By P80 Parks
On Where The Sidewalk Ends Connecticut Emcee Marvalyss and Pennsylvania producer Alcapella combine on 15 tracks of well-rounded beats, and skilled bars. Both artists are in their respective zones here; Marv brings his honesty and sincere writing. Alcapella is out to capture it all perfectly. The concepts, loops, beats, and vibes all work well, blending into a thoughtfully put together album. On the title track, Marvalyss spits with some depth over poignant piano notes.
Marvalyss expresses his veteran’s presence on “A Long time,” as Alcapella provides stuttering guitar licks and a haunting vocal loop on the hook.
Marv: “A Long Time is one of my favorite joints I recorded because it perfectly describes how I’ve felt for a while dealing with music, but I feel like I’ve finally arrived.”
Alcapella: “A Long Time was the very first joint we recorded when Marv touched down in the studio. He recorded that entire song in one take without his phone in front of him for lyrics! As soon as he wrapped those verses up, I knew this project was gonna be crazy.”
Marv and Al bring in a couple heavies on “Fly Talk” with Recognize Ali and King Magnetic accompanied by some ill scratching from DJ Tray. Lyrical scientists come together over haunting organs on “Neighborhood Bullies” features A-F-R-O spilling his ever complex articulations. On “Midnight Marauder,” Alcapella brings it back with slightly funky riffs, jazzy flute loops with Marvalyss spitting little nods to Tribe throughout. Marv and his lyrical dexterity are on display on the uptempo “Runnin (Never Look Back).” Marvalyss shows some versatility in his writing as he weaves separate and compelling tales on “Three Stories (Long Story Short).” On “Till the Sun Come Up” feat Ralph Bryant and Suave Ski, Marv adds some harmonizing on the hook for the trio to body. “For Heaven’s Sake” shows Marv articulating his worries and explaining his prayers in rapid fire rhyme. Marvalyss illustrates the cautionary tales in the streets on “The Message Pt. 2(In a flash)” and then closes it out introspectively on the poignant yet hopeful “Life Begins.” Alcapella laces “The Graveyard(Outro), leaving heads almost disappointed that Marv didn’t bless that beat.
Al: “From my point of view, this album compares a lot to Lead Poison from eLZhi. Introspective on a lot of joints, but we slid some shit talk in the mix too”
It’s pretty clear that Marvalyss is having fun making music right now; his energy and enthusiasm is evident in his voice and pen game. Alcapella is making some quality beats, complementing Marvalyss’ style. Where The Sidewalk Ends is a compelling album full of thoughtful lyrics, creative storytelling, and finely crafted beats.
Marv: “I’m proud of this project; I wanted to evolve on the story telling side of things.”
Where The Sidewalk Ends drops 7/22, preorder here: