With less than a month to go before he drops his third studio album The Iceberg, Oddisee is feeling a bit generous these days. Just before we rang in the new year, the D.C.-bred emcee previewed the introspective house-inflected jam "Things." Now he's releasing a second single "Like Really," and giving it away for free. Yes, really!
A tantalizing intro of bluesy electric guitar, throbbing kick drum and jazzy hi-hats almost had us ready to bodyroll (like, really). But don't be misled, Oddisee's mission here isn't to take us to bed, it's to make sure we stay woke. Over dream-like Rhodes, the wordsmith reflects a state of disbelief in the political climate with lyrical observations like, "How you gonna make us great when we were never really that amazing? / Take it back to what? I don't find hanging black lives entertaining," and, "How do you police the streets of a neighborhood you do not engage in? / Why a brother get three for a sack while your brother go free for a raping?" He punctuates each statement with "Nah. Like, really?!," an effective tactic that, especially when combined with his magnetic flow, engages our thought-process and fosters dialogue.
While the overall mission is to give us food for thought, it never feels preachy. He interjects moments of humorous irony ("Why you want to catch my eye, when you already know that I'm taken?"), manages a pop culture dig or two ("How you make a film 'bout Egypt with all leading roles Caucasian?") and even talks about life as an artist ("I be on the grind all day, I don't pay mind to the date...I ain't got a big deal but I'm still a big deal & I feel important."). Plus a warm, slow-jammy chorus is the perfect contrast for Oddisee's quick and cool delivery.
The artist describes his forthcoming project The Iceberg as “a plea for humanity to dig deeper in search of understanding and common ground.” With "Things" and "Like Really," we'd say he's on the right path. Head to Bandcamp for your free download of the new track. Better yet, go ahead and pre-order the whole album. As Oddisee preps to hit the West Coast next week before embarking on a world tour, he's generously offered hometown fans a free opportunity to see him live along with his band Good Compny on tomorrow night (January 27th) in DC. Unfortunately, there are no tickets left, but according to Twitter, the event sponsor Words Beats & Life may have some volunteer slots that will allow you to get your foot in the door. If that doesn't work out, you can always visit Oddisee's website for official Beneath The Surface World Tour dates and ticket info.