DJ Muggs is the DJ for rap group Cypress Hill and do not be surprised if you are not familiar with his work, unless you are a real underground fan. His production style could be compared to that of RZA from Wu-Tang. His beats are more on the laid-back side, but it is the atmospherics and all the little things that really color his tracks. His first album DJ Muggs Presents…. Soul Assassins Volume 1 was an album I have enjoyed since the first time I heard it, and it has led me to check out anytime DJ Muggs releases an album.
I had no idea this album was coming out so when I saw it in my Apple Music app under New Releases, I immediately had to check it out. Looking over the track listing and features I was only familiar with two of the artists going in, Cappadonna and Meyhem Lauren. “Winter is Here” kicks off the album with a voice telling us that Detroit was meant to be designed like Paris, and it went from being referred to as The City Beautiful to The Murder Capital Of The World. This flows right into the second track “Warning Shots” featuring Detroit MC Boldy James. This song has a very sparse beat with a little piano over the top. This song did not really grab my attention at first but has grown on me over several listens. “Olympic Stamps” featuring Cappadonna from Wu-Tang is next and he brings such energy to this song, really a pick me up from the last song. The beat on this song is great. This is followed up by “Japanese Space Program” featuring Massachusetts Producer/MC RLX. This is another good mid-tempo beat with RLX flowing smoothly over the top. There is an interesting moment part way through the song where the beat stutters for a moment and I love it. “Food On My Fork” featuring New York MC Rome Streetz is next and this may be my favorite song on the album. The beat hits, think a modern day “Takeover,” and Rome drops killer rhymes throughout. There is a guitar line late in the song that really made the beat for me.
“Veneno” featuring New Jersey Rapper Crimeapple, Rochester New York MC Eto, and Queens rapper Meyhem Lauren follows that and must easily be my second favorite song on the album. Both the beats and the rhymes in this song have high energy and this really has the sound of a single. The tempo drops a little for “Resume” featuring Hologram, but that does not mean the songs bad. The rhymes on this stand out. “Roll The Credits” featuring Massachusetts rapper Al Divino has perhaps the least conventional beat on the album. The best way I can describe it is the occasional drum hit over sounds and vocals. “Winter’s Theme in Dm” closes out the album. I really enjoy this song; it just sounds like a laid-back hip hop beat with nice little piano lines over the top. This could easily be on a meditation album.
Overall, this was an enjoyable release. I think that anyone can enjoy this album, but it is much easier if you are a fan of Muggs already. If you are not familiar with his work, I highly recommend check out that Soul Assassins Vol. 1. The thing that really got me interested about this album was not knowing many of the MC’s he featured. I am used to, typically, when a producer/DJ puts out an album that I will know most of the artists on there. The real appeal of this record was getting into a couple MC’s that I may not have previously known.
Are you a fan of Muggs? What did you think about the album? Let us know in the comments and continue to check us out over here at The Buzz.