Review: Dead On Arrival (DOA) – Marked For Death

DOA – Marked For Death showcased the much more darker side of DOA as this album was more heavily influenced by gangsta rap than old school hip hop as was the case with their debut album Problem Child from 1993. Sixx Feet Deep and Loc Da Smoka both rap in a much harsh darker tone with their deep vocals. Many songs on this album showcase the reality of what goes on in the streets of Flint, Michigan.

Marked For Death showcases politically conscious rap album mixed with heavy influence of gangsta rap making audiences aware how living life in poverty really is. Songs such as My City’s Going Down (Part 2) shed light on the decline of Flint, Michigan and deindustrialization. Survival is about surviving in life. This album is a product of dope Flint rap from the 90s. DOA was heavily slept on back in the day.

Production was handled by Sixx Feet Deep this time instead of Darrell Malone. He was delving into becoming a producer at the time. That is why the production and sound is so different from their last album. However Malone did produce some songs for this album. Just not as much.

The album cover used blue tone background layout. Malone is standing with a pump shotgun. Sixx and Loc Da Smoka were talking more in the first person about doing violent acts. The glorification of violence is much higher on this album than their last one.

DOA – Problem Child was released on cassette only in 1994 by the Deep Thought Enterprise brand. The album was never issued on CD. The album was manufactured by Disc Makers. A limited amount of copies for this album were ever pressed. Deep Thought Enterprise was based in Mount Morris, Michigan.

DOA (Dead On Arrival) was a rap group out of Flint, Michigan (Beecher, Michigan to be exact) in the early 1990’s and consisted of Sixx Feet Deep (Six Feet Deep), Darrell Malone (Malone), Earl Sisco, and Loc Da Smoka. DOA was a rap group that could rap on issues that effected American society on a political level and had messages in their music unlike most music today. This is real gangsta rap! Not for all you weak ass MC’s out there!

The Marked For Death Intro (Get Ready) samples Cristo Redentor by Donald Byrd and the movie Alien 3. The intro is super badass! Let me say that right now. It’s about a minute long however. The instrumentation arrangements and timing are perfect. Sixx Feet Deep had ventured into becoming a producer at that time.

DOA sets the record straight to those people out talking that fake shit about them on To My Mafakaz. People had been talking shit about DOA that wasn’t true. To My Mafakaz is also a dedication song. Malone produced the funk music on this track. The song samples Zapp – Freedom, Eazy-E – It’s On, NWA – Fuck The Police, MC Breed – Ain’t No Frontin’ In Your Future, and Zapp – Dance Floor.

Jumping out the shadows of the smoke first is Loc Da Smoka. He doesn’t give a fuck about anything. His mother said he was a loser. He was a drug abuser just like his father. Slanging dope and doing cocaine is what he does. Loc Da Smoka is a bad ass boy who is bad to the bone. He does dirt alone. He is a hustler from the Flint streets.

Sixx Feet creeps in next. He is a true nigga. He describes himself as a hell raising problem child from his mother’s womb.

Now everybody wanna hit every studio to get beats made by Play It Again, Sam. Now the whole city of Flint is trying to hit Steve Pitt’s Black Jack Studios. Going way out to get paid quick. But they are only famous in Flint for that bullshit. The Play It Again, Sam part was a diss to legendary Flint producer Steve Pitts and the “going way out to get paid quick” was a subliminal diss to Jake The Flake.

Loc Da Smoka refers to The Dayton Family as “wannabe gang hoes” because he thought they were trying to jock DOA’s style of gangsta rap which is what DOA was known for in Flint at the time. Loc Da Smoka also refer to some rappers as “wannabe gang hoes” because he thought every rapper in Flint was trying to jock DOA’s gangsta style which is what DOA was known for in Flint at the time.

DOA expresses how they would control things if they were in charge of police and law enforcement on If I Wuz A Police. If I Wuz A Police is upbeat, uptempo gangsta rap song. Samples used in this song are Inner Circle – Bad Boys, NWA – Fuck The Police, Zapp – Computer Love, and MC Breed – Ain’t No Frontin’ In Your Future.

At the beginning of the song you can hear the opening intro theme for the TV show called COPS which is a song called Bad Boys sung by reggae band Inner Circle. A Cheech and Chong movie sample is used also.

Lyrics at the beginning show how things would be if Loc Da Smoka was in charge of police. “Now if I was a police, I would straight trip and grab two mothafuckin 9’s from my hips/Got my homeboys in my paddy wagon/Hat to the back with the uniform sagg’n”

Loc Da Smoka acts as Officer Loc on this song. He tells us what he would do if he was the police. Such as getting hydraulics for paddy wagon, free all the homies in jail, sell narcotics, ignore crime, arrest the real police, and what not. Officer Loc don’t give a fuck about the law or how he feels about justice. You’ll never get any justice. So fuck it. There will be no sleep or peace.

