Tracks

Percee P: "Put It On The Line"

(2005)

By Chet Betz | 2 August 2005

Percee P is a legendary machine gun of a rapper, and “Put It On the Line” is the first single from his upcoming Stones Throw album, which has all Madlib beats, which must be a dime a dozen these days. Percee’s guest appearance on Beauty and the Beat was a good reminder to everyone who had forgotten how ill he is, and so the backpacker climate feels especially primed for this, a comeback full-length produced by the absurdly prolific yet somehow, somewhat consistent mastermind behind The Unseen and Shades of Blue.

Percee holds up his end of the expectational load. He’s got the breath control of a young Nas, his cadence undulates, he barks with vocal deepness, he spits with Henry Higgins diction, he’s smooth and fluid and, fuck Houston, fast; the lyrics are pretty snappy, too. Mr. P’s two verses leave the mic trembling, and this far into the song description one might be hoping that it’s all a sign of the next Madvillainy.

But Madlib, Madlib, Madlib. See, Madlib’s beat for this song is pretty much the same as what’s used in the background of the intro track to The Pretty Toney Album. When I say “same,” I’m not just talking the same sample. I’m also talking about how the sample’s used; the chop-and-loop jobs are virtually identical. One of these beats is mixed better and has harder drums, and it’s not the beat to the lead single off the new Percee P album, no, the intro to Ghostface’s latest is the one with more bang. The intro. Hell in a handbasket, that “Luchini”-aping Brooke Valentine single tried to pull this same kind of shit, but at least it wasn’t jacking its music from something that came out just last year.

Madlib’s omnipresence doesn’t seem like such a godlike feat any more: not when his potence often deserves a more human prefix.