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.