WRCU Reviews: Hip-Hop Review

Aaron Shier

D.C./Maryland native Oddisee proves that he is equally adept both behind the boards and on the microphone with his release of Foot in the Door, mixed by the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff. His production work is similar to that of the low budget crew artists he associates with, including Kev Brown and Kenn Starr, all of whom opt for unhurried dusty soul and R&B style grooves.

Better known for his production work, Oddisee firmly establishes himself as a charismatic rapper with an undeniably infectious flow. He treads on shaky ground by approaching serious social matter, yet he exhibits an aptitude for making his social observation momentous while maintaining a sense of humor that has universal appeal. On “Gentrification,” he bemoans the vanishing of the “real,” the authentic and the traditional from parts of D.C. At one point he raps – “A Starbucks here and a Starbucks there, how much coffee you need, my god it’s unfair?”

Jazzy Jeff is the subtle star of the show. His thoughtful track placement and verse selections paired with his unobtrusive mixing ability transforms the potentially overwhelming 34 track lineup into a listenable, coherent whole. Perhaps most importantly, his association with the album certifies Oddisee’s legitimacy as a Hip-Hop artist and indicates that the album is indeed aptly titled.