I may not write about him much, but I’m a fan of hip hop beatmaster Oddisee. He’s got definite mixing skills and can build a solid groove. The Washington D.C. producer has worked with many of the greats of the hip hop smart set: Jazzy Jeff, Talib Kweli, Little Brother, etc., but solo his projects unfortunately are usually too uneven for me to really get behind them. Until now. Taking a page from Atmosphere’s playbook, Oddisee has released four albums, for free, one for each season. Each one has had a definite flavor and has featured more than a couple very strong tracks, but it wasn’t until this last one, Odd Spring, that I really felt like he nailed it.
Between some great uptempo instrumentals, he brings in Diamond District on the first lyrical track, “Birds & Bees,” matching DD’s smooth-and-even flow to a soulful beat that’s way better than anything Nas has used in the past five years. Juba May has a beat slightly similar to that track, but it adds 1970s rapid percussion that is so intricate you can’t help but stop and listen. It needs to be playing while Ice-T runs down Chris Rock in a New Jack sequel. And if sexier old school funk is your thing, you’ll dig “This Beat Is For Finale.” And Oddisee shows that his own skills are actually pretty damn strong, too, when he takes the mic on “I’m From PG.”
This is a great collection. And, as I said, the other three season are also pretty good (just not as great as this one). You’ll be able to buy all four soon, in a box set, if you want to support the artist. Which is always a good idea. In the meantime, get Odd Spring free from bandcamp.