If you're unfamiliar with the history behind Aceyalone and Freestyle Fellowship or RJD2 with his MHz and Def Jux legacy, they're worth investigating. Both artists (especially Aceyalone) have an extensive body of work.
Over the past couple of years, it has re-appeared as a trend for producers and artists to work exclusively on full length projects together. We've become accustomed now to albums featuring six or seven (or more) producers over the span of the traditional 10-16 songs. Thankfully, with two clear visions intertwined, we get to hear how these two mesh.
Combining both Acey and RJ proved to be very worthwhile. Though the two don't have the same chemistry of that of RJ and Blueprint (Soul Position), the subject matter propels the material forth.
The amusingly funky "Fire" and energetic "All For U" which kick off "Magnificent City" open up the album excellently. Aceyalone's storytelling ability is what remains most prominent. Uttering tales of clever drug dealers and "good people" on "Junior," Acey tells a tale of a wealthy and clever drug dealer who ends up having things turn out worse than expected. "Solomon Jones" features the perfect RJD2 production behind the story of a flamboyant thug who walked into a bar, rivaling the local gangster. The verses feel perfectly planned, laid back and catchy.
RJD2's production turns into another direction with "Supahero," beginning with a funky climb which once more, Aceyalone rides perfectly. The simple hook blends in with an otherwise disappointing Aceyalone verse, thankfully saved by his flow and RJ's beat.
Our lone producer is only really left alone on "A Sunday Mystery" and the end of "A Beautiful Mine" to showcase what he does best. The dramatic short pieces allow for a break amongst Aceyalone's detailed verses.
"Magnificent City" wasn't as well received by the general public as how I found it, but in all honesty, not everybody agrees on things.