Album Review: OC & AG – Oasis (2009)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Potholes
Support! OC & AG – Oasis
For hip hop heads, the pairing of D.I.T.C. members OC and AG – for even one song – is a welcome distraction from much of what litters the genre’s landscape in 2009. How about an entire album? Well, that’s something jaded hip hop fans would have to see to believe. And even then, it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, could it?
The duo’s aptly named new release, Oasis, arrives at just the right time – and the MCs waste little time in setting the tone.
“Oasis” is the perfect introduction to this 17-track release (no skits). Before Statik Selektah’s track begins in earnest, the duo is given the official D.I.T.C stamp of approval (as if they didn’t already have it). Once the beat drops, both members rip the mic. Andre the Giant kicks off the second verse with OC’s famous line from “Time’s Up” (from his debut Word…Life) – You lack the minerals and vitamins, irons and the niacin.
“Keep it Going”, the next track, does exactly as the title suggests. E Blaze’s beat is the perfect match for both AG and the rejuvenated OC (who acknowledges, in the song, that he has rededicated his life back to the music – and it shows).
Lord Finesse’s beats makes it an all-D.I.T.C affair for the next two tracks, “Give it Back” and “Alpha Males”, and both MCs sound extremely comfortable flexing their lyrical abilities over the relatively minimalist production. The hooks reflect their veteran status in the game.
Show’s first offering, “Young With Style”, is perfect for taking it light, chillin’, checkin’ out girls (as the hook suggests). But that doesn’t mean AG and OC are taking this one off lyrically, as they school the youngsters on Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Mixmaster Ice, Le Coq Sportif and Kangols – among other things.
E Blaze shows that he is a perfect fit for the album with “Think About It” and “Put It In The Box” – and Omar and Andre display their lyrical prowess on both tracks. The former is arguably the best track on the album, while the latter features the MCs trading lines in verse 3 – perhaps a nod to their old-school roots.
Show’s second contribution, “Boom Bap”, is classic D.I.T.C. and AG and OC don’t waste the strong production. Both MCs also get the chance to rock solo joints – and neither disappoint. E Blaze, again, laces both tracks – and he offers a mellow groove for AG’s reflective and personal lyrics (“Reality Is”) and something a bit grimy for OC’s extended metaphor (“Contagious”).
The album, however, isn’t without missteps. “Against the Wall”, “Supreme Squad” and “God’s Gift” sound slightly repetitive, while “Get Away” is just bad – especially Mirror Image on the chorus.
Luckily, the veterans save the best for last.
“Two For The Money” features a monster beat (courtesy of Show) and lyrics to match. The scratched chorus samples some of the genre’s finest – and Grand Puba’s watch me flip it on the really is a perfect summation of this song.
“Pain” features another hot beat from E Blaze and Mirror Image on the chorus (used perfectly this time), but – as with the rest of Oasis – the lyrics receive top billing. Both AG and OC are grown men – and they act like it, offering personal lyrics about real life issues.
Those already familiar with OC and AG shouldn’t be surprised that this album lives up to the hype, as both men have been lyrical monsters for years. For those that don’t know, or for those sick of the status quo in hip hop, this is grown up rap with real life lyrics – and it just happens to be hot music too.