Officer Loc makes a diss to Chief Duncan and former Flint mayor Woodrow Stanley. He’s in love with police brutality.

The end of this DOA is quite humorous. Lyrics at the end are hilarious and clever. “Freeze nigga! You’ve got the right to shut the fuck up. You got the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford one, that’s just fucked up!” This is the type of gangsta rap you don’t often hear today. This is also the type of humor you don’t see these days. Just classic!

Ridin’ High samples the song of the name by Faze-O. This is a track that only the true budheads will understand. It’s a great track to get blazed to. Listen to this track when you smoke while you’re ridin’ high and rolling in your cruiser down the road. DOA is riding high and rolling in their Beach Cruiser. This song is much different for the other DOA songs as Loc Da Smoka raps for a majority of the song rather Sixx Feet.

Loc Da Smoka is paranoid and is sitting with a fat blunt all alone by himself. A 9 millimeter handgun and a black pump shotgun are ride beside him. It feels like he’s going crazy. He is getting higher and feeling a lot stranger due to effects of the high. Something is telling him in his mind that he is in danger. Loc used to be a punk without nerve or will. Now he reacts like a maniac with an urge to kill. His thoughts often wander under trance while being high. But is he really a lunatic? Hell yeah! He keeps making the wrong choices. He hears violent voices in his head.

He does not know where to turn at this point. Still he must let the blunt burn. Even if it’s not healthy. Even if that is to kill a person. Fuck it. We’re all gonna die anyway.

Now Loc Da Smoka is thinking of a masterplan that only a true budhead would understand. He’s just one of a hundred suspects of getting caught under arrest. Every other day he’s in handcuffs. You see, Loc Da Smoka is always facing probation. Police are always chasing him. His future is looking ugly. He is wondering what will become of him. Will he end up in jail or dead? Will he up being outlined in chalk covered by yellow tape or looking at the barrel of a .3030? This shit is getting to him. He sees the courts just keep on convicting him for his crimes.

Each morning he wakes up from a murderous dream. Cold as fuck and shaken. He feels like a dead man every time he awakens. As Loc gets older, he spends his life looking over his should. He keeps the glock cocked like a real G as he knows somebody is out to kill him. Should he be afraid to die? Does he need to put the gun away? He uses a gun to protect his homestead, but now he’s placing a gun to his own head.

He’s going insane. Now he regrets chugging down that last Big Bear™. Look at the mess that he’s in. He wonders “Should I confess for my sins?” Life has gotten him thinking furtherer and deeper as he wipes the blood from his hands. All his life he has been lucky sliding by. But fuck it. He’s riding high.

Back in the days when Sixx was coming up, he was poor as fuck and didn’t have anything. All he wanted were the things that were vital. He carried a 9 millimeter handgun for his own survival. His devious mind kept him from being behind bars. Sixx thinks of wicked thoughts to get richer. Who is he going to jack next? Something is tell him he won’t make it enough to handle things. Sixx can’t cope with the loc in him. He still can’t find himself. Maybe that is because of the pain he is feeling.

Holla is a dedication track dedicated where Sixx was showing love to those who had love for the crew. It was to all the true dawgs, ladies, homies, and all the budheads out there. Holla samples the smooth ass song by Zapp called Tut-Tut Jazz.

Another thing is that Sixx Feet Deep dissed The Dayton Family for riding the DOA’s dick. TDF gets dissed on this smooth ass dedication track. Took-N-Bone always got love from the DOA. Project Born, BODK, Guttt Control, Quala D, B-Mad, B-Def, Tony Lampty, Anthony Jones, and Marcus Wilson all got shouted out with a handful of other people.

My City’s Going Down (Part 2) revisits My City’s Going Down (Part 1) from the Problem Child album from 1993. DOA talked their perspective about the city on My City’s Going Down (Part 2). This was Part 2. Part 1 was just as classic!

My City’s Going Down (Part 2) is about the decline of Flint, Michigan and the problems the city had faced in the early 1990s. At that time, Flint was gaining notoriety for being a major violent crime center due to heavy deindustrialization the Midwestern part of the United States was facing. The effect of deindustrialization on Flint was absolutely devastating. It all started with the downsizing and outsourcing of GM in 1987. Ever since General Motors (GM) closed down their automobile manufacturing plants in Flint, Flint has gotten worse year by year. Money Magazine had rated Flint one of the worst places to live in America.

