2/13/20

Roc Marciano: The Flipmode Era

Busta Rhymes & Roc Marciano in Hollywood, circa 1999.
As a Roc Marciano fan who's long aware of his roots in the Flipmode Squad, I've always wondered why the MC seemingly appeared on so few songs with Busta Rhymes, let alone the rest of the crew. Of course, most everyone who's a fan has already heard "The Heist" (also featuring Raekwon and Ghostface Killah) off Busta Rhyme's Anarchy album and "Let's Make a Toast" (featuring Roc, Busta, Chip Banks and Raekwon) off Easy Mo Bee's Now or Never: Odyssey 2000. Thanks to House Shoes, we've now also heard the version of "Modern Day Gangstas" where Roc raps alongside Biggie, Busta and Labba on a Dilla beat. But none of those are technically Flipmode Squad songs, and of course, Roc Marciano isn't on any songs from the crew's only studio album, The Imperial. However, that doesn't mean Marc never appeared alongside the rest of the squad.

In fact, much of Flipmode's output from the late '90s and early '00s is preserved on mixtapes of that era, as well as the crew's guest spots on other artists' albums. Searching Google and YouTube for such Flipmode Squad apperances yielded several songs I'd never heard. Not including "Modern Day Gangstas," I now have a YouTube playlist of 10 tracks featuring Flipmode-era Roc Marciano. Some standouts are the ferocious "Set It On Fire" from Tony Touch's first Piecemaker album (2000) and the "Talk Too Much" freestyle, a Petey Pablo diss that appeared on a P-Cutta mixtape in 2001 (probably on a Kay Slay tape as well, though I'm not sure which one). Perhaps most unexpected is "What It Is (Part II)" off  the Dr. Dolittle 2 soundtrack (yes, Roc Marciano is on the Dr. Dolittle 2 soundtrack). The earliest cut, though, is "Whatcha Come Around Here For" from Violator the Album (1999). I'm betting there are many more, so I'll try to continue adding on to this list in the future. For now, enjoy Flipmode-Era Roc Marciano.

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