A-F-R-O Has Flows For Days On Marco Polo’s Best Beats (EP Stream)
Last November, Bellflower, California MC A-F-R-O released his breakthrough mixtape Tales From The Basement. More than 100,000 people gave listen to the teenage lyricist who has been cosigned by R.A. The Rugged Man, GZA, DJ Premier, and others. In the time since, All Flows Reach Out has released videos, he’s toured the world with R.A., and he even nabbed a role in Vh1’s The Breaks film-turned-series.
Raising his status tremendously, ‘Fro is back to release product. Now, he partners with veteran producer Marco Polo for a self-titled EP. Backed by the storied Duck Down label, this project features label-mate Pharoahe Monch, as well as Eamon. Six songs deep, the extended player pushes 18 year-old A-F-R-O in different directions than his high-profile freestyles.
These songs have fully-formed subjects. “Use These Blues” is A-F-R-O trying his hand at reflective relationship raps. For skeptics who say the prodigious MC is about rhymes over substance, this track may change those opinions. The artist’s cadence can be appreciated at a deeper level when he slows it down to showcase his songwriting and revelation. “Sunshine & Flowers” calls back to raunchy records by Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Akinyele, and J-Zone about female reproductive parts. For Heads who want a higher-grade of technical rhyming, the Monch-assisted “Swarm” is the move. A-F-R-O pulls no punches calling out some MC peers and poor rhyme form, with a Dave Chappelle chorus. This record appears one of Hip-Hop’s finest flow masters of the last 25 years knighting someone out to be in that elite class for the next chapter.
For his part, Marco Polo delivers greatly. While ’15’s mixtape snatched industry beats, the Canadian vet hands ‘Fro complex sounds that both suit his purist style, without sounding deliberately nostalgic. As a producer who helped Torae and the late Pumpkinhead reach higher plateaus, he does the same here—for an MC with a vastly different style.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, some of the MCs with the most grabbing freestyles failed to translate those skills to cohesive projects. Even though it’s a freebie to stream, A-F-R-O wastes no time hitting his mark with a strong step in a great direction.
As a note, those who wish to support A-F-R-O & Marco Polo’s EP will receive two additional tracks.