Top Quality – Magnum Opus

Top Quality released his single “Magnum Opus” back in 1993.  The tracks was produced by Kievan Mack and PMD from EPMD.  The single was the title track to Top Quality’s debut album “Magnum Opus” that was released on November 14, 1993 and released on PMD/RCA Records.

Back in 1993, I remember turning on BET and waiting for Rap City when this track premiered and I was hit with something unexpected.  I consider myself a Hip Hop head and any Hip Hop head that has been listening to Hip Hop since the 70’s, I can tell you that at first listen, I knew this track was going to blow up!  I has that taste and smell that comes out of your stereo and smacks you in the face.  The track samples two different parts of Roy Ayer’sStep Into Our Life” and it is one of the greatest Jazz influenced Hip Hop tracks in history.  It also borrows  the drum pattern from “Ashley’s Roachclip” by The Soul Searchers so it gives it that old school Eric B & Rakim feel to it.  As for the lyrics, the kid is nice on the mic.  He switches styles from verse one to verse two and will have you saying,

“Looking for the magnum, searching for the opus”

and believing it.  When he drops the second verse, not only does the beat change but so does the flow.  This track needs to be listened to, to be truly enjoyed.

Unfortunately, the album made zero noise and Top Quality was dropped from his label and was never heard from again.  It sucks that an MC with so much talent can go by the waste side because of bad timing or just not enough promotion.  The album was nice and included tracks like “I Can’t Hear You“, “Message from Uptown“, “Someone So Fly” and “U Know My Name” all bang and will have the average head looking for more. Unfortunately tracks like “What” sounds so hard, it’s hard to believe that this guy is a gangsta but truly a inventive MC that has styles for days.

If you’ve never heard of this guy, find the album online and take a listen.  You will not wasting your time and you’ll say to yourself, “Why haven’t I ever heard this guy before. Homie is nice on the mic!”.  This MC represents White Plains to the fullest and although he only gave us one album, he will never be forgotten!

Here’s another jam that proves that this guy was born to rock the mic yet did not get the maximum opportunity to shine correctly!

-Al E.

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