Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Awesome hip-hop/electronic/jazzy album about Rock Creek Park: Oddisee - "Rock Creek Park"

I'm not sure how I missed this when it came out, but the other day my buddy posted a link to Rock Creek Park, an album by Oddisee, a hip-hop producer and MC from DC.

The album is tangentially about the park, with song titles like "The Carter Barron," "Closed at Dark," "Clara Barton" and others referencing the park and actually came out in 2011. It received a lot of good press, with the BBC calling it "a flawless soundtrack for the historic Washington, D.C. park and a moving blueprint for other producers to follow" while popular music blog Stereogum named it the mixtape of the week when it came out.

The songs are mostly instrumental and sample-based, with lots of jazzy flourishes plus a bit of rapping by local MCs. There's also record pops and hiss and lots of atmospherics. But even if you don't like hip hop, it's a great listen -- it's mellow, interesting, jazzy and funky. It feels like good music to put on during a lazy Sunday or a long walk. The first track, "Still Doing It" actually features a sample of "Rock Creek Park" by DC's own the Blackbyrds, a great jazz-funk song (which I could have sworn I've written about before, but I guess not.)

Oddisee, real name Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, is a PG County native and part of the Diamond District hip hop trio, members of which also appear on Rock Creek Park. The album, the Post reports, was actually inspired by his time in New York City, and became an underground hit.

He's since done a lot more, but I have yet to get to that because I've been enjoying Rock Creek Park too much. Check it out, I bet you'll like it. (And if you like this local connection, check out the rest of the music in the neighborhood.)

Here's Oddisee's Twitter, blog, and Wikipedia too.

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