Refreshing, innovative, progressive and necessary are all terms that can be used to describe the latest full length LP, The Good Fight from Mello Music Group front man and DC native Oddisee. With a number of albums dropping recently that creatively push the envelope, The Good Fight demonstrates Oddissee’s ability to remain true to formula while delivering quality product. This album soars above the competition in its honesty and Oddisee is able to paint a clear picture of his struggles with maintaining artistic integrity and not falling victim to the materialistic nature that has engulfed Hip Hop as of late.
Even though Oddissee is successfully established as a full time musician, MC, and label exec, he hasn’t forgotten where his roots are and recognizes the carefully planned steps he used to get him there. Now he’s uniquely pocketed in the industry above the depths of the underground, but still below the commercial radar. Lately, I’ve had to carefully manage my expectations with most new releases, because the let-down factor has become so popular due to the over-promotion of subpar material. Not the case when listening to The Good Fight.
When the first track, That’s Love, boldly emits from the speakers, you can tell this album not just another conglomeration of materialistic rhetoric. The music actually speaks to you and then Oddisee takes you on a four minute dissertation explaining why recognizing genuine love is essential in one’s own success. With lines like “When I would have to learn the hard way and you would let me fall but never did it out of spite”, he reminds us that love can come in many forms and though love is usually the form that makes you stronger and helps you weather the tougher times. You can gather that those tougher times for Oddisee might include dealing with the music that’s plastered across the airwaves in 2015. There’s evidence on Want Something Done where Oddisee raps “Glorifying music that’s abusive and a threat to us and if you got a message in your records you collecting dust”. This song has a special transparency that you normally don’t receive from an artist with Oddissee’s resume. Such honesty is usually found on debut projects before artists grasp the fact that they are stars and well, this is what stars do.
Contradiction’s Maze, which features fellow DMV artist Maimouna Youssef, is my favorite cut on the album. This horn heavy mid tempo gem is what some may consider a perfect song. It’s so relatable in how it is indicative of the deep thoughts that we all endure at some point in life, whether you’re the creative type or an average Joe. Oddisee’s illustrates how he struggles with the decision to chase the fame or remain grounded. If this album is an accurate assessment of Mr. Mohammed’s coin flip, we can conclude that he’s chosen the latter.
As usual, Oddisee never disappoints in making sure there is substance in his music. He eloquently demonstrates this on Counter-Clockwise where he explores the effects of being aligned with those who continually take advantage. In my opinion, every song on this project could be considered a “single”. One that I feel would shine brighter than others is Belong To the World speaking about his refusal to give in to the current popularities that most are found chomping at the bit to engage themselves in. It’s an understandable approach considering most would agree that his success is a direct result of his humbleness. If you’ve forgetten how dope Oddisee is as a producer, cuts like Book Cover and Meant It When I Said It, do a perfect job of jogging the memories of the sleepers.
If there were a starring system in place here, I’d be doing this album a disservice by not giving it a five out of five. From production to content, I’ve yet to find a noticeable flaw. As alluded to in the closing interview clip on the album, it’s almost a crime that Oddisee doesn’t get the attention that the more mainstream artists do, but I think we can conclude after listening that he’s more content with simply fighting…The Good Fight
To check out the project for yourself, head HERE and purchase The Good Fight