19
Dec 2007
Reviews

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If I had to describe this album in one word, it would be ubereclecticworldfunkjazzundergroundrocksteadypuregenious.  And I if I had to copyright that word I’d be nervous, thinking Ohmega Watts would have already said it five or six times in “Watts Happening”.  In other words, this disk is so creative, finding a creative thing to say about it seems redundant.  So, sit back, erase all your Hip Hop stereotypes and take a swim into the eclectic ocean of Ohmega Watts.

To give you an idea of the diverse nature of Ohmega Watts, let us first journey to the bottom of the tree and dig up his roots.  Ohmega’s parents were West Indian in blood, but from Jamaica.  Like all Jamaican American immigrant stories, they took sail to New York City, and after giving birth to Ohmega and raising him there, they uprooted to Florida where Ohmega first picked up the mic in 1993.  At present Ohmega resides in Portland, Oregon, ruling the music scene with an iron scepter and producing widely influenced beats so skooling they could make your high school principal break dance.

Like the theme song to a 70’s tough cop-centric television miniseries “Watts Happening” starts with the funk break beat track “What’s it Worth”.  The chorus alone is 70s funk to the bone.  “Rockin it don’t stop it y’all, gonna turn this sucka out/ If you’re feelin it let the rhythm get into your soul, make you sing and shout/ So ladies (yea!) gentleman (what?) / tell you what it’s all about/ simple as ya ABCs and 123s..”  You catch the vibe immediately and instantly sense that nobody is gonna drop the ball on this release, it’s gonna be fresh from start to finish.

Back up that track to a collab with Theory Hazit and you already have an album worth taking home.  Track 2 “Triple Double” reminds you that Ohmega IS Hip Hop in case you forgot somehow.  The proof is in the lyrics.  Of course you know Theo Haz is dropping solid knowledge.  Another reminder that this album is anchored in Hip Hop is a steady roll of scratches that link up verse to verse.  This is the story for almost all tracks.  Other emcee collabs include Surreal on the track “No Delay” and Ohmega’s crew Lightheaded on the track “Rock the Bells”.  Collabs don’t stop at lyricists.  On the track “Adaptacao” (which means Adaptation in Portuguese) Ohmega invites Brazilian Tita Lima onto some of his production, complete with fat break beat and guitar solo.  Now some will tell you this song is Samba influenced, but don’t be fooled: this track is all Bossa Nova remnant of a modern “Garota de Impanema” which says to me, Ohmega is a crate digger to the finest detail.  Track 11 “Are you Satisfied” features the familiar voice of Sugarpie Desanto, you know, James Brown’s favorite female singer?  I seriously had to ask myself where Ohmega possibly could have met these people.  The list goes on; there is a large hand full of extremely talented musicians who put their hands to the plow on this album.

It’s easy to get caught up in the instrumental portion of “Watts Happening”, but don’t slip, remember Ohmega is also an emcee.  The groove track “Model Citizen” frames his lyrical style.  Ohmega is laid back on the beat, but not in a weak way, more in a drive around the city and sit low in your car seat way.  “Love will conquer all, given from one Source/ if we tap into that love then we can change the course” says Ohmega on the subject of childhood misdirection.  There aren’t too many hard hitting lines or crazy plays on words, but Ohmega brings the conscious truth and keeps the flow alive with tight knit rhyme schemes, intelligent rhymes, and perfect meter.  The only downfall to flows that are laid back and less energetic is that they sometimes get lethargic and it becomes harder to mix the vocals on the track in a clear way. Unfortunately Ohmega falls into this trap on a few tracks.  It shows when you pay attention to the lyrics but no matter how many times you rewind the track you just can’t make out that last important line in the verse!

There aren’t really any tracks that stand out more than others on this disk, they are all just quality.  That gives the album more of a concept feel, production-wise, and also puts you in a position to purchase the whole album (which I highly recommend) instead of just a few singles on MP3. 

My overall opinion it that Ohmega Watts has put a lot of blood and beat into this disk, and thus it’s rightfully raw and original. I recommend “Watts Happening” to everyone who isn’t a poser and dudes who want to impress their date by showing off their cultural/musical prowess while driving her to a Brazilian churrascaria or indie film matinee.


Release Date: 2007

Record Label: Ubiquity Records

Track Listing

Disc 1:
01. What's It Worth

02. Triple Double Feat. Theory Hazit

03. No Delay Feat. Surreal of the Sound Providers

04. Shorty Shouts

05. Model Citizen

06. Few and Far Between

07. Eyes and Ears Feat. Jneiro Jarel of Shape of Broad Minds

08. Roc the Bells Feat. Lightheaded

09. Adaptacao Feat. Tita Lima

10. Saywhayusay / Teaspoon Of Sugar

11. Are You Satisfied Feat. Sugar Pie DeSanto

12. Dedicated

13. Memory Lane Feat. Genahral Victor

14. Found / Clap
15. Work for Wealth Feat. Ragen Fykes and Barry Hampton of Triple Grip

16. The Platypus Strut

17. Freak Out

18. Gone with the Wind

Disc 2 (Instrumentals)

01. What's It Worth

02. Triple Double

03. No Delay 

04. Shorty Shouts

05. Model Citizen

06. Few and Far Between

07. Eyes and Ears 

08. Roc the Bells 

09. Adaptacao 

10. Saywhayusay / Teaspoon Of Sugar

11. Are You Satisfied 

12. Dedicated

13. Memory Lane 

14. Found / Clap
15. Work for Wealth
16. The Platypus Strut

17. Freak Out

18. Gone with the Wind

 


 

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