Rappers get caught on the corner a lot. Many of them are well past adolescence and presumably aware of the world around them but when it comes time to put pen to pad, an inordinate amount of content seems to revolve around the block. Maybe they think the record buying public doesn’t give a damn, or maybe their world view is limited. The beauty and power of Hip-Hop is that it’s no longer constrained by the borders of the 5 boroughs or the streets of Compton or even the trap. Apollo Brown and the Diamond District’s own Oddisee take your ass off the block and around the world on “The Times.”
Apollo Brown’s track takes you almost underwater, opening with a sparse, underwater rhythm that expanse and the verse lengthens. Drowsy digital wind and a slapping tambourine join the fray but never loud enough to detract from the vocals. To be honest Oddisee has too much to say to get buried by the beat.
The half Sudanese rapper took the time to address the recent split of his parent’s homeland in two, creating the Republic of Southern Sudan from the original. Oddisee’s heritage derives from the war-torn north, but according to his rhymes and presumably the distance from the conflict being raised in the US, he shows empathy with the new nation, rhyming:
“Indeed, congratulations are in order / I’m from north of the border / responsible for the slaughter / I was always on their side / for them I’ma always ride / bein’ raised in the states I learnt we in the same tribe”
A bit of global understanding never hurt anyone and it’s always good to hear passion from a rapper that has nothing to do with a woman who broke their heart, a hater that’s trying to break their pockets or the police trying to break their neck. And also hear it sound good. The duo nail it.
Dope impassioned rhymes over a beat that isnt’ trying to overpower the rapper and over in under three minutes. That’s economy for your ass. “The Times.” Enjoy.
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