Traveling Man by Oddisee on Apple Music

24 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Oddisee’s fifth album — and his second instrumental-only work — is a breakthrough for the Washington, D.C.-based producer. Every song on Traveling Man is named for a different locale, but the connections between sound and city are dreamlike rather than direct. “Miami” is given a sound that is large and lavish, while “Philly” is a swirl of stately orchestral soul. “Lagos” and “Sao Paulo” both echo the heavily rhythmic musical cultures of those cities, and conversely, the spare, haunting “Detroit” feels like a lament for a place abandoned. Traveling Man is kin to similar-minded projects by Madlib and J. Dilla, but Oddisee has a broader appreciation for contemporary rap trends than either of those producers. “Atlanta” is his twisted rejoinder to the bombastic beats of DJ Toomp and Shawty Redd, while “Houston” is as slow, low, and bangin’ as any beats from a Slim Thug or Z-Ro album. Oddisee’s two odes to his D.C. home hold a special place on Traveling Man, but his three-part tribute to Los Angeles is the album’s highlight. Though it features no rapping, Traveling Man has as much to say as any hip-hop album in recent memory.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Oddisee’s fifth album — and his second instrumental-only work — is a breakthrough for the Washington, D.C.-based producer. Every song on Traveling Man is named for a different locale, but the connections between sound and city are dreamlike rather than direct. “Miami” is given a sound that is large and lavish, while “Philly” is a swirl of stately orchestral soul. “Lagos” and “Sao Paulo” both echo the heavily rhythmic musical cultures of those cities, and conversely, the spare, haunting “Detroit” feels like a lament for a place abandoned. Traveling Man is kin to similar-minded projects by Madlib and J. Dilla, but Oddisee has a broader appreciation for contemporary rap trends than either of those producers. “Atlanta” is his twisted rejoinder to the bombastic beats of DJ Toomp and Shawty Redd, while “Houston” is as slow, low, and bangin’ as any beats from a Slim Thug or Z-Ro album. Oddisee’s two odes to his D.C. home hold a special place on Traveling Man, but his three-part tribute to Los Angeles is the album’s highlight. Though it features no rapping, Traveling Man has as much to say as any hip-hop album in recent memory.

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About Oddisee

Born in Washington, D.C., to a Sudanese father and an African-American mother, Amir Mohamed grew up in Maryland, influenced by soul and rap as well as myriad musicians on both sides of his family. He was all set to attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia to pursue visual art when a friend of his introduced him to hip-hop production. He was so enamored of it that he changed his plans and concentrated on making beats, ending up with the track "Musik Lounge" on DJ Jazzy Jeff's 2002 record Magnificent. Part of the Low Budget crew, which included fellow D.C.-area MCs and producers Kenn Starr, Cy Young, and Kev Brown, Oddisee released his solo debut Foot in the Door, mixed by Jazzy Jeff, on Halftooth in 2006. His 2010 effort, Traveling Man, found him signing with the Mello Music Group, where he remained for 2012's album People Hear What They See. In 2015, he returned with The Good Fight, an effort driven by social commentary and retro soul, and 2016 saw the release The Odd Tape -- an all-instrumental mixtape that was issued around the same time as his free download EP Alwasta. In early 2017 Oddisee released his 11th studio album, Iceberg, returning to a vocal-driven style. ~ Marisa Brown

  • ORIGIN
    Washington DC

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