Thursday, 13 March 2014

Valid Dreams. Realistic Expectations. Bad Basslines.

I’m so sorry for the silence.

Was having one of my bi-monthly, mini-existential crises about God knows what. Anyway, I’m glad to report that after some introspection and beers, it has occurred to me that life is to be lived, not analyzed. People will do that for you when you are dead. Safe to say that it will likely be a while till I have one of those moments again… If ever. Hurrah for progress.
Beer solves everything.

As I type this I am listening to SBTRKTS’s latest EP, Transitions. Track called “Hold the Line” is currently rearranging my synapses. The bass line is one of those that sends a gentle vibration to the temples. So good. Check it out and tell me your feelings. 

But we aren’t going to talk about the masked man today (I’m honestly just getting into his music anyways). Today’s blessing comes in the form of an American-Sudanese MC/Producer who hails from the city of Washington. His name is Oddisee (pronounced like Odyssey).

A few weeks ago, my workmate Lukas put me on him (and on a bunch of other great stuff, including De La’s Atmosphere Airlines which will be covered soon). Anyway, I looked him up on the net, clicked on his Sound Cloud and found some of the best music that is being made as we speak.

Oddisee has a lot of music but what I listened to was his latest mixtape “Tangible Dreams” that was actually a freebie accompaniment to his Instrumental release, “The Beauty in All”.
The cover art was a good omen

Dudes, I haven’t heard such a complete collection of hip-hop since Lauryn’s Miseducation. This guy is so incredibly comfortable in his own skin, so sure of his ability, so clear about what he’s saying, that listening to this is a joy even if you aren’t the biggest hiphop fan.
As a producer, his style is like a balanced mash-up of a less boom-bappy 9th Wonder and a safer Dilla. I know this sounds like he’s watered-down but surprisingly it works perfectly. Dude isn’t trying to be anyone but you can tell his influences. And his string samples are so exquisite, laden with just enough feeling to stay with you all day after just one listen (Own appeal).

His flow is calm, unaffected. He tells his truth clearly and then leaves you to think about what he’s said over a soul sample that succinctly reiterates his point (The Going ons).

As a whole the Album is about expectations. Oddisee addresses the unrealistic, often hollow life views that are perpetuated in a lot of today’s music by his contemporaries.
I discovered that I can make a career in an arena dominated by artists that sell false dreams. I realized that although the masses may not know of my body of work, it doesn’t take the whole world to have the world I want. Tangible Dream is a mix-tape dedicated to the deconstruction of our traditional ideas of success & shedding light on the possibility of a sustainable rap life.”

This shit resonated with me so much man (see existential crisis). The truth is, most of the stuff we hear today reflects a life most people know nothing about and likely never will. A life defined by what you have as opposed to who you are. This album is about working hard but staying grounded and content (Back of my mind). This album is what I want my kid-brothers listening to instead of Rick Ross. Sorry Rozay fans.

Understand, that yes, your dreams are valid and there should be no ceiling. But what are your dreams based on? The need to brag or the need to actually do something worthwhile? Because if it’s the former, you my friend are a clown…nothing more.
Tangible Dream is a Dream come true for anyone feeling a little bombarded by life. Get it.

On a lighter note the bonus flow which featured members of his crew, Diamond District is SICK.
Check out Oddisee and share your thoughts on facebook, twitter or below in the comment section.
Also, check out the preview for the stones throwdocumentary that I can hardly wait for. I wanna be PB wolf when I grow up.


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