|MH-221 Omid - Monolith
Omid raises the standard on producer-driven hip-hop albums with Monolith, a project that rests in concept between his Celestial Recordings smash Beneath The Surface and 2002's stellar Distant Drummer. Equally split between layered instrumental pieces and standout vocal tracks, Omid invites some of the world's most important emcees to rhyme over his beautifully crafted, Middle Eastern tinged productions. Buck 65, Busdriver, Abstract Rude, 2Mex, Spoon (of Iodine), Luckyiam.PSC, Slug, Aceyalone, and Murs all give noteworthy performances. Two standout tracks are turned in by Hymnal, whose world-weary tales of moral corruption bookend the album. In a time where some producers are content with just making beats, Omid's mature design speaks volumes with or without emcees.
|Beats that you'd kill for - Vice / Rife with both sick beats and rhymes of conviction - Synthesis / Modern, bold, and uplifting. - Harvard Independent / Los Angeles' best-kept secret - San Francisco Weekly / Sick, progressive hip-hop - XLR8R / Don't make the mistake of missing Monolith. - Hip-Hop DX
|The interior lyric layout on the CD insert here suggests the grey Rubik's Cube that decapitated Julie Christie's buddy in the Demon Seed. Omid's guest rappers might agree that one Julie Christie in Don't Look Now is better than the double Christies in Fahrenheit 451. More tour taxed than girl troubled, however, Atmosphere's Slug is "stuck in the middle of a scream and a giggle" on "Live from Tokyo," his hungover head hanging out the van door watching characters become waffles.
The beat batter rams and newcomer Luckyiam.PSC is in the motel doorway: "I'm a bad dude and a great guy / And I don't lie to the homies." One of the best names in LA, Spoon (of Iodine) has a harrowing storm drain voice and was last heard defiling Jesus' B-Day. "I'm Just a Bill" is a demented remake of an a cappella he used to bust at the Good Life health food store in the crook of a South Central strip mall. On "Double Header," the ballpark organ gets cranked up for Buck 65, who, much taller on the mound than he sounds, rasps the Vida Blues. "Let's play two / There may not be a tomorrow / Magpies / Weiner dogs / Let's at least shag flies / No run limit / No infield fly rule / I haven't felt this alone since high school."
Catch breath with the wistful instrumental. "Ripple Study," like everything's going to be okay (so the horn says), before Busdriver charges through your brain on "Shock and Awe," bald brake pads and "imaginary flashfloods" be damned: "We've all fallen victim to the secretary of defense's onion breath." -�The Wire