Most of us despise high school reunions in fear of not measuring up to either our younger selves or our peers. But MHz Legacy, gave it as much thought as an MC on a freestyle binge. Like a fine wine, which aged well until its point of tasting, the MHz crew has travelled a rocky road to this current state of bloggerific hip-hop. Most notably they lost one of their central pieces in the late Camu Tao, who succumbed to lung cancer in 2008―hence the addition of the word “Legacy” to the original MHz. Some eleven years after the disbandment, the crew’s older and more polished, but with all the same teenage fits of hip-hop domination in their self-titled debut LP.
The single “World Premier” gave MHz its first taste of the limelight back in the now-ancient 1998, but might be as relevant as ever considering that new generations of hip-hop fans will be introduced to them via this release. Unfortunately to many at this point, they’re just “a crew with a name no one knew how to pronounce.” That will change as the blogosphere catches wind of the entirety of MHz Legacy, which sounds like the perfect counterbalance to the grit of Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein (though with a few less gradients of genius). To diehard fans, and avid followers of the Midwest Hip-Hop mecca, it will sound like a return to form. Even low points like “Hindsight” and “Four Player Mode” seem necessary in the sonically rich thread that is the album―without them, Legacy would feel as hole-ridden as your average rapper’s pockets.
Throughout the album, especially on repeated listens, the juxtaposition is what shines brightest, but MHz knows a thing or two about that. Consisting of Copywrite, Jakki Da Motamouth, Tage Future, RJD2, and the late Camu, MHz Legacy has recruited a boatload of talent to aid them at the helm. Danny Brown, a vocal fan of Camu, along with Oh No, Ill Bill, Slug, and Blu make guest appearances as MCs, while Harry Fraud, Marco Polo, Surock, and J Rawls add to the kaleidoscopic assortment of sounds provided by RJD2. “Spaceship” might have already given you bouts of dance fever, and for good reason, but it is only one standout out of a team of all-star picks. “Accidently On Purpose,” “Soul Train,” “Gone!” and “Columbus Diss Patch,” are swollen with kinetic energy that will have any hip-hop head, either devout or newly converted, wearing out their repeat button. “Tero Smith,” which features Aaron Livingston (of Icebird), might be the closest thing to harness the quiet poetry of The Juggaknots since The Juggaknots themselves.
MHz Legacy took the first plunge into the abyss by reuniting for an album that will undoubtedly cause some sparks. Like a fine wine and all that jazz, they have grown into a formidable group, and MHz Legacy proves that. It’s now your turn to take the next plunge, and re(unite) yourself with some quality hip-hop. —Bogar Alonso (@Blacktiles)