Messy Marv

Bandannas, Tattoos & Tongue Rings

As hip hop continues to think globally, absorbing the sounds and cultures of everywhere from Sri Lanka to Cape Town to create a sort of ghetto-universal template, the Bay Area pushes on in its own brutal, beautiful, and solitary orbit. It's a universe that begins and ends on the street corner, where MCs won't hesitate to, in the words of the Fillmore's Messy Marv, "kill for the block and die for respect." It's rough stuff, but fortunately Marv manages to inject his ghetto tales with needed bits of humor on his latest: He confronts a demented wanksta dentist on "The Ice Down"; farts on a date on the aptly titled "Eat the Poot"; and taunts Eminem's Shady/Aftermath camp on "Let It Be Known." But in the end it all comes back to the basic bay elements, encapsulated in the chorus of "2 to the Neck": "Drinking ... smoking ... fucking ...." Sure, it's very narrow and redundant (and to even say that it's redundant is redundant), but we all gotta eat and we all wanna play.

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