Oddisee is a refreshing, unique artists in the hip hop game. The Iceberg is Oddisee’s 11t studio album. The album features exciting instrumentals and acoustics that add to the overall quality of the project. With his previous live album Beneath the Surface in 2017, Oddisee’s experience with acoustics and live music show through vividly. Some tracks such as “Digging Deep” are heavily acoustic based whereas tracks like “Things” are more modernly produced. It’s a nice change to hear a rapper, especially a lesser known rapper, exhibit their skills in live and acoustic skills on top of their modern production skills. The overall sound of the album is well supplemented by the production. Oddisee has calming but exciting flows and displays his ability to rap over more jazzy beats like in “Built by Pictures” as well as more rock beats like in “This Girl I Know”. Oddisee’s influence from A Tribe Called Quest in this regard is quite apparent and the Sudanese-influenced rapper adds his own personal twist as well. All these qualities of this project and Oddisee’s overall career are incredible and deserve more recognition, but the most impressive quality of his music is his lyrics. Oddisee offers incredibly insightful and conscious bars that are provoke deep thought from the listener. Tracks like “Like Really” and “You Grew Up” exhibit this in an exceptional manner. “Like Really” is a personal tale that talks about the problems with discrimination against African Americans and the disconnect between their society and the Caucasian society within America. He touches on issues with the legal system and how the relationship is between white and black communities. “You Grew Up” is a beautiful song that talks about how different upbringings can lead to certain ways of life. He talks about how he was friends with a white boy as a child, but as they grew up in the “cult” that America is, their natural roles in society spread them apart. His friend became a police officer and years later shot a black man in a park. This is the crux of the separation that started from the father of the white friend prohibiting their friendship by racist merits. The song also talks about a kid who was bullied for being Muslim. The kid was approached in a mosque after graduation by a man who showed him that “life is a weapon” and turned him radical. This track brings new perspective to the listener and shows that just because you raise a child in a house full of love, doesn’t mean they’ll do well in this world full of hate. Overall, I would rate this album a strong 4.4/5.
Notable Tracks: “Like Really”, “You Grew Up”, “Rights & Wrongs”, and “Want to Be”