This album was released on March 29th this year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, the Epic Beard Men are a Hip Hop duo consisting of Sage Francis & B. Dolan. When it comes to their solo material, I’m definitely more of a fan of Sage Francis than B. Dolan. However, on the first Epic Beard Men project, I was more impressed by B. Dolan’s performances. They released their debut project last March, which was pretty great. It was a lot less dark and serious than their solo sh**. I’m pretty sure that was the inspiration behind the title of this album.
As a duo, they’re pretty light-hearted. If you’ve heard their solo sh** you know how heavy their content can get though. I wasn’t really a fan of B. Dolan’s first album, but the two other albums he dropped were nice. There’s not a single Sage Francis album that I don’t like. The first time I heard him he reminded me a lot of Slug.
Anyway, I’m expecting this album to be really good. I haven’t seen that many people talking about it, but the people who have mentioned it seemed to really like it. This is neither here nor there, but I just wanna let it be known that I think “Epic Beard Men” is a terrible name for a rap group. Also, the cover art for their debut EP was really bad. This one is a lot better thankfully.
1. Hours & Minutes produced by Reanimator, DJ Slipwax & DS3K
The beat on this track is really dope. The scratches from DJ Slipwax are nice too. B. Dolan killed that first verse. This sh** is tight. The hook is nothing special, but it works. Hmm… The mixing seems a little shaky. The vocals were kinda hard to hear during Sage Francis’ verse. It’s not bad enough to really hinder my enjoyment of the song. B. Dolan definitely had my favorite verse, but Sage Francis did his thing too. That line about him being an old man shaking his fist at SoundCloud was cool. I actually really like this song. The beat’s cool, and both of the verses were really good. This sh** is dope af to me.
2. Sand Dunes produced by B. Dolan & DJ Slipwax
I really love this simplistic boom bap beat. It’s dope as hell. The first verse from B. Dolan was great. I already like this track even more than the previous one. I love the production. The vocal sample on the hook is really dope. Sage Francis killed that second verse. He had my favorite verse on this track. This song’s got a pretty straightforward structure. It’s just two verses and a hook. I don’t have any issues with it honestly. I think this sh** is great. It’s dope af.
3. Pistol Dave featuring Slug & Blue Raspberry produced by Widowmaker, B. Dolan, Steve Okonski & Jenavieve Varga
This song definitely stands out from the tracklist due to the feature from Slug. It’s cool to see Blue Raspberry here too. I wasn’t expecting that. Anyway, the beat on this track is pretty solid, and the first verse from Sage Francis is great. He’s describing the character who the song is named after. Pistol Dave is pretty much just an evil, unhygienic asshole. He interpolated some lines from Children’s Story by Slick Rick.
Dave, the dope fiend shootin’ dopes
Who don’t know the meaning of homie nor bloke
He said ‘I got bullets, hurry up run!’
Way too many triggers for a man with one gun
The hook from Blue Raspberry is decent. B. Dolan f*ckin’ killed that second verse. I liked his verse a lot more than Sage Francis’ verse, but Sage did his thing too. The final verse from Slug was really great. He actually rapped from the perspective of Pistol Dave, which was cool. This is a really great song. It’s just as enjoyable as I was hoping it would be. This sh** is dope af.
4. Circle the Wagons produced by Reanimator
Man, this album is already way better than that debut EP they dropped last year. I hope this momentum lasts throughout the whole album. Anyway, the uncredited vocals on this track from Kathleen Stubelek are pretty cool. The beat is really dope too. B. Dolan’s on the first verse. There are a few KRS-One references in his verse, which is really cool. Man, this album is f*cking awesome so far. This is so good. I may be wrong about this, but it seems like this song is about caring for your friends when you know they did something f*cked up. The hook is really great. Sage Francis killed that final verse too. I think I liked his verse more than B. Dolan’s. The uncredited outro from Worldwide was cool. I think that was him. Anyway, I really love this song. This is definitely one of the better tracks so far, which is saying a lot because so far this album is really fantastic.
5. Shin Splints produced by B. Dolan, DJ Slipwax & Steve Okonski
This song definitely has one of the best beats so far. It seems like my favorite beats on this album so far have all come from B. Dolan himself, which is cool. Okay, this song is f*cking awesome. I love the way Sage Francis came in right after B. Dolan on the first verse over the phone. That was really cool. The actual content of this song is really light-hearted. It’s pretty much about B. Dolan trying to rush to his flight to Europe. The way they’re rapping together and trading bars on the second verse is awesome. I was hoping they would do something like that on this album. The way the tempo of the song keeps changing depending on what’s happening in the story is really cool. Like, when they’re trying to rush through the airport, the song gets a lot faster. Their flows on the final verse are crazy. Jesus. This is so f*cking awesome. Man… I love this sh**. This is definitely my favorite song so far. This song is f*cking incredible. The ending was pretty funny too.
6. You Can’t Tell Me Sh** produced by Adam Schneider
This is definitely the most humorous song on the album so far. I mean, it didn’t make me laugh or even crack a smile, but I can still recognize that it’s kinda funny.
The production from Adam Schneider is pretty dope. It sounds kinda like an old video game soundtrack. The first verse from Sage Francis was great. The second and third verses sound like they were performed by Sage too. Hmm… Is this a solo track? I don’t think I heard B. Dolan at all. I’m not crazy about the hook, but it isn’t that bad. It sounds like Sage is using autotune at some points in this song, and it doesn’t work for him at all. He’s the last artist I wanna hear use autotune. I like this song, but it’s definitely my least favorite track so far. Nothing about it really stood out that much to me. The verses are kinda funny, and I like the beat. The hook wasn’t that great though. It would’ve been cool to hear a B. Dolan verse too. This is a good track though. I like it. It’s dope.
