Mr. G x Forbidden
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Mr. G x Forbidden

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According to the stars, the Aries and the Aquarius are very compatible zodiac signs. It says that the two share the same personality traits of independence, exuberance and a love of freedom. This is why Forbidden, the Aries and Mr. G, the Aquarius work so well together. Forbidden's last album "Free Burnie Dozier: The Album" featured Mr. G heavily on beats and rhymes and the two also dropped a mixtape building off of the momentum of their single "Black Belve" which finds a home on this new album. The thing I found so intriguing about this album is the chemistry between the two artists. I hadn't known how long they've been making music together, but I did know it was a match made in heaven. Forbidden's flow seems so at home over the big drums and agressive melodies of Mr. G's tracks.




For the release of this new album, I met with Forbidden to discuss his career and the music. If you've read previous reviews of Forbidden, you'd know that he was a member of the classic group LMS which seems to always be brought up in a Baltimore hip hop conversation. Forbidden, remembers those days easily. Although he received a lot of hate at the time because LMS was all over the place with the song and video playing on The Box every hour, he says it still felt good. His group was on the verge and he's experienced a success that many emcees back then and today strive for. But he doesn't live off of it. You won't ever hear anything about LMS in his new songs which made me think he somehow resented it, but it's part of what makes him the artist he is now. Although counting it as one of his successes as an artist, he still knows there is far more that he can accomplish. He started his solo career around the end of the 90's with producer Burnie Dozier and has kept his circle pretty tight ever since. He feels more comfortable working with a tight knit group citing that he's a spiritual person and goes off of people's vibes. He's not shy at all, Forbidden just prefers working with those that are about the music primarily. Even if you read past album credits you'll see the same names, Burnie Dozier, TH, AJD, Rona and others. Even on this new release, you'll see the same names. He doesn't mind working with artists outside of his circle, but this is where he is home, amongst his team.




As far as the music, he likes to be as diverse with the subject matter as possible and tries to add substance to his music. On songs like the opener "Don't You Stop" you'll find him singing the hook on a really optimistic song backed by Burnie Dozier on the beat. Directly following is the smash "Black Belve" featuring and produced by Mr. G. It's a grown man anthem, and that is something both he and Mr. G have in common. Getting the two together just furthers that zodiac relationship as they both seem energized and exuberant. Easily speaking in turn and building off each other's statements. This is also how they work when they're in the studio. You'll never catch them bumping heads or arguing over what topic or beat to rap over. in fact, a lot of the beats Mr. G has given to Forbidden were meant for other artists. Mr. G isn't shy about giving up on artists who hasn't finished a song or who has just left it at the studio, and Forbidden doesn't hesitate to snatch it up and re-work it to make it his own. Mr. G, a Detroit native, who moved to Baltimore during the Reagan era, believes Forbidden energizes him. he says that he remembers LMS fondly during his high school days, and feels it's an honor to work with him as they pretty much grew up in the same area but did not know each other. Forbidden went to Randallstown High and Mr. G went to Woodlawn. Mr. G is a really humble artists that pretty much does it all, engineer, rap, write and produce, but his focus is the production. He says he's shyed away from rapping due to the current climate but Forbidden keeps him on his toes. He's worked with several artists in the city including Nik Stylz, Ms. Cream and he produced the title track to Si Notes last mixtape "C.O.D." When asked about playing the Robin to Forbidden's Batman, Mr. G says he looks at it more like a partnership, like a Pete Rock and CL Smooth situation. He knows the producer doesn't get much credit but he still knows how much of a major part he is and has been when it comes to Forbidden. he's either producing or rapping over tracks that aren't even his.




In the end, when asked about getting to the next level, both kind of have the same idea. It's not about getting signed, it's about living off of what they love to do. Forbidden feels like he's had plenty of successes, he's just waiting on the monetary rewards and Mr. G says that even a distribution deal would satisfy him. Both feel as though they could compete on any level and with any artist, signed or unsigned. I agree, these two put out great music together and should be amongst Baltimore's elite. And this new album, regarded as Forbidden's favorite, is just another step in the right direction, whether they make it or not, they'll keep going. As Mr. G puts it, when he's asked if he'll quit, he answers with "Hell No!" because he feels like this is what he was put here to do, and I guess finding his artistic soul mate Forbidden was all in the plans.


