Oddisee – People Hear What They See (Album Review)

Oddisee has been on the move lately, with the recent release of Odd Renditions and now a near album, he is ensuring that its his time to shine! I’m sure that people are still blasting that “Gold Is Mine” but when they get a whiff of what Oddisee has on ‘People Hear What They See’, things might change for the better. Oddisee is an artist from the DMV but with his move to Brooklyn his new album was sure for some surprises. Known for his stimulating productions and true to life lyrics Oddisee is a force to be reckoned with and ‘People Hear What They See’ is that initial boost so it was only proper for us to review it. Let’s get into it…

Ready To Rock
S.G.: That intro was pretty sketchy to me, I didn’t quite know what to expect but once I heard the horn I knew that it was going to be epic. The drum pattern was classic so I knew from their it was going to get better. When that low pass filter came into effect and he started to spit double time I completely zoned out, very impressive.

“Call it perm I know it burn that I’m relaxing in your face”

Satchford: Serving as somewhat of an intro I found this to be a good track to start the album with. He states how he always knew he was destined for something. Second verse he speeds it up and tells a bit about the maturation of his grind.  From the start a head bob is apparent but when those tambourines start rolling, your bob may go a bit harder. I really like the breakdown at the end when he brings in the strings.  “Yup, we ready to rollllll” , Its already stuck in my head. This is a nice track.

Do It All
S.G.: A classic Diamond District sounding song. I like how he used the Rick Ross line from “I’m Not a Star”. I liked the feel of the song but wasn’t too impressed with the lyrics.

“I’m not a star, somebody lied, I ride the subway as a car”

Satchford: He recruits Uptown XO and yU for this one, no complaints here.  All verses are pretty good but yU ate this. “Had a dream on how we beam up putting the focus on what matters most” The production is a bit hesitant but I like the drum/snare groove. The drive and ambition from the three is clearly apparent, I fool with this one.

That Real
S.G.: omg, so soulful! that breakdown is on point with the sample yelling. A near perfect song, the beat is just right and the lyrics are real. I like when Oddisee shares his personal experiences and his views on the industry, that’s what makes him a better artist.

“Bittersweet is the beat and together, taste is divine”

Satchford: There’s one thing with the production that irks me and thats the 808s, it throws it off a bit for me. There is some nice bars in this one and that’s what keeps me from turning the track, the lyrics are visual. I think the “all real” sound bite is from Pitch Black’s It’s All Real

“Plot’s vividly clear not saying that I’m knowing just what I’m doing but got faith in my grind”

Let It Go
S.G.: The intro sounds like the end of a Shaft movie. In this song he basically shares his journey and the reasoning behind his move to Brooklyn. I enjoy how he takes an analogy and expands on that single comparison and gives it a more in-depth meaning.

“My mother taught me better, she learned that from the hood / dont bother chasing gold, be complacent with the wood / but I was like whatever Im never one to listen / I ventured in the woods of where people wouldn’t dare.”

Satchford: I’m feeling this one, the message is on point. Go out there and get it, no matter what. The guitar groove and strings are a nice touch over the busy drums. Oddisee gives his view on a everyday issue that everyone deal with without sounding arrogant, more so inspiring. Olivier Daysoul’s voice fits this well, crazy energy is released during chorus. I can see this being a single.

American Greed
S.G.: I was skeptic of this song at first but I gave it a chance. The first 6 lines of the song are very powerful. Those lines fished me in and I was entrapped in the mind of Oddisee for the duration of the song. This is one of the only songs with a social theme that I actually can bump over and over without it wearing down on me. You can tell that he has grown as an artist just by the precision of the flow. Oddisee is one of a few of the newer artist that can do a production justice and let it play out at the end.

“Supply and demand can fill them corners off a late night / its that suffering bestowed us by that great white / not Columbus..but Colombians….”

Satchford: Hol up, let me straighten my face up right quick. It balled up as soon as the beat dropped. The head bob is equivalent to…

Similar to yU’s “Money”, Odd shows that we all greedy and that greed leads us to do just about anything, we dont give a f&&k. All true, in my opinion. His wordplay is impressive here and the breakdown at the end is nice with that synth.

The Need Superficial
S.G.: Not sure what I think of this song. I think that it will definitely have to grow on me. For some reason I enjoy the electric jazzy beats and hip hop but I don’t like when they mix in this manner. Just doesn’t sit right with me for some reason.

“I want you to want me to be unclear”

Satchford: Interest disappears with every woman he is in involved with, deep down he knows this and that its superficial. The way he worded the verses was clever. This has a live feel and the drum loop is again, nice.

