Rock Creek Park, Oddisee, 2011
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It's been a long time since I wrote about an Oddisee album and it's not due to his lack of production. He's an extremely talented mc/producer originally from DC, but he currently resides in Brooklyn. This September, he dropped a new, mostly instrumental album called Rock Creek Park.
If you haven't heard any of Oddisee's beat tapes, officially consider yourself missing out. Last year, he released a beat tape for each season in a series called Odd Seasons. I first picked up on Oddisee's Mental Liberation back in 2008 and it was an album that made think about posting album reviews on a crappy Blogger aka Google prefab blog. Since then, he's started a label, raised the bar and he's pushing forward creatively and as an entrpreneur. After the 2011 summer hip hop rush of album releases, so far the albums set to release this fall look as sparse and that includes mixtapes. I know of a few projects that I'll be writing about, but other than them, it looks sparse. Rock Creek Park musically keeps up the momentum from the summer, but takes you to fall on a good note. He accomplishes this with a musically rich album that includes trumpets, various analog drums, pianos, guitars, electric keys and something like 2 vocal samples.
Rock Creek Park is one of these albums that will serve well for the introspective and people that enjoy having music on all day while you carry on the rest of your life. The only song w/ lyrics is the first track where YU (from The Diamond District) blesses the album w/ a few solid verses & Oddisee remains behind the boards. The remainder of the album drifts from funk/disco, to soul and back to hip hop. From what I understand, Oddisee has been park jumping in NYC and it reminds him of a park back in the DMV called Rock Creek Park. In any event, the track names, the sounds and the general feel of the album deliver an outdoors vibe & it's a credit to the project.
The video above isn't from Rock Creek Park. "Belgium's ZBS Studio reached out to Mello Muisc Group about permission to do a video for Oddisee's "The Blooming". MMG of course was honored to have them interpret the song and apply their vision to the track. The resulting marriage of visual storytelling & instrumental perfection is a narrative work that tells the story of time's passage in the life of a boy. The video was directed, shot, & edited by Tomasz Cibulla and Wojciech Drożdż of ZBS Studios in Belgium.
Filled with rich landscapes from Belgium's countryside, smokey ambers, old typewriters, watches, clocks, and a father and son, The Blooming portrays life's unfolding through the metaphor of time. Oddisee's original track was last springs soundtrack to the rains and blooming growth of nature. Rich strings, bold piano, wood block, synth, flute, and snares that rest easy in the backdrop drive this instrumental track from Odd Seasons." www.zbsstudio.com
Oddisee's style is unique because he's not someone wearing nerdy trends to be cool. I've never met him, but the impression I get from his music, interviews and his lyrics is that he's just extremely intelligent, thoughtful, talented and everything follows suit. For me to really respect an artist, they have to simply be doing their own thing and the number of people paying attention is a by-product of unique style and hard work. Oddisee is one of those artists. It's always nice to hear music that enjoys what they do and they really put themselves into their music.