French production duo, Mister Modo & Ugly Mac Beer became iconic with their Modonut series, their 20+ track beat tapes with occasional guest vocalists. Their latest release, Night Time Stories sees the duo go in a different direction with less food puns and more rappers. While Mister Modo & Ugly Mac Beer are the title artists, Night Time Stories feels like it belongs much more to the guests.
“Gather ’round the campfire kids” is the first line rapped by Gabe Nandez on “Emerald Tablet.” While the track is the sixth on the album, the line would be appropriate for the album opener because Night Time Stories is all about scary stories. After a brief intro track, “Ghost To The Ghetto” kicks off the album. F. Stokes weaves a tale about a man named Geno who was murdered in a barbershop that comes back to haunt the neighborhood where he lived. The storytelling on the track is so crisp and at times witty that it is cinematic. Combined with Mister Modo & Ugly Mac Beer classic boom-bap beat, it feels like a relic from hip hop’s past much like Geno himself.
The biggest named guest on the album is Guilty Simpson on the track “The Black Hood.” The track’s production has a distinctly MF Doom feel, especially with the scratching of soundclips saying “criminals beware: the Black Hood is everywhere.” For his part, Simpson spins a yarn that could be the basis of a successful comic-to-film crossover.
Because the album is only seven tracks and three of those are under a minute interludes, there isn’t really a weak song on the album. Night Time Stories is the kind of record, you can put on, relax, and enjoy all aspects of.