Way In Way Out
S.G.: One of the toughest tracks that I’ve heard from Oddisee in a while. Those horns and the bass just had my head about to explode. It’s crazy how he shares his complex perspective and how he makes it sound so smooth. That last verse was witty but I hate how the song just came to a blunt stop.

“The only ho I know got a flattering ass and when I asked could she dig it she looked at me and laughed”

Satchford: Without the yelling background voice, you would think this was produced by Eminem or Dr.Dre. It just has that feel; That feeling fits here, strangely. First verse, he speaks on the struggle of trying to get out the life that all his people have become accustomed to. Second verse, he shows the different tactics we do to get in the life we want always seems to get stopped by the system somehow.

“My word, I’m running from my block right into your Wall….Street that when I see it close is just a prop, designed to keep me cropped, outside the picture that pictures my people in defeat”

Having the similar views, I can relate to this track. There’s a lot to be taken from this one.

S.G.: Again another song that I like the beat but I don’t like how the finished product came out.

“I’m smoking like a muffler, you got me exhausted”

Satchford: The uncertainty of his thoughts got his relationships on a rollercoaster. Maybe he’s under the influence of something? You decide. I like the groove of this beat, the melody is a bit undecided but the bassline has no doubts and keeps the track moving. Olivier Daysoul compliments the track well with the raspy chorus. The electric guitar solo at end was cool too.

Anothers Grind
S.G.: Now this is my type of track. This the type of beat that you can have like a thousand ni99as spit over in a cypher. The metaphors that he used in this song were crazy groovy. I waited for Tranquil to spit that fire but was disappointed by such a lack luster verse.

“Handle biz with my partners just like a beretta spray / cuz everybody f&&king with me is in a better place”

Satchford: This beat has a ‘feel good, slow head bob’ feel. For some reason the beat remind me of some old Lost Boyz music. His grind keeps him busy so he has no time to worry about the next man. This is a relevant subject as a lot of people these days are so caught up in other people’s lives instead of theirs. This one been getting plenty bump in the ride.

Set You Free
S.G.: A decent song.

Furthermore less aint more no more / We accept success like herbivores”

Satchford: The drums and snares are making good loving on this one. A funky drum pattern will always get props from me and this is probably the best one on the album. That organ note can be found in your nearest church. Oddisee’s wordplay shines here, he rode the beat well and the lyrics are thought provoking.

You Know Who You Are 
S.G.: The intro threw me off but I enjoyed what followed. A very personal song or so it seems. This is a song that you can chill to.
Satchford: This beat may or may not grow on me but right now, it’s ok at best. The lyrics pick up the slack as Oddisee talks to old friends, good friends and the listener keeping the same message throughout, you know who you are. Again, a clever format.

Think of Things
S.G.: Not liking it. I couldn’t bare to listen to much of it, SKIP

“In this generation of now, urgency’s high, if you subscribe then ya nerves will be fried, so I learned to be quiet cuz loud don’t always mean live, you wanna rise but dont deserve to be fly, knowwhatimsayin?”

Satchford: At the end of the last track you hear the original sample of this track. You might think you on the Love Boat or something until the beat switches to this synth-assisted airy tune. This is a chill track with some introspection, some thoughts and some shoutouts. Is that a Audio Two “Top Billin” sample “what more can i say” ? I like that he ended with “see what I’m saying?….” People Hear What They See.

Satchford: After you fully digesting the production, you will then uncover some deep thoughts, ideas and philosophies that make for meaningful messages. That’s what kept me listening. The impressive thing is how great the beats are with minimal samples, this is coming from a producer who’s heavily sample-based. With beat remixes at the end of each beat and plenty of live instrumentation, the skill and vision from Oddisee here is great. You can see this with his last instrumental album (Rock Creek Park) as well. What more can you ask for? Good production, good tracks, good subjects and thought provoking lyrics. There were a couple minor production missteps but overall this is a very good solo debut from Oddisee. The small things I didnt like may not matter to the next listener. He’s easily one of the best producer/rappers out. The passion is in the music and that’s what alot of artists lack nowadays. This is worth the cash and sync to the pod.
3 Favorites: Maybes, Let It Go, Set You Free
Overall Rating: 9 / 10

S.G.: Ready to Rock set the pace for the album and I would have to say for the most part a lot of the songs lived up to the same hype. I was genuinely impressed by Oddisee’s growth in his lyricism and how he delivered his point. I found it kind of odd that this album didn’t sound anything like the Diamond District album except for that one track. I applaud Oddisee for being risky especially with experimenting with aspects of producing. The album is a very strong candidate for album of the year. I was amazed how Oddisee managed to make such a powerful album with minimum features as well. It’s definitely worth a purchase and immediate sync to your pod.
3 Favorites: Ready to Rock, That Real, American Greed
Overall Rating: 7/10

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