I had heard that Cormega and Large Professor were making an album together about a year and a half ago. In 2013, the Queens natives went on tour together, and I had a chance to see them grace the stage at Underworld in my hometown of Montreal. After listening to the long-awaited fruit of their collaboration, Mega Philosophy, I am cursing myself out for not doing more to get my ass to that show.
In hip-hop, artists who’ve been at it as long as Mega and Large Pro don’t usually put out content this good at this stage of their respective careers. But these two may have a magnum opus in this album. To begin with, from a production standpoint, albums with one man on the boards are usually blessed with a more cohesive and continuous sound. And who better for the task than Large Professor, a disciple of the late, great Paul C?
As for Cormega, the Queensbridge MC spits some of his best rhymes on Mega Philosophy. Shunning the materialism that has polluted this past generation of rap music, Mega instead waxes poetic on failed relationships, platonic or otherwise, (“Valuable Lessons”) and the duplicitous nature of the music industry (“Industry”). Furthermore, hip-hop heads will be pleased to hear the second incarnation of “MARS (Dream Team)”, which trades Action Bronson, Roc Marciano and Saigon for AZ, Redman and Styles P. There’s even a gem for those partial to the “rappity-rap” with “Rap Basquiat”, a track more than worthy of the artist whose name it bears.
After sitting with the album, it becomes clear that Cormega and Large Professor maintain a somehwat professoral relationship with their audience, akin to preparing their pupils for life in the real world, as evidenced with “More”, “Honorable”, featuring Raekwon the Chef himself, and “Rise”, with Maya Azucena on the hook. As OC and Apollo Brown did with Trophies in 2012, Mega Philosophy is the product of a man who has not only lived, but learned from his trials and tribulations the hard way.
In short, Mega, blessed with the rare gift of knowledge of self, imparts over 40 years’ worth of wisdom in a way that only a son of the Queensbridge Projects can.
Consider this album one of this year’s best. Top 5 at least. Check out the last entry for other projects that made the list.
Gems: THE WHOLE ALBUM. Seriously.