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Two years ago, The M-Virus was loosed on a rap populace too busy guzzling champagne and getting "jiggy" with it to notice the subtle winds of change blowing in from the east. Big Pat and Mr. Dead--otherwise known as Metabolics--denizens of East New York's notorious Cypress Hill Projects, had concocted a potent elixir of raw hip-hop from the Underground. But the powers that be conspired to keep this mighty antidote for whackness away from the people who needed it most--you, the starving consumer.

That didn't stop Mr. Dead, however, from taking his sonic experiments even deeper underground, and working even harder to come up with an alternative to the Okey-doke, the Blahzy-Blah, that hulking monolith of mediocrity called Commercial Rap. Without the same big-money machinery behind him as the corporate clowns who masquerade as MCs, Mr. Dead enlisted an elite corps of beat alchemists--Prince Paul, Dan The Automator, Scotty Hard, Spectre, Bimos, and M. Sayyid (of Anti-Pop)--to chemically infuse his new album with the crucial ingredients to make it rough, raw, real, and addictive. Indeed, one listen to his magnum opus, Metabolics, Volume 2: Dawn Of The Dead (WSCD039), and you'll be fiending for it like a crackhead.

The album kicks off with "Left for Dead," on which Mr. Dead declares that he is very much alive and carrying on the crusade for real hip-hop amidst all this confusion. This is the "End of Days" for all sucker MCs as Dead "Spit Something" ferocious. In fact, his relentless flows will leave you "Chemically Imbalanced" and induce "Altered States" as all good music is bound to do. With guest vocal appearances from labelmates Sensational, Big Pat, and MC Paul Barman and a slew of unknown microphone assassins--The Vandal, Metallica, Herc Boogie--Dead's playing for keeps this time around. Rising from the depths of the underground, the Dawn Of The Dead will be creeping to a record store near you.

Time Out NY/ Jan 2001

Mr. Dead
Metabolics, Vol. 2: Dawn of The Dead

It's getting a little tiresome to hear underground MCs complain about being unnoticed on their albums--it amounts to nothing more than preaching to the converted. Hey, man, we're already listening to your record so why are you complaining to us? So when Brooklyn MC Mr. Dead opens his second album (the first, 1998's The M Virus, was released under the name Metabolics) with a whatever-happened-to-rap dialogue set in the future, red flags go up. Thankfully, what develops from there is a display of raw hip-hop skills, with a minimum of filler and no whining about being underappreciated--and that is greatly appreciated.

Mr. Dead is an unflashy MC, using what he's got--hard simple rhymes and gruff voice--and adding a supporting cast that, while large and talented, never threatens to obscure the mood of hip-hop exploration he creates. Although he comes from the tough projects of East New York in Brooklyn, Mr. Dead has no use for the all-too-familiar trappings of thuggery--there's no cash, hos, or bling-blinging in sight here, just bass-heavy beats and his piercing, self-descriptive lyrics.

Dawn of the Dead reaches its high water mark in the middle, where the title track, with a deliciously old-school electro beat courtesy of Prince Paul leads into "Altered States," which could act as Dead's manifesto. Surrounded by Anti-Pop's M. Sayyid (who also produces the hard-hitting track) and as yet unknown (but fierce) MC named Herc Boogie, Mr. Dead expounds on the life of a non-mainstream rap artist hell-bent on not just talking about "next shit" but trying to get it too. Mr. Dead's music is not at all inaccessible, so his incredulity at being ignored is on target. Perhaps if this is really his dawn, better days lie ahead for hip-hop heads everywhere.