Mcenroe Nothing Is Cool (with Birdapres)

[Peanuts & Corn; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: good ole underground Canadian hip-hop
Others: Pip Skid, Epic, Moka Only, Buck65, DJ Moves, Birdapres, Yy, John Smith

Peanuts & Corn, the collective/label that does some of the best underground hip-hop north of the border, has proven consistency is their strongest suit. With a lengthy roster of producers, DJs, and rappers that each individually reflect this consistency, they've built up an impressive catalog. The light-hearted, every man style they've perfected is best represented by Mcenroe. Responsible for a huge majority of the label's production, he's proven himself to be a prolific force. It doesn't end there for Mcenroe though -- he's also a noteworthy rapper and skilled post-producer. All of Mcenroe's abilities are joined up with Birdapres' deadpan rapping. The two make a good team here on Nothing Is Cool, but you'd be hard-pressed to find any Peanuts & Corn fellas that didn't work well together.

Mcenroe and Birdapres keep things simplistic. Mcenroe's beats are minimalistic and Birdapres' rhymes are observational and topic-driven. These two ordinary guys don't try to conceal the fact they're ordinary -- they actually seem to thrive on it and use it to gain ground on their contemporaries. As the "every man," they maintain a level head and edge over the pretentious competitors out there in the world of underground hip-hop.

This duo's whole style can be best summarized by listening to the title track of the album. Riding a bass-driven beat with sprinkly sounds and firm drums, Birdapres shines while making his case on the foolishness people often get caught up in: "Avant-garde, hardcore revisionists/ boutique labels going out of business/ graffiti t-shirts, pastel track pants/ learn to breakdance cause now's your last chance /emo is female, macks are bitch-made /cool to me is a comb that's a switchblade." It's this exact combination of well-adjusted attitude and comfortable self-confidence that makes Nothing Is Cool work so well. Mcenroe and Birdapres don't try to be something they're not. They're the guys who don't go out of their way to please, but rather stay put and try to get you to convert to them.

1. 5000 Watts
2. Break Merchant
3. Grumpy Old Men
4. Nothing Is Cool
5. Broke Beat
6. Party People
7. Bad Actors
8. Family Business
9. The Worst Person
10. A Little Bitter
11. South Slope
12. Wanted to Cooperate
13. Supposed
14. F*@k You 2K3