EP Review | Marv Won – until…

This extended play was released on February 4th this year. Marv Won is a super talented rapper whose work I unfortunately haven’t ever covered here. I think he’s more well known for his battle rap career, but he’s a super talented songwriter and artist. Battle rappers are notorious for their poor music, but Marv is an exception to that trend. He released one of the better albums of 2016 with the Soundtrack of Autumn, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t heard it by now. He’s also a really great producer who made every beat on the aforementioned album. He also did every beat on this EP except where noted. I might have missed something, but I’m pretty certain that this is his first musical release since 2016. He said he’s gonna try to be more prolific with the music on the bandcamp page for this project, so that’s something to look forward to. I’m assuming these songs were made over the course of the past four years, so it probably won’t have a consistent theme or sound. I’m just expecting a handful of dope traditional Hip Hop songs; nothing too conceptual or deep, but there might be some of that peppered in as well. Just to reiterate, everything here is self produced except where noted.


1. BUCKET LIST produced by Nick tha 1da

The beat here is really great; I feel like Roc Marciano would rap over something like this. Marv Won of course killed it.

Great white gettin’ everything that’s swimmin’ in the sea
First 48, I’m out here killin’ for a fee
So just let it be known when the edits is shown
I’m a jeweler embedded in bone, and I set it in stone

His signature laidback, kind of monotone delivery fits perfectly over this cool production. I love the threatening lyricism on this track too. The writing is fantastic. This shit is dope as hell.

2. SPECIAL

The beat on this track is even better than that of the preceding song, and Marv murdered that first verse.

This money dirty, it need a couple times in the rinse
Brand new rubber gloves, good luck findin’ the prints, nigga
You like Prince, nigga; ass out
Nigga was broke now I’m runnin’ on his cash route
Oh, word? You heard I’m pussy? Well, the mag’s out

This shit is cold as hell. The hook is really dope too.

This pistol the same number as my age, nigga: special

So, I guess he was 38 years old when this song was made. The second verse is crazy.

If a nigga bring me beef I’ll assault the heifer
Seasoned, even my beard turn to salt & pepper
Believe ‘em, will shave you down, make you cost effective
You king? Cool, don’t let the daywalkers catch you

There’s not a single aspect of this song that I don’t like. It’s one of the best songs on the project. This shit is dope af.

3. LENNY COOKE

The piano driven production on this track is fucking amazing, and Marv’s flow on that first verse is nasty.

Yeah, I was the best kid in the class
Destined for stardom, a definitive path
I do shit they couldn’t do with a pen and a pad
When I tell them now I feel like I live in the past

This song has more focused content and themes than the two opening tracks; it’s not just aggressive battle-oriented lyricism. I’d never heard of Lenny Cooke before listening to this song since I’m not really into sports at all, but the way Marv kinda told his story and compared it to his own was really dope.

I was the biggest star in my whole hood
I had the streets on fire like rosewood
I was number one on everybody list
My name kept rollin’ off everybody lips
I made it look easy, had everybody pissed
Didn’t pan how they planned, then everybody dipped

This is definitely a major highlight on the project for me. I think this shit is dope af.

4. 80’S BABIES featuring Goodz & Quest M.C.O.D.Y.

I don’t think I’d ever actually heard Goodz rap on a song before listening to this one; I’d only ever seen him in battles. Quest M.C.O.D.Y. was featured on a Nems song a while ago, so I already knew he would work well on this joint. Anyway, this beat is awesome, and the first verse from Goodz was pretty nice, although his flow kinda left something to be desired. It was well written. Quest M.C.O.D.Y. did his thing on the second verse, but it’s probably my least favorite on the song. His flow wasn’t much better than that of Goodz. Marv definitely had the best verse to me.

I’m a star, when I’m on screen they turn the TV up
I talk slick ‘cause I don’t think no nigga gon’ beat me up
I talk sweet enough that these women wanna eat me up
Her chocolate ass wearin’ orange thongs, she my Reese’s cup

Overall the track is far less impressive to me than any of the others, but I definitely still like it. It’s a good song.

5. ST. CECILIA produced by Won87

The beat on this track is cool I guess; I like how the percussion is very minimalistic, but the loop is a bit repetitive. Marv killed this shit though. The first verse is great, and the hook is actually really awesome too.

I can look in your eyes and tell you ain’t a killer
You want war? Haul guns, I’ll paint your nigga
Animal planet, pink gator, grey chinchilla
You on the bench, I’m ballin’ like we at St. Cecilia

The second verse was great too. I really like the song, but the repetitive beat got kind of annoying by the time the second recital of the hook began. This shit is still really goddamn dope though.

6. HALLELUJAH featuring Dell

I really love the dark production on this track; it sounds like something Necro would rhyme over. Marv slaughtered that first verse too.

Quote me like the pope done wrote it
I’m the author, poke your daughter
Bet your mortgage turn your favorite rapper to a organ donor

The hook from Dell is okay. The second verse is even better than the first in my opinion though. This shit is hard as hell. It’s definitely another highlight on the project for me. I think this song is dope as hell.

7. ANTHONY MASON

I really love the beat on this track, and Marv fucking murdered it. I love how this song is structured too; it’s just one long ass verse over this great beat. This is probably the best way he could’ve possibly ended the project. It’s basically a teaser for his next release, which I’m assuming will be a full length album. According to him, it’s coming sooner rather than later, so that’ll likely be an album of the year contender. I will say that the track ended really abruptly, which was kind of a sour note to end on. The beat just abruptly cut off, and I wasn’t sure if my phone died or if the song was really over. That’s arguably a nitpick though. The song is still dope as hell overall.


This EP is really goddamn great. Marv’s writing is just as superb as ever, and he produced all of the best instrumentals himself. The features and guest producers weren’t bad, but I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t just like a completely self made project from him in the future. I don’t think anyone was able to match his skill here. That’s probably the only complaint I could ever have about this. Marv himself was operating at an elite level here. This has me super excited for his future releases. I wouldn’t be surprised if he released a few more promotional extended plays, but I’m looking for the album at this point. I hope it’s entirely self produced just like his 2016 album, but I wouldn’t mind a few guest features as long as they’re murdering it just as well as he is. Anyway, do not sleep on this project. It’s dope as hell.

Favorite Song: LENNY COOKE
Least Favorite Song: 80’S BABIES

88

A minus
Grade: A-

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