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The Disrupt

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Album Review

In movies, successful siblings are a rule (Baldwin, Sheen, Olsen). In music, they're less common (Jessica and Ashlee Simpson don't really count), and in hip-hop, well, it's virtually unheard of (though the Ying Yang Twins make a gold-fronted argument). But even still, coming up with your bro is different from coming up behind him, and Oh No is aware of the challenge he's facing, caught as he will naturally be in brother Madlib's significant shadow. And the fact that he chose to release his debut album on Stones Throw, the label that has become the stronghold for Madlib's seemingly infinite beat-making talent is more daunting still. So does Oh No pull it off? Depends. If the goal was to distinguish himself from his brother, than the answer is no, as Oh No's dusty beats bear the mark of siblings come before. Although, several of his productions, including "Perceptions" and "Take Another," stand out from (if not up against) Madlib's with their smoother G-funk sound. But if the goal was to simply make a solid hip-hop album in the growing tradition of Stones Throw releases, then The Disrupt is a success. "Stomp That, V.2" galumphs ahead with a cadence not unlike Jaylib's awesome "McNasty Filth", while the Medaphoar-led "Ride" grooves with patented double-handclaps and a video game-inspired melody that avoids being kitschy (although it could have been more original). The Disrupt is by no means perfect. "I Can't Help Myself" features Stacy Epps in a vocal performance that sounds like an unfinished rehearsal tape and there's a similarly incomplete toy-keyboard melody. But taken in the context of hip-hop as a whole, Oh No is like a lawyer in a family of doctors. Not quite as admirable, but certainly no slacker. [The album was released with bonus tracks.]


Born: Oxnard, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

As if the family weren't busy enough, son Michael (brother of DJ phenom Madlib, son of soul singer Otis Jackson, Sr., and nephew of jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis) also decided to try his hand in the music world. Nicknamed Oh No the Mischievous Rebel by Lootpack MC Wildchild, the youngest Jackson soon shortened his name to simply "Oh No." Hooked on DJ'ing and rapping since age 11, Oh No would practice making beats during breaks at work. The effort paid off when Oh No recorded his first singles with Stones...
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The Disrupt, Oh No
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