Artist: HITT of MCM
Album: Middle Class Millionaire The Album
Reviewed by Jason Randall Smith
As a self-described “80s baby grinding in the new millennium,” HITT of MCM exudes an entrepreneurial spirit. While music production is his main calling, he seems just as comfortable taking on the responsibilities of promotion and engineering, covering all aspects of an album’s creation and release. MCM is an acronym for Middle Class Millionaire, which serves as a marketing brand for HITT’s entertainment outlet, its interests spilling over into producing events and securing sponsorship for others. With this type of multitasking, money is definitely on HITT’s mind, but don’t be fooled. Middle Class Millionaire The Album isn’t solely about the Benjamins.
The motto for MCM is summed up in the album’s lynchpin track, “3LR.” Standing for “Love Life Live Rich,” its sentiments go beyond capitalistic tendencies to emphasize the never-say-die attitude that HITT of MCM embodies. “It’s always forward motion,” he affirms, “even when I’m set back.” His production shies away from soul samples, opting instead for synthesizer-drenched melodies and electronic drums. Some cuts hit harder than others, such as “One day at a time,” where the percussion feels like kung fu punches and kicks took up residence where bass and snare hits normally hang out. The keyboard swells and twinkling harmonies throughout the song add color to HITT’s grounded perspectives. The drum rolls and staunch chords of “No place like home” are offset by brass blasts and billowing harps as HITT reflects on how much you can miss the place you couldn’t wait to get out of when you were younger. “Wild,” however, seeks out the ladies with naughty sides, and the female vocal hook adds fuel to the fire supplied by seductive drum pads and static slaps.
While HITT has no problems holding down rapper and production duties simultaneously, there are numerous featured artists that add their own flavor to the album. “Green Light” alternates between fast tempos during the verses and offering a breather during the hook (“Yellow light, slow it down”). Nova absolutely destroys the second verse with his fast rap approach, ripping through bars at speeds that hit Guinness Book records. Basick Sickness squares off with HITT on “Stereotype,” resulting in one of the best collaborations on the album. Their jagged barbs take aim at each other over a backing track that incorporates abrasive frequencies over a head-banging rhythm sequence. On the more contemplative side of things, “Emotions” features the tender guitar work of Evan Thorsen, adding a sensitive aura to HITT’s musings on working through life before delivering an emotionally stirring axe solo.
“HotBox” concludes the album with a staggering 20-minute exercise in freestyle thought. Equally captivating and infuriating, a pair of subtle chords ride a slow jam beat pattern as HITT spits from the top of the head and the heart on everything and nothing at the same time. While most will echo the question of “Man, what you talkin’ ‘bout?” right back at him, there is something undeniably heartfelt and likeable about the track. As he thinks back to his humble beginnings, dedication to his craft, and artists the rap world has lost along the way, while it may not be lyrically intricate, the song does provide a peek into what HITT thinks about during his private moments. This one just happens to be caught on record. It’s a surprisingly modest ending to an album that sidesteps preconceptions about its supposed obsessions with the almighty dollar. Middle Class Millionaire The Album is less about the joys of materialism and more about doing what you have to do in order to be able to do what you love to do.
Get your copy on iTunes–> http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/middle-class-millionaire/id450323729
Review by Jason Randall Smith
ABOUT the Reviewer: Based in Mount Vernon, New York, Jason Randall Smith is a contributing writer for Impose Magazine. In addition, he maintains his own website, Both Sides Of The Surface, and is also the creator of Radio BSOTS, a podcast featuring independent hip-hop, soul, funk, and electronic music. Jason was also a World Music Community Blogger for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY® Awards. Under the pseudonym Macedonia, he served as a member of WCDB Albany 90.9 FM, hosting shows and producing promo spots during the 1990s. Jason collects vinyl, treats liner notes like canonized literature, and still equates the term “mixtape” with actual cassettes.