Review Summary: “For those who pose lyrical but really ain't true I feel”- Time’s Up
Making his debut in 1991 on Organized Confusion’s ‘Fudge Pudge,’ O.C. didn’t exactly stand out initially but he soon got his own record deal. Wild Pitch Records released several great albums in the early to mid-90s but they soon were out of print until 2008 meaning that many of these great albums have been unfairly overlooked because they just weren’t available.
O.C. is a very talented MC and on his debut he takes fake MCs to task with first single ‘Time’s Up,’ a classic track that is now the main thing O.C. is known for. Buckwild who would later become part of legendary underground crew D.I.T.C. (which also included O.C.) produces the bulk of Word… Life
and one of the best moments of his great but overlooked career is ‘Time’s Up,’ driven by a bassline with well placed guitar stabs and a scratched sample from Slick Rick’s ‘Hey Young World’ “Their time's limited, hard rocks too”
is used as the hook. O.C. drops plenty of memorable lines over this incredible beat:
Speakin in tongues, about what you did but you never done it
Admit you bit it cause the next man gained platinum behind it
I find it ironic, so I researched and analyzed
Most write about stuff they fantasized
I'm fed up with the bull, on this focus of weed and clips
And glocks gettin cocked, and wax not bein flipped
It's the same old same old just strain it from the anal
The contact, is not com-pexed or vexed
So why you puhsin it? Why you lyin for? I know where you live
I know your folks, you was a sucka as a kid
‘Time’s Up’ is one long quotable and O.C.’s brashness is incredible for someone who had yet to accomplish anything in the game calling out other rappers and saying that “Everybody's either crime-related or sexual.”
But O.C.’s storytelling on ‘Ga Head’ has the listener hanging on his every word, talking about his girl cheating on him and wondering “His sha-laft must be thick, must be stronger must be good, must be a whole lot longer”
only to find out it’s “another sister not a mister”
over a melancholic saxophone, provided by D.I.T.C. leader Lord Finesse, that really sets the appropriate mood.
Organized Konfusion shows up in a couple of tracks, Pharoahe Monch for the chorus of ‘Let it Slide’ and Prince Po does the outro on ‘No Main Topic’ as well as producing a couple of tracks. O.C.’s mom also makes an appearance on ‘Ma Dukes’ singing during the intro and interludes. Word …Life
is a very good album but it has it’s slow moments, ‘Born 2 Live’ is outstanding lyrically but it’s corny, poppy sample of ‘Risin’ to the Top’ is a rare misstep for Buckwild on an otherwise very well produced album.
On ‘Time’s Up’ O.C. claims “I’d rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect”
and while that track got him lots of respect in hip-hop circles, O.C. has been largely forgotten and save for his appearances with D.I.T.C. hasn’t done anything as memorable as his debut album. Word…Life
showed tremendous potential that unfortunately went unfulfilled but it is an outstanding album and with ‘Time’s Up’ he created on of hip-hop’s defining moments.