7. Hedges produced by Epic Beard Men, DS3K, Adam Schneider & Jim Diotte
This was the first single from this album, but I didn’t listen to it before hearing this project. The production is really dope. The first verse from B. Dolan is great. He’s rapping about his sketchy neighbor who he doesn’t trust or ever really talk to. He’s paranoid that he’s secretly locking people up in his basement. I’m not crazy about the hook, but it’s not bad. Sage Francis plays the role of B. Dolan’s neighbor. The way they’re rapping from the perspectives of these paranoid, xenophobic characters is really entertaining. I feel like the closing lines are a commentary on Trump’s hateful rhetoric.
Look at him out there buildin’ his wall
Acting like it won’t eventually fall
This is yet another phenomenal song. The hook probably could’ve been a little better, but that’s really my only gripe. I think this track is fantastic. It’s dope af.
8. Take a Break featuring Vockah Redu produced by B. Dolan, DS3K, What Cheer? Brigade, Wesley Watkins, Steve Okonski & Mike Brown
I’m not familiar with this Vockah Redu guy. I looked him up, and apparently he specializes in a subgenre of Hip Hop called Bounce music. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. Anyway, this song definitely has one of the best beats on the album so far. It’s awesome. I would hope that’d be the case considering the amount of contributing instrumentalists. I love the way Sage & B. Dolan are trading bars on this track. Their flows are wonderful. They killed that first verse. Man, it’s gonna be hard to choose a favorite song from this album. This sh** is f*cking amazing. I love the hook, and the production is so f*cking good. The second verse was fantastic. Vockah Redu did his thing on the last verse too. This is a really fun song. So far this album is really living up to its title. I love this song.
9. The Chill Is Gone produced by DJ Swab
The intro to this song is kinda funny. Some guy is telling B. Dolan & Sage that they should start a boyband. It kinda reminds me of the loose theme of that last Hail Mary Mallon record. Damn. I just got SUPER sidetracked. It’s been like an hour or two since I worked on this review. Anyway, I really like this Rock inspired beat from DJ Swab. This is pretty much a Nü-Metal song. It doesn’t sound as cringy as most Nü-Metal though. Sage Francis was cool on the first verse. I definitely liked the second verse B. Dolan more though. The hook is fine.
Go against the grain or go insane to save a pop career
When it all falls down promise y’all are not prepared
At first I thought this was a subliminal shot at Kanye, but that’s probably just me reaching. Anyway, the final verse from B. Dolan was great. This is a really dope track. The outro was pretty funny too. They made fun of toxic masculinity, and called themselves a “man band” instead of a boyband. This definitely isn’t one of my favorite songs on the album, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
10. Man Overboard produced by Th’Mole
The beat on this track is dope as hell. I’m not familiar with the guy who produced this track, but he did a great job. B. Dolan’s flow is fantastic on this first verse. Holy sh**. The way this beat evolves during his verse is amazing.. Shoutout to Th’Mole. He put his a*s in this beat. This sh** is fire. The first verse from B. Dolan was absolutely stunning. It sounds like the song’s about a cruise that didn’t really go well. The ship is uh… hindered. I really like the simplistic hook on this track. Sage Francis’ verse felt a lot longer than B. Dolan’s. Sage Francis has a less impressive flow, but lyrically his verse was really f*ckin’ good. This is definitely another standout track for me. I love the production, and they both killed this sh**. It’s dope af.
11. Crumbs in Every Bag featuring Eligh produced by Romero Shaw, B. Dolan, DS3K, Mike Brown, Mark Bell, Steve Okonski, Jenavieve Varga & DJ Slipwax
This beat is amazing. Man, I seriously can’t believe how great this album is, especially considering the fact that barely anyone is talking about it. B. Dolan f*ckin’ killed that first verse. His flow was great. The hook is pretty simplistic, but it works. Eligh did his thing on the second verse. Sage Francis probably had my favorite verse on this track. One thing I really appreciate about this album is that B. Dolan & Sage Francis aren’t a bad matchup. It’s not like one of them is far superior to the other. I never know which one of them is gonna have the better verse. I feel like B. Dolan has the better flow, but other than that they’re pretty much equal to me. Anyway, this is another stellar track. It’s dope af to me.
12. Foresight featuring Yugen Blakrok produced by B. Dolan & Jim Diotte
I actually had no idea Yugen Blakrok was signed to Strange Famous Records, so I was pleasantly surprised to see her on this album when I first read the tracklist. Anyway, the beat on this track is really dope. The first verse from B. Dolan is great. I guess the content of this track shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that it features Yugen Blakrok. B. Dolan’s verse is about him seeing a fortune teller. This sh** is great. Sage Francis just does the hook. He doesn’t have a verse. Yugen Blakrok killed that last verse. Man, this sh** is fire. The way it ends is really dope. This is another really great song.
Man… This album is amazing. Honestly… This is the best album I’ve heard so far this year. There’s not a single dull second on this record. Every single track was good. I really don’t have anything negative to say about it. I’m gonna be honest… I like this more than any of Sage Francis or B. Dolan’s solo albums. I can’t praise this thing enough. I don’t even know what to say about it. The production is pretty great for the most part, but B. Dolan & Sage Francis themselves are what make this album so incredible. They’ve got everything you could ask for: interesting song concepts, dope flows, well-written lyrics… I love this album. Do not miss out on this sh**. It’s wild that I don’t see more people talking about it. It’s dope af.
FAVORITE SONG: TAKE A BREAK
LEAST FAVORITE SONG: YOU CAN’T TELL ME SH**
Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album