"Desperate Measures" By Counterfeit Money Machine (Cincinnati, OH)/Alternative Hip Hop/Released Nov 2015
Hip hop has seen a lot of change in its relatively short musical history. From it’s party beginnings in the Bronx in the late 70s, it has become a worldwide phenomenon allowing the poetry of many walks of life to reach fresh ears. In recent years however, the mainstream end of the genre has seen a watering down of lyrical depth and production creativity despite a rise in popularity. Now most of the critically acclaimed hip hop artists are independent, and forego mass fame and riches for unbridled creative expression. This is where hip hop still lives and where Cincinnati’s Counterfeit Money Machine fit in.
CMM is a trio composed of sibling MCs AP(Andrew Doench) and Kill Bill(Bill Doench) along with producer Juan Cosby(Nick Mitchell).The group has several releases under their belt and have shared the stage with the likes of Sage Francis, Busdriver, and Milo along with slots at several regional music festivals. In 2015 the trio also earned a nomination for best hip hop artist at the 2015 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
“Desperate Measures” is the group’s second full length release and was promoted with a video for each song for each month in the year before the album’s release. The record is a highly diverse one with Juan Cosby’s production featuring upbeat electronic loops and rhythms as well as bass heavy harder edged works. AP and Kill Bill’s rhymes are delivered with Beastie Boys level energy with lyrics featuring social and political commentary wrapped in sarcastic wit and Aesop Rock-like metaphors.
The twelve track album is littered with high points. Starting off the record is “Lucid Screaming”. An aggressive, bass heavy track that show cases AP and Kill Bill’s chemistry and skill with well performed lyrical interplay. “Pockets” follows with a catchy electronic loop, big bass drums hits, and the biggest hook of any song on the album. “How To Get Free Money” flirts with gangsta rap with lyrics detailing the planning and execution of a bank robbery told over an east coast style ominous bass line. “Cosmetic Brain Surgery” is one of the more atmospheric songs on Desperate Measures with a nursery rhyme like hook and music box-eseque sample with contrasting socially conscious lyrics. “Religism Hashtag Blessed” is a more controversial track featuring biting criticisms of Christianity and religion in general. The album closes on its eponymous track which is more laid back and upbeat than most of the other songs on the album and features the group musing on their trials and struggles as a group as well as their successes.
“Desperate Measures” is firm proof that Counterfeit Money Machine marches to the beat of their own drum. And the beat they march to is quite the entertaining one. Strong production matched with the distinct lyricism of its two MCs make them a group to watch and one hip hop fans looking for something a little outside the box can definitely enjoy