Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
Brooklyn beatmaker Marco Polo is quickly becoming Duck Down Records’ secret weapon, a neck-snapping producer who keeps the label supplied with bucketloads of no-nonsense boom-bap that is reverent but never retro. Using only the snappiest snares and most finely chopped samples, Polo works like a modern-day Premier, the perfect foil for Duck Down’s stable of modern day Boot Camp spitters. His new album, The Stupendous Adventures Of Marco Polo (due June 29), is his fourth for the label in as many years, and features no shortage of New York’s most formidable rhymers–both past (Skoob of Das EFX, Grand Daddy I.U.) and present (Torae, Ruste Juxx, Skyzoo). Closing track “Radio” is Polo’s killer remix of left coast producer Exile’s electrostutter masterwork, dragging Ex’s sunny Los Angeles disposition into decidedly murky New York waters. Sparring partners Torae and Ruste Juxx–both of whom have released excellent LPs with Marco behind the boards–show up for some rapidfire boasts and bicoastal vibes: “Cali bud scented, Brooklyn represented…”
Tell me about remixing “Radio.”
Exile reached out to me to remix something off his very creative Radio LP. Of course I was down. But instead of keeping the beat an instrumental remix I asked Torae and Ruste Juxx to kick verses. Shylow did the intro scratches and bam.
What’s your favorite thing about working with Ruste Juxx and Torae?
We all have very similar taste in hip-hop. We all come from the school of that East Coast sound. We all love hardcore shit like EPMD, Onyx, Wu-Tang, M.O.P., Gang Starr… It’s easy to work with people that have a similar vision. Both projects happened real naturally.
Who was your favorite MC to work with on Stupendous Adventures?
I can say a standout was recording “The Radar” with Large Professor and then including “The Radar Remix” for Stupendous. When Large Professor and I work it’s too much fun. We have a similar approach to production and his vibe just inspires me beyond a lot of the newer stuff these days. He’s a legend!
What’s your favorite snare sound on any record ever?
If we’re talking breaks then Sugar Billy Garner’s “I Got Some.” Skull Snaps “It’s A New Day” second, with Head Hunters “God Made Me Funky” a close third.
You’ve lived in Canada and New York. Do you have a stance on New York vs. Montreal bagels?
Ha! Not really. I’m from Toronto so I can’t really say I’m a specialist on Montreal bagels to even compare.
What’s your favorite place to eat in New York?
Lupa on Thompson Street. Actually, all of Mario Batali’s restaurants are great.
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