What more can we say about Oddisee that we’ve not written at the DopeHouseo ver the last several years? One of the DMV’s best kept secrets, criminally underrated producer-on-the-mic, a co-conspirator (alongside Uptown XO and yU) behind one of out favorite crews the Diamond District… the list goes on and on.
Today Oddisee releases his new album The Good Fight, a twelve-track LP in which he is both in front of the microphone and behind the boards. Eschewing all features, Odd instead chooses to reveal his message on his own:
Imbued with love, honesty, and selflessness, The Good Fight is virtuosic in its musicality, direct in its language, and infinitely relatable.
In a landscape overrun with abstract indulgence and shallow trend-chasers, the Prince George’s County, Maryland artist has created a record that reminds you that it’s music before it’s hip-hop.
For Oddisee, The Good Fight is about living fully as a musician without succumbing to the traps of hedonism, avarice, and materialism. It’s music that yields an intangible feeling: the sacral sound of an organ whine, brass horns, or a cymbal crash. It’s a meditation on our capacity to love and the bonds binding us together. It’s our ambition and greed warring with our sense of propriety – a list of paradoxes we all face when living and striving.
Oddisee’s production simmers in its own orchestral gumbo. You sense he’s really a jazzman in different form, inhabiting the spirit of Roy Ayers and other past greats. The Fader’s compared him to a musical MC Escher, calling hailing his “grandiose and symphonic sound” and “relevant relatable messages.” Pitchfork praised his “eclectic soulful boom-bap.”
The Good Fight acknowledges the stacked odds, but refuses to submit.
It’s both universal and personal. The child of a Sudanese immigrant highlights the rigors of his own upbringing: his pregnant mother working the register until she was about to burst, his pops’ shuttered diner that couldn’t survive Reaganomics—the one that Oddisee drives past every time he returns home, just to remind him how quickly the world can turn bad.
It’s these minor details that add into something major. It’s testament to the indelible nature of art: when you can turn what you love into something that lasts.
Stream, and cop a copy of, the album below.