Thursday, April 28, 2005

Looking for the Magnum, Searching for the Opus

Can I borrow a dollar?

Top Quality: "Magnum Opus"
Top Quality: "Magnum Opus (Instrumental)"
from Magnum Opus, RCA, 1993

Easily the most obscure artist in PMD's Hit Squad, Top Quality released his first and only album less than a year after EPMD broke up. Erick got Redman, PMD got Das EFX and brought out Top Quality as second in his lineup. The 12" for "Magnum Opus" made some noise, but the album cold flopped. Tony Dofat (of the equally obscure Rough House Survivers fame) and Charlie Marotta (EPMD's sound engineer) contributed production on the album, also entitled "Magnum Opus," which suffered from muddy tracks, over-the-top sewaside vocals, and generally unlistenable combinations of grimey lyrics and gutter beats.

The song "Magnum Opus," however, is an early-90s diamond in the rough. Top Quality gets an absolutely butter beat to flow over, courtesy of Keivan Mack, based around the jazz sample of Roy Ayers' "Step Into Our Lives", with a healthy dose of "La-Di-Da-Di" on the chorus. To be honest, I have no idea what Top Quality is talking about at any point in this song, but the continually changing flow, from sing-songy to straight up delivery, over that heavy track is pure hip-hop.


At 4/25/2006 5:31 PM, Anonymous E L Smoove said...

Top Quality was undoubtedly one of the hottest rappers we have been graced with in a long time. Brother has and had skills. He is a lyrical giant amongst a field of bling blingers and strip club hitmakers. Searching for the Magnum...Gotta find the Opus!!
Big up T.Q. D Original Rude Bwoh!


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