Eccentrically energetic lyricism backed with bombastically banging beats, the one known as the Ohmega Commander provides nothing but a non-stop circus of strange metaphors and weird tales, with a fusion of pop culture references and deep philosophical introspection added on top to good measure, throughout his most recent album “The Blue (And The Red)”. I don’t think I’ve ever quite heard something like this, and that definitely tickles my fancy. Routed firmly in old-school hip-hop style, with a cool and playful energy that is reminiscent of acts like the Beastie Boys and the Ultramagnetic MCs, but having an extremely unique and modern vocal and beat production which works well to bringing this album’s sound to the new millennium. The contrast of energetic old school delivery and nu-school mixing and production works extremely well in creating a unique but consistent sound all the way throughout.
The album starts with a barrage of rapidly presented and densely populated vocal delivery, providing you with a strong sense of what this album is all about: a little bit of expertly crafted genius/madness. Maneuvering in a seamless manner throughout the albums themes of self-depreciation, internal conflict, mental instability, exposition of political and social issues, and explorations of philosophical concepts, all of which is lined carefully with crafted metaphors and pop culture symbolism, he manages to weave together a brilliant lyrical web which you will find yourself truly enveloped within. The experience afterwards of trying to piece together all the references and meanings behind all of the lyrical connections will be a journey all into itself.
And not only can this man write, but this man’s vocal delivery is rather diverse, with him managing to jump between styles and tones in a controlled and entertaining way that only strengthens the overall replayability of the album. Strong and consistent all the way throughout, while having the capabilities, and using them appropriately when it benefits the track, to throw his vocals around in different pitches and tonalities, with rap-singing being something that frequently appears throughout the release; his progressive take on vocals makes the listening experience that much more captivating. It also helps that he, often in a comedic tone, sings his own choruses, which helps both the continuity of the album and often provides a bit of a break in the regularly fast paced energy of his mostly non-stop delivered rapped verses.
Matching Ohmega’s excellent delivery is an equally great set of beats. Crafted by a mixture of his own creations, as well as a collection of other producers (including Billy the Kid and The Lost Boys, Square Town Biz Productions, Drunken Young’n, and Matt Neale) filling out some of the other tracks, the album has a very old school/modern fusion feel to it. Lots of vintage boom box and acoustic sounding energetic drum beats, with a very almost East Coast sound to a lot of it, with many of the tracks featuring lots of real instruments or performer keyboard style synths. Quite a bit different then a lot of the more trap and EDM oriented sounding rap we’ve been hearing a lot these days, and it’s a fresh breath of air which honestly works well with his vigorous vocal delivery.
However, not to despair, you aren’t gonna get some quiet sounding album you’re gonna have a hard time pumping so loud you that can blow out your eardrums like people like it these days, as you can tell with the album’s modern sound that it’s been run through some decent hardware and software. The album delivers a loud and consistent sound throughout most of it, with the mixing/mastering engineer doing a good job providing a tonal continuity throughout the instruments, with the end vocal/beat volumes being mixed a bit towards the vocals but not to the detriment of the release, with the spotlight being exactly where it should be.
Overall, I’d highly recommend the album to anyone who wants to listen to some old school sounding hip-hop that isn’t afraid to tackle diverse and progressive lyrical themes. You won’t be finding to much mumbling, or deep 808 groans, on this album, but what you will find is one of the most authentic and thought provoking characters on the British Columbian rap scene.
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