Review of Righteous Fury the New Album by Matt Maddox
Matt Maddox has been spitting rhymes for a number of years now, despite this Righteous Fury is only is second album and is four years after the debut Asylum Artistry. Matt Maddox is a throwback to Hip Hop of old. He doesn’t have loads of effects on his voice, he doesn’t use lots of computer generated EDM backing tracks and he doesn’t really build his rhymes for commercial attention. Put simply, he raps like he is in rap for rap’s sake. Shame the likes of Jay Z didn’t keep that tact.
If you don’t know anything about Matt Maddox, let me enlighten you. Matt was a member of international Hip Hop collective GWT, who counted Swedish rapper Cruz DurrtyJada and Germany’s Chinch 33 among Matt’s cohorts. Matt Maddox started life in Long Beach, California but has since moved on to Kansas. His style does seem to grate a little against some of the West Coast hip hop we have become accustomed to over the years, that isn’t a criticism though. This review will explain why.
After a four year break, you may well be forgiven for thinking that Matt Maddox has left it too long and can’t really stay current. Well Righteous Fury and indeed Matt’s style presents a bit of a contradiction in itself pressed against that statement. His has a real raucous delivery, a gravelly way of spitting his lyrics and with very basic production. Trying to find a commercial voice to compare him to, so the masses can draw comparisons, he has a sound that is kind of similar to the old Ja Rule delivery. However he is much more akin to the real tradition of Hip Hop.
Whilst above I have said basic production, this again isn’t a criticism. I mean basic as in real. Its doesn’t use gimmicks, it doesn’t need to. It plays to the very soul of hip hop. Clever use of samples including one from Queen in the track Show Must Go On. There is even a brilliant use of a classical piece of music in Sick and Tired Cuts that you will recognise, Its Pavane by Gabriel Faure. Its contains some great scratching in tracks such as Sick and Tired Cuts and throughout it is laced with great wordplay and dirty hip hop beats.
When I first downloaded the album, I was a little worried. I saw 19 tracks, which is quite a lot for a Hip Hop album. I was worried there would be a lot of fillers to bulk the album out to last the hour it plays from end to end. But don’t for a second think that is true.
Matt Maddox is a difficult one to call. In tracks like Reality’s a Bitch he shows the same kind of story telling ability as Nas but features flashes of influence from Eminem (not in terms of rapping by the way). The album is a real mixing pot of styles, influences and production.
If I was to level any criticism against Righteous Fury, it would be that some of the post production work may not be first class, the fades on a couple of tracks feel a little messy and the levels feel slightly out on a couple of occasions. But that is getting really picky and trying to offer some constructive feedback.
I come from a time when Hip Hop was still at the embryonic stage. A little later than Grandmaster Flash, although old enough to have still picked up on it. Impressionable when the likes of NWA and Public Enemy blew up. I love true MCs along the lines of Jeru and KRS One. I love raw and dirty Hip Hop such as Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang. But yes, I also love that West Coast old school, the likes Ice Cube, Dr Dre and Snoop. I regularly laud Eminem as one the best MC’s even though he has edged right over that commercial line. What I am trying to say is, I am pretty difficult to please when it comes to Hip Hop. Matt Maddox is up there. Righteous Fury is an album you need to listen to.
1. No Country For Old Men produced by Engineer
2. Interlude produced by Sultan Mir
3. Sick & Tired cuts by TMB produced by Sultan Mir
4. BARbarians ft Godilla, UG & Born Unique produced by Hellzwind
5. Work ft Mina Fedora produced by Skammadix
6. El Mariachi produced by Nemesis
7. The Get Back ft King Magnetic produced by Skammadix
8. Comedy Pt 1 produced by Skammadix
9. Murder Weapons ft Swann Cuts by TMB produced by C Lance (of Jedi Mind Tricks)
10. Spider Man ft Adlib & Reef The Lost Cauze produced by Vanderslice
11. Mjolnir ft Burke the Jurke Cuts by TMB produced by C Lance (of Jedi Mind Tricks)
12. King Killer produced by Sicknature (of Germany’s Snowgoons)
13. Olympus Has Fallen Cuts by TMB produced by Hellzwind
14. Upon A Pale Horse ft Edd Bundy Cuts by TMB produced by the UK’s Edd Bundy
15. Comedy Pt 2 produced by Skammadix
16. A Time To Kill Cuts by TMB produced by Hellzwind
17. Street Art ft Tragedy Khadafi Cuts by TMB produced by Skammadix
18. Reality’s a Bitch produced by Skammadix
19. Show Must Go On produced by Nemesis