They said ten little niggas went in on that swine;
One thought ‘live to eat’ and then there were Nine.
They saw nine little niggas up late selling weight;
One saw better of community’s fate and then there were Eight.
They thought eight little niggas were travelling in the man’s mentals;
One said we don’t fuck with that way there and then there were Seven.
Outright confessions of only a crutch. For an omnipresent companion against sorrow in song is constantly sought and rarely found. Organically contemplate life under the creativity of all things as under a new dawn one supposes. To see the enormity of greatness return, almost like the expectation of a rewind. To reconvene our contemplation even more profoundly in the play of this prose’ fluidity. When Sunez coming in through your window, there is warm retrospection on the speakers, O.C.’s A New Dawn.
An LP that takes a warming too. Its predecessor Same Moon Same Sun had a faster beat response because as the first in this Sun Series, the sharp snare work through a minimalist musical elegance was new on O.C.’s smooth tonality. Yet, the more rewinds the pacing of A New Dawn is a perfected elongated reprise. The track titles are all named after themes and ideas achieved in rhymed thought and dynamically cadenced attacks. This is a thinking man’s journal scored and performed.
Expounded exactly on “John Wick,” the simple purpose of this long player is pristinely articulated, “With the push of a finger/We manage to paint stories from things we sayin’/Good music puts me in the zone/Inspires me to write/and translate it through a mic/The joy of it all I can’t call…”
The immensity of the rising small, the worth of the little left, the glory in the lesser is stressed for a mere art of rhythmic speaking (“Brokering thoughts from the door/never gnawing on my nails/suppress nerves/no worries if I’m a fail/tales of my city I speak/meanwhile here’s a rundown…We give ourselves the green light, self contained unit fueled by support of the consumer/supply meets demand-ments from us/combo of Black and Spanish brothers…” –
“Powerful”), the legacy of works left behind (“Considered icons in this lane we’ve explored/our legacy’s intact/so i’m still running laps on/when the tracks on/able to do it with collapsed lungs…” – “Vibe”), the daily perseverance (“Yo, I always found it strange/how people try to fight change/time stops for a lot of yall, even I/had the notion/ of being stuck in motion/till a voice appeared out of the blue and said, ‘keep going’…” – “Give It Up”). All into a refined mentality that is empowering (“If you wake up tomorrow it’s a brand new day/from a new start, reconciliation from those who’ve grown apart/So ask yourself if it’s worth all of the fuss over the friction/if I’m wrong, i submit and admit the shit/the clocks ticking/settle your differences/as a team we have commitments here/it’s about…” – “A New Dawn”).
The battle bars are delivering in snugly in the pocket, words riding out of each snare smash like the prize phillie galloping out of the stable. “Live Fast, Die Hard,” is the charge out of the barn doors with ideas that circle around life offering declarations that all supplement principles. “Feelin’ Free” epitomizes his gift to bring us a mindset into his actions. So many are lauded for relating strife, expressing emotions but few convey the roots of their choices, the criteria that has its stems in all O.C.’s “saw, did or heard about, all told first hand.” It’s still “the principle of it,” the fusion for a future where “Ethics,” is unequivocally still the theme. In 1994, it was embraced in song and in 2018, it is the essence of his entire catalog.
They picked seven little niggas banging drums–them Gunset spics!;
One chopped the poly to the loop of the rhythm and then there were Six.
They planted six little niggarettes playing with a hive;
A bumble bee clung to one pollinating the next season and then there were Five.
They cuffed five little niggas rebelling in the raw never minding your damned law;
One got in chancery, starting quoting 120 with no flaw and then there were Four.
They corralled four little niggas swimming in a plea;
Red herring floating in affidavits couldn’t drown the call to recuse all Yankee law so then there were Three.