- Darryl Clark


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

In hip hop, collaborations are pretty common place. However, true chemistry isn’t always there. It’s not too often we a get a DJ Premier and Guru, or a Pete Rock and CL Smooth. That type of chemistry is where producers seem to tailor make beats to an emcee’s strength. Two artists in Baltimore have seemed to find that. Forbidden and Mr. G. Both have dropped projects recently, Forbidden with “Free Burnie Dozier” and Mr. G & Forbidden with “Black Belvey.” Both projects feature both artists as if they were a duo and have been working alongside one another for years.
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Forbidden’s project, the latest of his many albums he’s been dropping nonstop lately, starts with a self-produced song dedicated to his daughter. After that, the fun starts. Forbidden hooks up with Baltimore legend Little over a beat by Mr. G on “Fakin” where Little sounds re-energized alongside Forbidden spitting slick lines like “…ne’er nigga gon stop me/ just GOD baby, thank GOD baby/ he blew breath in my lungs I got it in daily…” Next, Forbidden puts out a dope tribute to a friend and a legend in the Baltimore scene whom was taken from us before he could realize his potential with the the song “RIP Damien Drew AKA CDS.” The song isn’t somber at all, it’s a recollection of times rapper forbidden spent with CDS at jobs and in the street while Mr. G holds down the hook. Honestly, there hasn’t been a tribute song this good since Bossman’s song to the late k-Swift. The rest of the CD is pretty par for the course for Forbidden, aggressive music with a lot of features from his crew. Rona kills “YEAH I C.Y.U. Mad” and A.J.D.(Authentic John Doe) contributes a dope verse for “This is Hip Hip” produced by Mr. G and Sora Beats respectively. Although the album is titled “Free Burnie Dozier...” we only get two beats by the producer, but Forbidden makes good of them on the radio ready “Broken heart” featuring F.M. and Uriah Moore and a cut called “Take the Pain Away” where Forbidden shows love to Burnie while channeling Nas spitting “…the holy Spirit’s in my rhymes like it is in your beats / the tracks you form and poetry I speak’s unique…” which kind of sums up their bond and the reason for the name of this album.
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Mr. G & Forbidden’s mixtape kind of plays out the same way as the album, a lot of aggressive music mainly anchored by Forbidden’s no-nonsense potent flow. The mixtape features a lot of original joints produced by Mr. G where forbidden just goes in and a lot of industry beats where Mr. G, Forbidden and a few other guest emcees make their own. It’s begins with the title cut “Black Belve”, a homage to the grown and sexy crowd that enjoys the party but not the bullshit over some dope organs put together by Mr. G. The highlight of this mixtape is Forbidden. He sounds so at ease and comfortable on the mic while his new found counterpart Mr. G handles the boards. Forbidden shows off on multiple songs like “Face Off” spitting “…Forbidden flow be scorchin everything that’s on the Earth’s Surface/ I put them words together like word perfect…” and “Fuckery” spitting “feel the pain I am killing you with every damn syllable/ rise pass the ridicule not a lie this is true/ beyond the battle rap I will swing a fist at you and introduce ya fronts to the bottom of my tennis shoes…” Don’t mistake me though, Mr. G is no slouch on the raps. He does get lyrical, on “Ryder” he spits “big house big bank a couple pounds of stank/ Rolls Royce be the Phantom, Patron’s the drink/ make moves pack tools never catch a case/ cause they’ll be all up in ya face tryna’ run in ya place…” On this mixtape, there are really no weak links as Mr. G and Forbidden go from track to track slaughtering every original or industry beat that they encounter.
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Overall, both projects are great and the two artists have developed a chemistry that we don’t see often in hip hop. Mr. G, a great producer and emcee seems content to play the sideline doing beats and hooks while emcee Forbidden goes in on the verses. Forbidden’s album is structured and has very few album fillers, just a few songs that have shown up on previous albums so if you’re familiar with his work you’ll recognize them. The mixtape is just a barrage of dope cuts one after the other with Forbidden, Mr. G and other artists going in. You won’t be disappointed with either joint.