My summer, as uneventful and mediocre as it was, would not be complete without my much loved East Coast dudes – the DMV’s Oddisee and Wale. Since so much music comes across my screen and iPod, these artists stayed low on my radar, albeit never too far from my heart – I always come back to them.
Oddisee, DC’s renaissance producer, master of the beat and owner of a huge apetite for impeccable sound, blessed us with a new concept album. Concept albums are nothing out of the norm. Artists create concept albums designed to reflect a certain time period or theme all the time, but Oddisse’s Rock Creek Park shows how it should be done.
On this project, released via Mello Music Group, Oddisee is taking us to one of his favorite places – Rock Creek National Park. In his own words “Rock Creek Park was and will always be one of my favorite places in D.C.. As a child I spent a lot of time riding my bike through the park from Maryland into D.C. and out to Virginia. These instrumentals were created to reflect the feelings I get when I’m riding, walking or driving through the park day or night. In short, it’s a summer time, feel good record.”
Even though it took him only 10 days to make the album, it is nothing short of perfection. Soulful synths, great live instruments like violins, bass, drums as well as classic samples that anybody can nod out to, bring this album full circle and give it a body. The album features only one song with vocals, courtesy of yU of Diamond District.
This album sounds like an easy, beautiful summer Sunday morning – parents are in a good mood, no obligations for us kids, maybe even a day on the beach? The album sounds solid and inviting, perfect for anything, do yourself a favor and get it, this guy deserves all of our attention.
Hailing from the same city is Wale, who in August put out a new mixtape, The Eleven One Eleven Theory. I have always been a huge Wale fan and I was impressed with this project. With The Eleven One Eleven Theory, it is evident the D.C. rapper hasn’t forgotten his roots, and likewise is still focused on his goals, something he seemingly lost site of during his tenure with Interscope Records.
This is his most mature mixtape to the date – it shows progress and maturity since his last studio album Attention Deficit in 2009. Signed to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music group, the tape features the man Rick Ross himself, Jeremiah, Lloyd, J Cole, Lil Duval and a few other masters of the craft. With the declarative proclamation “I’m not cocky I’m just proud of me / So why these niggas acting like I ain’t allowed to be?” Wale’s ambition as an emcee looks promising as he takes more control of his career without having to deal with label setbacks.
Wale is not shy to slow things down on a few songs, reminding me of LL Cool J’s “I Need Love.” His female fans will certainly appreciate this.
We won’t have to wait for another project for too long, Ambition is the upcoming second studio album by Wale and it is set to be released on November 1, 2011.
For a guy who had few thousands of Twitter followers when I discovered him few years back, to over a million today – not too shabby Wale, congratulation. Get this mixtape as an appetizer to the upcoming main meal in November. My expectations will stay high for Wale.