By Eric | October 18, 2009
Hip Hop in 2009, at least in my humble opinion, was the “Year Of The D (Detroit)”, as releases from Now On (”Tomorrow Already”), Buff 1 (”There’s Only One”) and 14KT’s debut instrumental opus, “The Golden Hour” flooded the eardrums of Hip Hop without fair warning, captivating audiences with their signature, sonic boom. However, 2009 has most definitely been the year of “the D” once again…..except this time around it’s another “D”, D.C. First it was the arrival of the collaborative effort from D.C.’s Oddisee, yU and XO aka Diamond District with their FREE release “In The Ruff” that opened my eyes and ears to Hip Hop’s new “hotbed”. Next up was the ridiculously cohesive effort from yU “Before Taxes” (one of the top two or three releases of the year IMO), yet offered up as another free gift for listener’s yearning for a return to Hip Hop’s yesteryear. Finally, XO’s “RealMATIC” which was yet another FREE LP, with it’s heavy Go-Go influence that made me say “Wale who?”. Now, with last week’s release of Oddisee’s “Odd Autumn” that has be wondering just how much dopeness are these cats gonna’ unleash before they start charging us for it! I mean, damn, the aforementioned releases are better than the majority of actual albums that have dropped thus far in 2009.
In the same vein as his previous instrumental LP “Odd Summer”, “Odd Autumn” is the perfect companion for the season upon us, and my favorite time of the year I might add. It’s no secret that Oddisse, for lack of better wording, “got beats”, as past releases such us the “101″ & “102″ compilations, “Mental Liberation”, the Jazzy Jeff-mixed “Foot In The Door” mixtape and his collabo with Trek Life “New Money” have all been mainstays on my Ipod over the last few years. Matter of fact, I’m not the type of cat who like to load his Iphone up with music either, but if you check my music player right now I have two seperate playlist on my phone, simply titled “Diamond District” and “Low Budget” (ps…Kev Brown stays killin’ it as well!). It’s a shame that Oddisee, while heavily respected in the underground, isn’t listed amongst Hip Hop’s greatest producers…yet. However, with his healthy output this year, Oddisee just isn’t simply gonna’ ask for your respect, he’s beating down your door and taking it! Simply put, 2009 has found Oddisee rubbing elbows with the greats when it comes to craftiness and innovation in Hip Hop production.
Now, let’s not front, some of ya’ll so called “producers” putting out “beat tapes” comprised of finding a not-so-obscure sample and looping it for three minutes and placing it amongst 20 or so other tracks that all follow the same format…well, that’s not an “instrumental” LP per se (forgive the “run on” sentance). Not only is “Odd Autumn” original it’s downright INCREDIBLE. I first heard the LP mid-week as it served as my work-out music for the AM, and let me add “Odd Autumn” is ideal for those mornings where you just can’t seem to get motivated. You know, those mornings where you’ve just downed your second cup of coffee and still can’t get out the door as you surf the internet for various garbage, all the while avoiding the day that lies ahead. All you need is a dose of “Odd Autumn” folks, each cut on this album takes you on a emotional high. Just for a quick taste, peep the two cuts that I’ve posted above. You know how Eric B & Rakim’s “Don’t Sweat The Technique” has revived itself thanks to appearances in TV spots for “NBA2k10″ and “Target”? Well, “Almost A Year Since” is that kinda’ cut that reeks of “..Technique’s” energy and replay value. I can’t even front, after hearing the first few seconds of the cut, I was like “what the fu*k is this house sh*t”, but as I allowed the beat to play out I found myself reaching for the replay button for nearly an hour straight as I finished my workout to this neck-snapper supreme. Jesus, can you even imagine Rakim, Kane or Kool G Rap spittin’ on this speed racer? While not quite as uptempo, but featuring a similar build-up to “Almost A Year..”, “Everything Changed Nothing” will have you closing your eyes and “seeing colors” the way that Pharell Williams has mentioned he envisions them when making a beat. The last 45 seconds of “Everything..” is simply beautiful as the track leaves you wanting more while the static of a record takes the track to it’s fitting close.
Short but all the more sweet, Oddisee’s “Odd Autumn” serves as the blueprint for how instrumental offerings should sound. It’s cat’s like Oddisee, yU, Kev Brown and em’ that keep me loving this music and coming back for more, even at the ripe-old age of 34.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD ODDISEE’S “Odd Autumn” (VIA OKAYPLAYER.COM)