|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
|Rare is the studio rat who can add new wrinkles to hip-hop's funk foundations. LA crate-digga Omid Walizadeh does just that while unveiling a sonic palette with more colors than Crayola. Giving eclecticism a good name, he references and recontextualizes disparate sources like a musicologist who can also move the crowd like Eric B & Rakim. Monolith splits its fouteen tracks between instrumentals and vocals, and Omid excels in both situations. With rap iconoclasts like Busdriver, Buck 65, Slug, Abstract Rude, 2Mex, and Hymnal spitting compelling verses, Omid invariably laces tracks with surprising instrumentation (didgeridoo, flute, glockenspiel, kalimba, sitar). He also has a knack for subtle allusions, hinting at - but not sampling - the Beatles, Pharoah Sanders, and Consolidated. Monolith stamps Omid as one of hip-hop's most original producers, under or overground. - Portland Mercury