by any means necessary.

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