The Doppelgangaz are a Hip-Hop duo from Orange County, New York consisting of rapper/producers EP and Matter Ov Fact. The group’s name may conjure-up memories of The Gravediggaz, The Killa Kidz or even Da Hillfiguz, but The Doppelgangaz aren’t horrorcore or from the 1990s. With a penchant for cloaks, brothels, and golden era, east coast beats, the Doppz are a highly distinctive rap act in contemporary music which is littered with hackneyed autotune and overdone Trap beats. With their relaxed, sometimes lo-fi production, laid-back flow, and grubby scenarios involving venereal diseases, tramp stamps, overweight women, short height and tiny dicks, this musical juxtaposition makes the duo highly unique, and in 2020, I still haven’t heard or seen anything like them.
XXL magazine described The Doppelgangaz as having “nostalgic production” and I guess that’s accurate but it’s also a little lazy. XXL’s Jordan Lebeau went on to write “Upon numerous listens, you get the feeling it sounds more like a compilation of never before released Camp Lo and Mobb Deep cuts than something original”. Err… no. Sure, a song like “Monk Mode” contains a slightly Geechi Suede-esque delivery but Camp Lo’s trademark slick, multi-syllabic flow is missing (maybe he meant Jungle Brown?). And okay, a song like “Olympics” may sound a little like Havoc produced it, but “Doppel Gospel” sounds more like Stoupe The Enemy Of Mankind created it and “All Tha Fun” sports a West Coast vibe. “Like So” and “Holla x2” also contain a G-Funk whine, and the hook in “La La La” sounds like something by Extended Famm so no, nothing like the Mobb or the Lo.
This kind of slightly dismissive description is so irritating. As I’ve said elsewhere; most, if not all post-millennial sounds are actually recycled pre-millennial sounds but you’ll never hear anyone decrying Trap as “old” but Boom Bap gets unfairly labelled as “nostalgic”, “traditional”, and “old-fashioned” by all and sundry. It’s strange that nobody calls The $uicideboy$ “Gentrified Three 6 Mafia”. And don’t the Raider Klan and A$AP Mob owe their entire style to the likes of Tommy Wright III? If you’re gonna compare The Doppelgangaz to old-school rappers and golden age bands then it’s surely more appropriate to say they sound like the bastard children of Cru and John Forte or almost exactly like Natural Elements mixed with some of the lyrical content of Crustified Dibbs (especially the song “Like What Like Me”). As a rule of thumb: if someone writes for both XXL and Forbes, they know fuck-all about Hip-Hop.
Once you get to my, Jordan Lebeau’s, or Methuselah’s age, everything reminds you of old shit, you can’t help it. Whether new shit reminds you of good old shit or bad old shit is the test of whether something holds up to the past or is simply… shit. The Doppelgang definitely sustains and supports the peak of Hip-Hop aka the Golden Era. Had they existed in the mid-90s, the duo would be playing continually on the radio and music television, but this is the early ’20s and that ain’t happening. In my opinion, there hasn’t been an interesting and complimenting black man/white man rap team like this since Genovese and Mo Money (who were also largely ignored despite their talent). Speaking of the past, if anyone wants to know who’s who along outdated racial lines; Genovese is white and Mo Money is black. Just kidding; EP is white and Matter Ov Fact is black.
So whether you’re into relaxed sounds (“Balderdash”), West Coast smacks (“All Tha Fun”), infectious mid-90s-style choruses (“Scintilla”), catchy, twin-hook, bass-thumping bangers “Fire W Fye”, or deadpan comedic lyricism (almost every song they’ve made), The Doppelgangaz have something for everybody. With such a sizeable discography to their name (which includes a few instrumental albums) there’s so many standout tracks that I’ve put together a “Best Of” playlist on Spotify and Deezer (see below) or you could purchase their releases via their Bandcamp page.
The Doppelgangaz despite making unique, intentionally scuzzy and sordid, dry-witted, head-nodding, Hip-Hop music for a decade or so, have yet to reach a mainstream audience, but that’s fine, because the best music and art is always underground. Only shite rises to the top; peep the Billboard charts, art galleries, the ocean, or your dead grandma’s colostomy bag for proof.
Dopp-Hop & Ya Don’t Stop!
Playlist is also available on Deezer (with missing songs omitted). Click below…