I’d say this isn’t a Marco Polo album any more than The Falling Season is a Kic Beats album; Ace credits one and not the other; but Polo isn’t just the sole beatmaker here. He’s also the main character. This Story is, in other words, about Marco Polo in the same way The Falling Season is about Masta Ace. But Polo doesn’t rap, so Ace shouts him out every once in a while.
If that seems confusing, it is. Masta Ace has long been fixated on odd concept albums pervaded with narrative skits that have little replay value. A Breukelen Story is no exception. The best parts are the beats and rhymes; Ace and Polo are skilled in their fields; but not necessarily the songs themselves. Kings and God Bodies are good, but most falter at the breaks.
my rating : 3 of 5
He’s just talking on the title cut, but Master Ace is a good rapper with a knack for composing clever rhymes and thinking-up interesting concepts. Me And The Biz, for example, is a mock duet with Biz Markie, while The Other Side Of Town has Ace coming from the perspective of a hungry bum. “I’ll never get ahead; my raps have a better chance,” his character laments, “I’m living on Wonder Bread with holes in my leather pants.”
The underlining message here seems to be a socially conscious one. What you’re supposed to Take A Look Around at is the state of affairs happening in the ghettos of New York. But Ace also brags about his skills and chases young ladies; Letter To The Better and Postin High, respectively. The beats are provided by Marley Marl and Mister Cee, who bring with them a crateful of funk/soul records from the 1960s and 1970s.
my rating : 4 of 5