Album Review: The Trillionaires ‘By Hook or by Crook’

Band: The Trillionaires

Album: By Hook or by Crook

Label: URBNet

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

By Aaron Binder

The Trillionaires are a duo of Vancouver-based Matty the DertMerchant and Evil Ebenezer, for their debut album they were able to hook up with Moka Only, Mos Eisley, Mat The Alien and a few other well-known producers.  The result?  A pretty solid album called By Hook or by Crook.

The album samples a plethora of classic crime TV shows, 90’s talk shows (remember Rikki Lake?) and slides them in smoothly so they don’t take over the song, but aren’t left so far in the background that they are lost in the mix.  Most of the album is confident and smooth, the production is exemplary and exactly what you’d expect from the team assembled.

I’m a big fan of sample-heavy rap, and in that regard this album doesn’t disappoint.  Where it does is the sometimes sloppy rapping, it’s tough to make your rapping style sound lazy without it actually being that, and every so often it becomes noticeable in the case of The Trillionaires.  The one thing on the album that really kills it for me is the ‘Eat Shit’ interlude.  Sitting where it does, it kills the flow between two of the best tracks on the album ‘Hollywood Square and Chewin’ the Fat.

Regardless of the few problems, these are some fresh old-school beats, the duo has obviously been very heavily influenced by the golden age of 80’s rap and they manage to re-create it quite well while tossing in some trip-hop as well.  If you’ve ever wanted to relive the 80’s but don’t feel like pulling out your old Eric B. and Rakim cassette tapes, By hook or by Crook is a pretty good option and proves that the hip-hop scene in Canada is starting to become a threat internationally.

You can stream the whole album on Bandcamp.

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