Review Summary: Calm down. Listen.
Lately I felt a slight disconnect with the world of Hip-Hop. I suppose my expectations of the genre are just too high to have realistic prospects of being satisfied. And that is where the off-kilter Hip-Hop comes in. The usual radio burners lost their spell at this point and the overly compressed speech-impediment entrapment flow manoeuvres (that’s what you call them, right") that every other rappers nowadays stacks in their repertoires are simply too one-note and samey for my picky pretentious taste. But once you add that special spark of oddity, it all becomes honey to my ears.
Oddisee’s abnormal virtuoso use of versatile instrumentals on his records has always been charming and often times downright incredible. You can expect no less on The Iceberg
, for this record is filled with a great deal of instrumental creativity on every turn. Each track has its own unique instrumental or stylistic method, but Oddisee always manages to make it all seem grounded enough to never stick out and disrupt the impeccable flow of the record. You might encounter a soft guitar riff here, then a classic rhythmic beat there and some brass sprinkled over it, with occasional synth-marbled bass gravy. All of that mixed with Oddisee’s confident, self-aware delivery and the fantastic song-writing, which makes each tracks pop out with increasingly more dizzying atmosphere, and you’ve got yourself a near-perfect, light-flowing, opinionated Hip-Hop record.
And those lyrics. Sure enough, you’ll have to get over Oddisee’s socio-political opinions, but even in spite of them, the wordplay and the seemingly natural rhymes and smooth verses are nothing less than punching. But Oddisee wants you to focus on the messages of social acceptance, class differences, and racial tension. For that reason is the music never too booming or overwhelming, instead slowly building a certain atmosphere that’d seem almost meditative (and at times even ambient) without the vocal contributions. It’s so that it never distracted from what really matters. But everything blends into itself seamlessly and flawlessly. Everything stands straight, bravely and confidently. Everything is in its place. And that’s just the tip of the Iceberg