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The Doppelgangaz Stick To A New York State Of Mind On ‘Peace Kehd’

New York struggles to effectively hold the title of its status as the birthplace of hip-hop, and this is evident more and more with each new wave of Empire State MCs. Rappers from NY have one of two choices: they can find inspiration outside of their state’s history and borders and risk the ire of fellow New Yorkers, or they can dig in and create a sound akin to what rap listeners have come to expect from the city of dreams at the cost of a wide range of listeners and mass appeal. The Doppelgangaz have made no bones about their choice, and it makes for a highly stylized, well executed, but largely unenthused effort, Peace Kehd.

A group whose name is a sensational spelling of the German word for look-alike who reside in New York have availed themselves to a lot of easy puns with their homage-laden effort. Backed by nostalgic production, EP and Matter Ov Fact rhyme well and exhibit a great level of chemistry on the mic. Upon numerous listens, you get the feeling it sounds more like a compilation of never before released Camp Lo and Mobb Deep cuts than something original. However, the duo does venture outside the NY golden-era blueprint such as “KnowntchooTahLie,” which is one of the better songs on the LP. It’s only flaw, though, is that it comes across as contrived not because of a lack of quality, but because it doesn’t quite belong with the aesthetic found in the other songs.

The onus for the pitfalls of Peace Kehd lies less on the Gangaz themselves and more on the current climate of New York hip-hop. On one end of the spectrum, there are acts like Action Bronson, Troy Ave, Joey Bada$$ and others, who have seemed to mix up what NY should sound like and add their own formula and spice. These MCs are outnumbered in the eyes of the mainstream by acts like A$AP Mob—who love NY but freely drawn upon other sources of inspiration. Both ends of the food chain are shortened by the belief that rappers from X should sound and look like Y because of the legends before them.

As time progresses, New York rap fundamentalists began to act like football fans who abhor the forward pass, and this is the attitude that may be contributed in some large part to Peace Kehd. It’s a release chocked full of talent and attention to detail, but weighed down by the heavy hand of the old guard.—Jordan Lebeau

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  • LarsHiphop

    This might be the most ignorant thing I have ever read

    • brendon

      Everytime i see a review just slightly criticizing which reviewers are supposed to do theres always the hardcore fanboys insulting the writer. A lot of it in the underground

      • Druidofdark

        Its not that they slightly criticize them, its the lack of attention to detail. They mention things but don’t really talk in depth with any tracks, only mentioning one song. Next time they should review the actual album, not the state that new york rap is in right now.

        • EEe

          EXACTLY. It’s not about dickriding your favorite group, it’s about people who give predictable mediocre trap or pop rap mixtapes 4 for lyircs and in the same time they give 3 points to The Doppelgangaz. Don’t get me wrong here, underground can be really corny but this is definitely not the case.
          I mean come on man, it’s ok not to like something but if you are a “writer” in one of the “biggest” (haha) hip-hop magazines you should really know what you are talking about and you should really do a simple research before writing.
          Are we fkin serious rignt now, Maino got 4 points for lyrics? Seriously? Maino?????

  • Stee

    What is this guy rambling about?

  • http://www.birthplacemag.com/ Birthplace Magazine

    The amount or writing about the state of NY hip hop by people who don’t fully understand the complexity of the state of NY hip hop, continues to boggle us. Wish this was more about the artistry than trying to draw on tired, outdated and uninspired analysis of the greater picture.

  • Alexi Gouzelis

    Wait; what was this review for? Couldn’t have been for the Doppz new one, that joint is XL + above like everything they’ve put out.

  • Trixx

    His reasoning for the poor review was because: “The onus for the pitfalls of Peace Khed lies less on the Gangaz themselves and more on the current climate of New York hip-hop”. Wow

  • Rick

    This “review” can be paraphrased by the following:

    “I had the Doppelgangaz new album playing in the background while I wrote this condescending blog post about something unrelated.”

  • stasssshhh

    “New York struggles to effectively hold the title of its status as the
    birthplace of hip-hop, and this is evident more and more with each new
    wave of Empire State MCs.” First of all, that makes no sense. You mean that it needs to hold it’s status as the reigning city of hip hop? The issue of it being the birthplace of hip hop is never in dispute.

    The group doesnt define itself by being from New York (they’re upstate NY I think anyway) and they barely mention it so it’s not relevant. This is a terrible review, you guys really need to check who is doing your writing. This is straight lazy journalism. The reviewer could have at least did a background check on them or listened to their other albums. Mobb Deep and Camp Lo are bizarre comparisons as well..

  • Groggypack

    Well XXL doesn’t know what they’re talking about again, not even surprised by this bullshit review. Hardly even regarded the work at hand, just kept throwing the names of artists….

  • Bigz

    Some bs, shits dope

  • mmmhhmmm

    worst review I’ve ever read.

  • FAIL

    Worst review ever, and this comes from a guy who didn’t really like this album that much. Please fire the dude who wrote it.