ModifiedBlockStyle | The Family Portrait

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Hip-Hop/Rap: Alternative Hip Hop Hip-Hop/Rap: Old-School Rap Moods: Type: Lyrical
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The Family Portrait

by ModifiedBlockStyle

Alternative Live Hip Hop fronted by totally conscious lyrics. Pieces of Old School Hip Hop mixed with a unique flavor thats never been heard before.
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap: Alternative Hip Hop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Off the Drum
3:49 album only
2. The Room Revisited
3:05 album only
3. The Only Way
5:00 album only
4. Worst to 2nd Best
3:30 album only
5. Interstate Jasinski
3:02 album only
6. Joe Malta
4:43 album only
7. Murphy's Law
4:54 album only
8. The Family Portrait
10:21 album only


Album Notes
"The Family Portrait" is the second full length LP brought to you by ModifiedBlockStyle, the four-piece live hip-hop band out of Utica, NY. MBS has been ripping stages across Central New York since 2002, and now brings their unique blend of live instrumentation and conscious lyrics to a new level with "The Family Portrait." Whether its comparing the current state of hip-hop music to the perils of High School on "Joe Malta," or giving you a classic story song with "Murphy's Law," MBS has got something for every type of hip-hop fan.

If you're sick of the mainstream hip-hop garbage you hear and see everyday on radio and TV ... "The Family Portrait" is just for you. Support true hip-hop and purchase a copy today.

"The Family Portrait" was written over the course of 2004 as MBS prepared for their "Stuck iN Utica tour o4." The full album was produced entirely by the four members of MBS, and was recorded at Gecko Recording Studio in Clinton, NY. MBS consists of Shawn on the drums, Nate on the keys, Greg on the bass, and Lyrical E on the Mic.

A special thanks goes to Lyman Nephi Christensen for helping MBS complete this wonderful album. MBS would also like to thank everyone who continually supports their live shows, and to anyone who has ever purchased a selection of their music.

Make sure you check out MBS' debut LP, "musical Distrophy," also available for purchase on CdBaby.



to write a review


I think the new album is really dope, and we have been down since day one. Your sound is only gettin better with age, the hidden track on the album was the best thing i've heard from any local act in a while. I just wanna say keep doin ur thing, u got all our support here at EastSide Productions!!!!!!!!

the italian stallion

a musical feast for your ears
This cd tantalizes your eardrums the way a hot sauseeg and pepper sandwich makes your mouth water on a hot summer day. The beats and lyrics seem to be written with the same attention to detail that a shoemaker gives to a pair of fine italian loafers. The music bursts out of the speakers like the buttons on a 3 piece suit after a pasta dinner. All in all the album leaves you more satisfied than a fine pizza pie on a cold winter night.


ModifiedBlockstyle delivers a sound that proves to be pleasing to any ear
Incomparable to any other genre of music, The Family Portrait incorpoartes a unique blend of hip-hop, jazz, rock and soul all into one. From the light hearted tone of "Joe Malta" to the more fervent lyrics of "The Only Way", ModifiedBlockstyle delivers a sound that proves to be pleasing to any ear regardless of what one's own personal music tastes may be. If you were a fan of Musical Distrophy, or you are simply a newcomer interested in what this band has to offer, this album will blow you away and leave you wishing for more. The album is amazing and well worth every cent. Make sure to check out the hidden track at the end of the album as well, and I guarentee you will not be disappointed.


u guys r GRREAT!
You guys are awesome...You've made me wanna be a groupie, thank you Adrienne. I listen to the cd's, and got other people hooked on them. Great job guys, keep up the good work. Love the picture too.

Ralf Burmann

1st...nice album cover! lol...pretty cool! you guys rock! unique sound! god bless you guys

J.D. Funari

Hang this Family Portrait on the wall
First comes the bass line. Soon after there’s a splash of keyboards and a drumbeat. It builds for a while, then boils over into an instantly catchy carnival-like melody and chorus “In just a matter of time / we’re gonna blast this rhyme straight off the drum”. With that, Modified Block Style has kicked off their second studio LP, the tongue-in-cheek titled The Family Portrait (sporting an inspired comical cover photo). “Off the Drum” is a well chosen album opener, and instantly reaffirms the MBS combo of real-instrument playin’, “white guy” hip hip, that falls closer to The Beastie Boys than Eminem but sounds virtually nothing like either. The first thing that comes to mind when listening to The Family Portrait is that the production value here is far superior to Musical Distrophy: the sound is fuller, the melody’s are tighter, and the vocals are stronger.

It is therefore slightly disappointing that the second track on the disc is a reworking of Mic the Whole Room off the MBS debut LP. This is not to say that the new version doesn’t work, in fact, some listeners may prefer it, but the original take was already one of the highlights off Musical Distrophy, so it falls into the “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” category. This repackaging of previously released material occurs a second time with Interstate Jasinski, which takes the slower, somewhat melancholy Drive Home, and injects it with an upbeat tempo and delivery. This reintroduction of older songs would generally not be a good sign, though taking into consideration that this is Modified Block Style’s sophomore release following a quiet debut, there is potentially a fresh audience just now discovering their music. With that perspective, the “new and improved” efforts are at least justified, if superfluous.

Whatever grips, however, are focused on the rickety picture frame, not the brand spanking new photo set inside. Where the Family Portrait impresses is with its original material. The Only Way is an in your face update of Step Into’s passionate musical proclamation, a confession of love for music and performing while giving Modified Block Style fans a big thank you. On Worst To 2nd Best, MBS throws back to Musical Distrophy’s piano driven melodies, making the band’s growth all the more apparent. The biggest surprise, and arguable Modified Block Style’s most mature and focused cut, is Joe Malta. The song builds musically and lyrically with confidence towards one of the more memorable choruses in the MBS song library. And last but not least, the title track sends the album out on a high note with a lazy delivery and pipe organ sarcasm that has all the staples of a cruisin’ down the street summer song.

The only major miscalculation on The Family Portrait may have been placing Misay as a hidden track. The slow rap love letter from Lyrical-E to his girl is certainly worthy of A-side status and could have easily been swapped with Murphy’s Law, which makes the least impact of the eight main tracks.

Modified Block Style has avoided the dreaded second-album-slump though not without a few minor growing pains. There is also no obvious standout track on The Family Portrait like Catching Z’s was on Musical Distrophy, but that may be the clearest sign that they have trimmed the fat and are producing more consistent songs. These “Four white kids / with a dream like the rest” sound like they’re having a lot of fun doing what they’re doing, and that makes their steady progress towards success all the more enjoyable.


This is a great cd, terrific tracks full of flavor and everything. Keep it up guys


buy this album!!!
modifiedblockstyle is a group of extremely talented individuals and this album really shows just that. no matter what type of music you listen to i know you will enjoy this album.