featured REVIEW


OUO Of Unknown Origin Domination • 2005

Let's 'Take it back to that raw rap format', as O.U.O. raps in the chorus of 'It's Time'. Indeed the time is here with the return of Zimbabwe Legit's Dumi Right aka Doom E Right who's now backed up with his cousin Pep instead of Akim, who's not down with the duo but still remains heavy affiliated and features on 'Crash Thru Walls', a sit back-relax, trademark Cadence production. Trademark in this case means: heavily jazz inspired music with a fat double bass loop and smooth xylophones. This is the sound that dominates on this album: raw, melancholic and pure jazzy vibes.

Both Pep and Dumi kick easy but thorough lyrics, with fresh punchlines, talkin sense and wisdom, bringing back the era of when MC’s had something to say without losing their sense of humour. 'We do this for the love of it', they immediately admit in the opening song 'For The Love Revisited'; 'Pryor to Richard, I was young, black and gifted'; you just know these guys ain’t playin! What’s more: 'I love the underground and I’mma stay down, as I’m rollin below the surface, I seek the purpose', they rap in 'I Rock', a track featuring Cadence who leaves the boards for a minute and lays some vocals over the magnificent Kev Strange production. Besides Kev Strange and Cadence productions, there’s also beats by Mister Do and H-Peh, all of them reachin a high level and constructin a great musical back-up to OUO’s on-point rhymes. They definitely got us hooked with 'Hooks Reloaded', a superb production like only Cadence could make em; swift reverbs and wailing strings with rough Ed O.G., Mad Skillz and Greg Nice samples scratched in the chorus. Cadence’s production talent is more than ever exposed in the magnififcent 'Pushin Pens'; best believe this song is on rewind mode right here at the office. With its dark piano loop, soul shivering voice, exceptionnel horns and lyrics as tight as a string between a fat lady’s cheeks: 'Used to believe in emcees, but lately I’m a sceptic' or 'I get heads open like the Spanish Inquistion'.One of the biggest headnodders on the album is 'Dutted Lines', with Pep runnin through some old school names like G-Whiz, Biz Markie, Trouble T Roy and mid school names like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Grand Puba. Following this, is the laid-back, jazzy 'Trapped' featuring the heavenly voice of Jazz Kat Blu and existential, even spiritual rhymes, 'Trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea'. Short but very nice is the intermission with contemporary poet Nikki Giovanni, droppin some food for thought. Another highlight is 'Eye 2 Eye', a raw, kinda dark cut, but with a sparkling Latin guitar lick and Pep rappin 'I’m a sick cat, ain’t been to the vet in a while'.

It's clear; OUO poured their heart and knowledge in this album. 'Of Unknown Origin' is one of those albums that keep it real and make us proud to say: real hip-hop is still here, and it’s not only inherent to the 80s and early 90s. Nah, it lives on in the underground. And so, even in the 2005 we're still able to enjoy hip-hop that’s pure. This is hip-hop like it was meant to be; it got great beats, serious themes, fierce punchlines, but also humour which makes this album bigger than it would be without it. So what more can u ask for?

POSTED ON 07|27|2005 by cpf

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