Published Feb 28, 2017It's been almost a year since we heard a solo effort from DC rapper/producer Oddisee; in 2016 he dropped his Alwasta EP, then followed it up in the summer with The Odd Tape, an instrumental album. His latest, The Iceberg, slides in almost under the radar amidst a slew of other flashy commercial releases over the last 30 days. True to his brand, though, it's more refreshing than coconut water in a drought.
Over 12 self-produced tracks, Oddisee comments on everything from race relations and social injustice to gender inequality. One of his ultimate strengths is his unique ability to make topics that aren't wholly original become something unique and distinctively his own.
"You Grew Up" is a great example, as he tells the story of what led a white childhood friend (now a cop) to despise immigrants, flipping the perspective on the typical narrative. As well, on the record "NNGE (Never Not Getting Enough)," he makes timely mention of the recent U.S. reaction to certain Trump-isms: "If you're new to disrespect by your elected puppeteers / Well let me show you how to persevere."
The project's crown jewel, though, has to be "Rain Dance," on which he tastefully addresses 'stylistic comparisons': "I ain't jealous or offended / I'm just glad to see reactions to a style that I invented."
The title alone hints at substance beneath the surface — more than meets the eye. The Iceberg ultimately delivers a rich yet digestible musical main course worth more than one helping. If you've been sleeping on Odd, it's time to wake up. (Mello Music Group)