Ohmega Watts’ LP Pieces of a Dream has been a healthy addition to my hip-hop repertoire. I wish I’d heard this a long time ago, but I know why it is only coming into my life now- only recently am I able to appreciate songs like these.
If you’ve read my album reviews earlier on Hologram Kizzie’s ‘Hug Life’ and A.S.H.E.S the Chosen’s ‘ID, Ego, Superego’ you can see that I like in my hip-hop trancy beats or some electronic production, loud and driven lyrics, and a fast and upbeat tempo. I have been drawn for some time now to flashy rap music, but Watts’ newest project has caught my ear for every other reason.
This is a simple and true hip-hop album. There are hints of the new school, the trip-hop, and the electronic influences, which serve best to prove that, although gone for 6 years, Watts is still hip to the times, but the significance of these influences are negligible compared to Watts’ flawless emceeing. This is true hip-hop, the honest product of the evolution of hip-hop. Take Kid Cudi for example- there is amazing potential with an out-there sound like his (see Man on the Moon I and II), but there is also potential for disaster (see Indicud and Satellite Flight). In the end, works by “artist” rappers are exactly as they seem: out-there, they are fringe elements, they are outliers. Ohmega Watts has defined with this album the center of the current hip-hop continuum.
From the first moment of the opening song there is a positive and fun feel, and the first set of songs on the record, “Higher”, “Cosmo Knotts”, “Get Live!’ and ‘Yo!’ keep up with this vibe. There is a distinctly an old school feeling in these songs.
The same can be said for other songs, like “Jusswanna”, but as the record progresses the most noteworthy aspect of each song becomes more and more Watts’ lyrical prowess. Whether it’s on “A Tale of Love” which features a meaningful story, or “Rocka Rhyme” and “Elementary”, which highlights Watts’ tendency to go off and rock a microphone.
Then you’ve got the quality production on the record, which is highlighted in tracks like “Suspended Animation” and “Icarus”, which doesn’t feature any rapping at all, but melt into one another perfectly and add depth to the sound of the album.
This isn’t mainstream rap and this isn’t typical underground rap. It is one man’s creative expression using the traditional, tried and true methods of hip-hop.