|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
|One of the more hotly tipped underground producers of recent memory, Los Angeles-based Omid is slowly but surely working his way towards superstar status. He's not producing Christina or Britney just yet, but having already worked with the likes of Dilated Peoples, Abstract Rude, and Aceyalone, his star is most surely on the rise. Monolith is the producer's much-anticipated follow-up to 2002's Distant Drummer, and though it lacks its predecessor's sense of continuity, Walizadeh has made major steps forward taking his beatmaking craft to the next level. A veritable ticker-tape parade of emcees winds its way through winding corridors, vamping and venting through a twisted maze of diamond-edged breaks and drops. Shrink-rap superstars Slug, Murs, and Aceyalone hit rock bottom on the virally captivating "Live from Tokyo" - Spoon (of Iodine) strikes his target with his Schoolhouse Rock! Aping "I'm Just a Bill" and mind-smashing Canadian emcee Buck nearly steals the whole show with "Double Header" - a tribal triptych set to claustrophobic beats a sledgehammer programming. Walizadeh's gift for accentuating his guests' sonic specialties is akin to that of Timbaland; he's truly at his best when he's got several heavily armed soldiers traipsing through his sonic battlefield. His golden payday is quickly approaching over the horizon, but for the time being, Omid will have to live with his status as a promising up-and-comer, fueled in large part by the flashes of brilliance he displays here. - Grooves