My City’s Going Down (Part 2) was a valid description of Flint in the early 1990s. However the song is more poignant now due to the ongoing Flint Water Crisis. Overall My City’s Going Down (Part 2) is a timeless classic amongst fans of Flint rap. If people would have taken more action and paid attention to what was happening with Flint, things would have been a lot different then they are now! Crime in Flint continues to grow! Nothing in Flint is getting better.

On the song My City’s Going Down (Part 2), DOA was trying to tell the powers that be (politicians) in Flint that they needed to fix the city before it went into decline and de-industrialized urbanization. The city needed to fix the poverty, homelessness, recidivism, and education systems, but the politicians were too corrupt to actually give a fuck about the rest of the citizens of Flint. Flint does have homelessness problems and housing issues as well. That’s the reason shit is the way it is right now currently. Flint’s economy was going down in 1994 and has been since 1987. Here DOA talks about how rough Flint really is with all the violent crime, drugs, and political corruption.

Sixx Feet Deep raps about how the upper class is cheating the middle class and low class by doing them wrong in some of the lyrics. For example, read these lyrics. :

Rich or poor
Fuck American
we all niggaz
in a city where we can’t find justice
in a world where the laws like fuck us

When you listen to My City’s Going Down (Part 2), it’s as if Sixx Feet Deep were telling the prophecy to a speech or story. Truly My City’s Going Down (Part 2) is a timeless classic and a true classic to its own right regardless of what people may say. Over 30% of Flint’s population was unemployed at the time this song was written and recorded. There’s only 4 police officers to cover every 2 blocks.

Samples from the Michael Moore documentary Roger And Me are used in this song.

DOA had felt that the whole world was against them on the song Survival. DOA had felt it was them against the world. In other words, the theme and setting for this song was man vs. nature. DOA had also felt it was them against the world when came to being the better rap group in Flint for that time period. DOA weren’t actual killers, but they were killers in terms of lyricism. DOA was the deadliest rap group in Flint at the time back in 1994. This the only DOA song which does not use any samples.

Survival is a reggae fusioned dancehall track where Sixx Feet and Loc Da Smoka go straight up reggae with a Jamaican flow. Think early 70s funk and early 70s reggae! It would have been super crazy if Loc Da Smoka had a Jamaican madd ill flow.

Sixx Feet raps first. Deep down in the jungle there is a motherfucker dead. Loc will be damned if he dies from starvation while in a world amidst struggles. How can this be? He’s about how he lost his job, his wife, and his sanity. Now he’s down and scrounging like a sewer rat. Looking at his 9mm, he knows he has to do a jack and commit a robbery. Living on the edge. Loc needs some loot. Fuck a job.

If he gets caught committing a crime, he will serve jail time. He’s not through yet. He’ll go back to ways after being released from jail. Not only that, he’s coming out fast and much worse than the last time. He’s still a criminal.

Loc Da Smoka’s verse was about survival and taking out all rivals. On his other verse, he also lyrically dissed The Dayton Family because at the time DOA had felt it was them against the world when came to being the better rap group in Flint for that time period.

Payback was a diss song aimed at The Dayton Family. The reason why DOA had gotten into a beef with The Dayton Family is because of TDF was from Flint and DOA was from Beecher. TDF was from King Hood. King Hood and Beecher were enemy neighborhoods with each other. It was more settripin’ that gang banging. Basically the TDF vs. DOA beef was neighborhood rivalries because Flint is a small town. DOA accused TDF of jacking their style.

Shoestring was the first on Sixx Feet Deep’s hit list. Sixx accused Shoestring of trying to sound like Scarface and being a wannabe Geto Boy. Also, Sixx had dissed Shoestring hard all over the place on this song. He was advising Shoestring to watch out as he will end up in a bloody mess if he is not careful. Not only did Sixx diss members of the Dayton Family. He also dissed their producer Steve Pitts. Sixx Feet Deep bragged about sleeping with Shoestring’s mother in 1994. So did Loc Da Smoka.

Loc Da Smoka rapped about how Bootleg used to drink beer, smoke dope, shoot people, shoot dice, gamble, deal drugs, and rap. He used to drive and now he walks. That’s why Loc Da Smoka refers to Bootleg as a “used to nigga”. Most rap groups from Flint at the time were scared to diss TDF with the exception of Took-N-Bone.

The end of the song uses a sample of the 1991 version of Flint Town which came from The Dayton Family – Dope Dayton Ave was very popular in the Flint underground scene at that time.

What got me the most was that none of the members of DOA dissed Jake the Flake, considering the fact that he was popular at the time. I guess Jake the Flake was a rapper that could not be dissed. Which I don’t know why that is. I do know that both TDF and DOA made money off their albums.

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

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Writer, narrator, researcher, and content curator for Bout Dat Online.

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