Sudanese-American wordsmith Oddisee has been accruing attention with a smooth new take on hip hop, earning plaudits for his exploratory lyrics and the gliding instrumentals of his supporting band Good Compny. Heading over to our humble isle as part of a European summer tour, Oddisee and co. will be gracing the stage of O2 Institute, Birmingham June 29th and The Garage London on 30th June, bringing with them the warm sonics that have marked recent album Alwasta out as one of the best hip hop releases of 2016.
The vocal stylings of Amir Elkhalifa aka Oddisee combine youthful swagger with a maturity belying his years, with his depthy lyrical explorations jousting with sensitive topics and occasionally prodding at darker subject matter. Skipping between intelligent introspection and the angsty social commentary of politically driven tracks like Lifting Shadows, Oddisee wanders between the jazz-influenced sounds of the Good Compny musicians to add gritty conviction to their sleepy beats, breezy deep house pads and almost psychedelic guitars. Often relentlessly atmospheric and swathed in feelings of a slowly unearthed significance, their tracks carry the sort of hazy morning feeling that Ghostpoet specialises in, and this is sure to make for an engulfing and encapsulating performance as they step up in the Highbury watering hole.
The London show marks another potential summer highlight for London hip hop heads, with the likes of High Focus hosting a party at Electric Ballroom on July 22nd and KRS-One and DJ Premier taking over the O2 London Forum July 15th . The hip hop scene is looking strong in our capital, and if it’s a scene you’re looking to engage with, Oddisee and his friends look set to provide very Good Compny indeed.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Oddisee