Vincent Chen picks up the slack with his review of The Notorious MSG’s Lunch Money.

Notorious MSG, Lunch Money (2007), Hip Hop, Cordless Recordings

Listen up, muthasuckers. They’re back, they’re MSG with the hot tracks. Three ex-delivery boys from New York City’s Chinatown serve up their new EP Lunch Money and it’s something to be excited about. If you’re never heard Notorious MSG before, you’re in for a treat. Their delivery, emphatic hooks, bouncing beats, and simple audacity grab your attention and before you know it you’re coasting along with these cats on a joy ride of just plain fun.

The package of six songs on the EP is a healthy dose of the trio’s music. It is a delicate line that an artist has to walk when playing a tongue-in-cheek role like this one. Go overboard, and you’re lame. Not experimental enough, and you’re boring. Lunch Money works well because it can’t really be too much with half a full-length to work with. A full release may have led to fillers and could have sounded too repetitive. Then again, if they could double the tracklist and keep the quality up it would be the making of a classic.

Returning to the album in hand, the classical aspects (places facetious lyricism can’t touch) of the work still hold water. Choruses are catchy, showy, and flamboyant. The production is solid and they are easy to listen to in that respect, which balances them well. Speaking of balance, “Last Showdown” is a very important track to include. It speaks to their critics and demonstrates that they are conscious of their MC personas and the social consequences of them. And then you have them dropping great lines like, “I feel no pain/ I’m insane/ Smoke your ass and eat a bowl of chow mein/ I’m a genuine Chinatown OG/ Original Recipe K.F.C.!”

One might be concerned about replay value with songs of this nature. But rest assured, your friends and you will enjoy the Chinatown Bad Boys for as long as ramen cups can sit in pantries. Though you’ll definitely have to take Notorious MSG with a grain of salt.

vincent chen