O.C.’s natural gifts have been reinvigorated in this Sun series. Much of this is literally due to the wonder of aging. O.C. has so much mastery of his voice now. His tone is literally paced in such a way that he is falls into pocket like a high rise dive into a pool done with no splash. When he works right into Dark Key’s gorgeous interpolation of MJ’s “Butterflies” with, “Whoever wrote me off and my crew for that matter, you know the backbiting and the chit chatter..” there is an expert quality in the production he lacked in the middle of the #DarkAges (2000’s). A time where his producers’ sample game was not lacking but the loops were uninspiring, breaks were generic and lacking the thickness of that Golden Era. And O.C. takes advantage of these differences never fighting the snares, basslines, drums, keys or womps. His vocals are distinct, never forced and one of his greatest assets, his sincerity via conversing with us not at us is amplified. So on “Exhale,” when he is working his best to help his hopeful Queen let go of her tormenting past enough to make a real decision on O.C.’s worth as a suitor, we more than hear him. We listen. And hear Motif Alumni’s thickened by chimes snare and the bass smashes and cymbal crashes all arranged on many of O.C.’s definitive statements, we have heard an elevated quality in production.
Today’s DITC Crew related projects of this decade have become some of the more underrated and epitomize this #InvisibleRenaissance where the production, led by Show down to all the other rising contributors, with a high snare, musically rich track and a unique filling power. These works don’t drown the room but they hover and engulf the room which speaks to production quality from the crate digging origins to the equalizing and mastering sessions. It not only is outstanding to the best of today’s Boom Bap but also an advancement from DITC’s classic 90s works. Still, all of it expected, but well awaited.
Led by Show’s “Vibe,” where digi keyboard intro that let’s the O.C. “Uhh!” on the break bass bump, the keys 1,2,3 speak in as the break heartbeats in. There are the horror keys on the thundering high crisp duffed snare and a bass drum and bassline lurking miles away on Gwop Sullivan’s “Ignorance Is Bliss,” or Gwop’s organ vamp talk on “John Wick,” with the ideal O.C.’d slow tempo’d break, drums punching in completely and the bassline thumping precisely. The switch off with a minute left increases the tempo with peals and female wail as O.C. fires in. There’s also the amazing title track introing with ole Soul harmonizing Gwop settles us to smash us with a brutal “A New Dawn” with a devastatingly deep bass drum and the heaven high snares and consistent clicking high hats. Throughout, the productions inspire and modulate forums to allow the subtlety of O.C.’s intensity and calm articulation to highlight in varying measures.
The brilliance of A New Dawn, just as the first phase, is a brilliance in depth uncovered with listen after listen. When O.C. verses in 2018, nearly a quarter century later, they are the building blocks that made the truths he shares. It is, for this writer, the greatest sight, to see the value of this Hip Hop counterculture as more than a fantastical and hopeful theory. To witness a Black brother create whole new creations of inspiration from the mere embrace of his own talents and principles amidst oppression. And O.C. tells us “it’s not complicated/music’s the key to life to tie shit together/rhythm sends a message/it engulfs your essence/it’ll have you feeling good and not stressing/sounds are universally connected…” To so many an outrageous complexity into these optimal creations waxed…
They stopped three little niggas striding souly in their concrete zoo;
A big boar smothered in gall yelled “we police always win” as he lost the people and then there were Two.
They eye grammed two little niggarettes sitting in the sun;
One sister’s conk got frizzled back to Africa’s love locks and then there was One.
They say I be the one little nigga left all alone; I went and hung my history on the mantle in advance and now there were none for that bitch Agatha to lynch
Opulently Charging by dawn’s early light anew
#LOVEandLOYALTY A #LoLife
The organization of these principles around a counterculture, an expressive arts of creation that uplifts the ideas and thoughts of an oppressed people, is why I’m an honored builder amongst legends, knighted by heroes of Medina (Rakim Supreme Shabazz Allah/Rudy Lo, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Bonz Malone) to further create in my element as a Hip Hop Writer (creative author/principled journalist/honoring historian) of #ArtOnArt & #ScienceOnMusic. So the world may find love that locks in with the action of loyalty though they may never find another writer with my kind of grammar…
Living and sharing the pillars of:
Peace, Sunez Allah