Driving with a surprisingly up-front, gritty and hypnotic vocal line, backed by a strangely distant, uniquely creative soundscape, ODC’s new EP kicks into gear with the identity-soaked anthem for motivation and personal strength that is Set It Off.
Presenting equal parts all-inclusive possibility, and a clear cut of individual story-telling, the opening track lets you get to know the rapper and artist whilst simultaneously providing that boost of alternative energy and artistry to help get things moving.
It’s a refreshing manner of sound design, and the sheer clarity and intensity of the vocal adds something all the more enticing and interesting. Trill follows the opener and leads with a simple keys riff, distant again, unexpectedly reverb-kissed – almost tipping its hat to trip-hop and shoe-gaze more so than classic hip hop. Here we get an absolute hit of rap nostalgia in the vocal hook though.
These united voices, the simple rhythm and repetition of the words, it creates a defiant moment of unity that begs for you to witness it in a live setting. Then, once again, ODC explodes into personal story-telling, laying bare his truth, complete with skills and vulnerabilities alike. The verses captivate, impress, then the hook resolves in a powerful moment of oneness.
Robbin The Game leans towards the legends of yesteryear a little more so, conjuring up thoughts of the nineties – the character and the uninhibited expression. Soon enough, throughout this project, you form a clear understanding or image of ODC. His sound becomes easily recognisable, for both the unique soundscapes and the vocal delivery, and that’s a commendable trait.
Despite its darkness and violent implications, Kill’ em is perhaps the most striking and memorable track on this whole EP. Clever bars pour through in a breathless stream of creativity, loaded with angst and passion alike, right through until the simple resolve and finality of that hook. A definite highlight, and somewhat classic again in terms of what hip hop used to more commonly offer up within the walls of an album.
Money brings things to an equally intense and compelling finish. Another highlight, holding attention well with these short yet quick rhymes and the sheer darkness of the ambiance and the various cut-scene-style details scattered around it.
The further you get into Trill South, the more iconic and engaging it seems to be. The same is true for each re-visit. Paying tribute to the big names from a simper time, yet only subtly, ODC effectively makes and breaks his own rules, leading with confidence, creative freedom, and a plethora of emotions that come through in full force on each of these tracks. It’s everything the genre once was, and it’s somewhat awakening in being so open and unusual.