Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ohnomite and Dr. No's Tornado Funk

by Oh No

Oh No does like his gimmicks.  A few years ago he crafted an entire hip-hop album (Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms)using only samples from Galt McDermot's musicals.  It was interesting, but ultimately not all that impressive.

I feel the same way about Ohnomite, his new album on FiveDayWeekend that is crafted solely from sounds taken from the soundtrack to Dolemite, the classic blaxploitation film.  The beats are very nice, but the collection of rappers that Oh No gathered is pretty uninspired, as are their lyrics.

Oh No stuck with many of the same old MCs that fill the less-interesting corners of Stones Throw's catalogue - Guilty Simpson, MED, Roc C, Wildchild, and Frank Nitt.  He added to this mix some perpetual undergrounders on the cusp of popularity, like Evidence, Alchemist, Chino XL, Termanology, Roc Marciano, Phil Da Agony (who I quite like, actually), and LMNO.

There are some impressive names here - MF DOOM holds up his track nicely, and appearances by Rapper Pooh (I guess he dropped the Big in his name), Phife Dawg, and Erick Sermon add some respectability to the affair, but not a lot of excitement.

In contrast to that is Dr. No's Tornado Funk, which is an instrumental project built around many of the same samples.  Oh No's best work is usually his instrumental stuff (I love his Dr. No's Oxperiment), so it comes as no surprise to me that I play this album much more frequently than the other.  It has the energy and excitement that the other project is lacking, and it's nice to hear No's masterful beats without uninteresting lyrics and dull delivery diluting them.

I'm not going to suggest that Oh No stick to staying behind the boards, but he would benefit from working with a more exciting stable of lyricists.

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