M.A.V. & Rob Gates – “The Dark Side of Nature” review

This is the surprise collaborative album between Rochester emcees M.A.V. & Rob Gates. Both of whom are members of Da Cloth along with Mooch & Rigz, who actually happened to drop their own collab effort with Big Ghost Ltd. production top to bottom late last year called The Only Way Out. Given that, it’s only right for Big Ghost to show off 2 other members of Da Cloth for a full project.

After the “Prelude” intro, the first song “Bad News” opens up about doing what needed to be done over a grimy beat with some rock influences to it whereas the next track “Bloodhounds” gets murderous over a wailing guitar. The song “Said What I Said” talks about how ugly the lives that they’ve lived are on top of an instrumental that sounds like something from a horror flick while the track “Wild Card” angrily paints themselves as mobsters over a melancholic boom bap beat.

The song “Green Light” talks about applying the lesions that they’ve learned throughout the years on top of a somber orchestral loop while the track “Tombstone” talks about engaging in criminal activity over a fuzzy boom bap beat. The song “Left for Dead” with Rigz sonically gets back on the rock side of things as the trio talk about how dudes in their hood don’t play while the track “Said Less, Did More” talks about grinding as over an elegiac piano instrumental.

The song “Authenticated” talks about how their credibility over a hypnotic beat while the penultimate track “By Myself” gives us a glimpse of what it was like for them growing up & I really love the instrumentation gets more layered as the song progresses. The album finishes off with “Smokin’ Aces”, where everyone in Da Cloth gruesomely show us what they’re capable of as a unit for almost 8 minutes.

If you loved The Only Way Out, then you’re gonna enjoy this just as much. Not only because M.A.V. & Rob Gates’ chemistry is just so unique, but Big Ghost Ltd. also continues to show why he’s one of the best producers in hip hop today.

Score: 4/5

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