One thing I’ve noticed this year in Hip Hop that I’ve never paid attention to before is collaboration albums. Now I do remember after The Purple Tape (Only Build 4 Cuban Links) dropped which was Raekwon’s album co-starring Ghostface, many artists after them did the same thing. I mean Busta’s first album had Rampage all over it and Smooth Da Hustler had his brother Trigga Da Gambla all over his (a bit too much) as well. Shit Ghost Ironman had Rae and Cappadonna on too many songs. Difference is they were on the come up then and the strength in numbers mindset was very much needed to get by.
This year there are vets of the game connecting. Let’s see there is the God awful sequel to an album that when it dropped seemed a bit late, I’m speaking of Red and Meth’s Blackout 2. Canibus and fellow Def Squad member Keith Murray got together, Buckshot and KRS and there’s Slaughterhouse with Royce, Crooked I, Joe Buddens, and Joel Ortiz. Only Ortiz has been officially in the game less than ten years by my account. Then there is Ed OG and Masta Ace and OC and AG. Now AG also has an album with Sadat X as well. Haven’t heard shit from that or know if it’s even out, I do know they are a group though.
Although there are some differences between Arts and Entertainment (Masta Ace and Ed OG album) and Oasis (OC and AG album) the similarities tie them together, which is where this review begins.
Not sure how many times I will say this but the more I review old school artists who drop new albums worth checking everyone I’ve heard sounds refreshed. Let’s start with Oasis shall we? I was never one who thought AG was even remotely a verbal threat, but on this album he has me thinking he knows how to truly use the style he has. On the title track which is also the first track AG almost outshines OC and that is only because OC took it back to his Word Life days sounding like the unofficial third member of Organized Konfusion. Soild but far from a good track for the fact it either sets the bar high for high energy tracks or sounds out of place with the overall sound of the album. It is the only Statik Selektah produced track on here and his production style is far from what DITC is known for. Not bad but would have been better on one of his Statik Selektah mixtape, album or something. Speaking of Production, it’s a pure throwback to the 90’s New York Underground Hip Hop. Nothing to snythish with beats, pure samples rocked hard. I swear beat-wise it fits the DITC format.
The flow is what makes you want to repeat a few tracks, “Alpha Male”, “Young With Style” and “Boom Bap” are just perfect examples of how AG’s wordplay has totally stepped up. I mean OC has been and may always be one the most underrated MCs in the game, so him holding it down will never be a surprise at all. On “Think about It” OC kills it and even then AG just outshines him. I want to say AG has gotten better or OC has toned it down a bit or is it a combination of both? It’s clear Big L, the legacy of DITC and just the love of Hip Hop is the point of this album. I mean in “Young With Styles” AG mentions knowing a Roxanne who didn’t know the members of UTFO, while OC claims he’s getting at a chick who didn’t know about Big Daddy Kane. The hook is pure old school love. On “Against the Wall”, a song I hate they use the Get Fresh Crew “ah ah on” line in the hook from “The Show.” Though Oasis is pure Hip Hop there are a few bad tracks. Like I said “Against the Wall” is ass and the next track “Put it in the Box” doesn’t do better at all. “Reality is” is AG’s solo shot. The hook sounds like a verse, the concept is simple and he pulls it off fine. A better hook or no hook at all could have done the song more justice. Odd enough I swear OC’s solo shot “Contagious” sounds like a part 2 of the AG joint. I thought AG again came through on “God’s Gift” even if the beat is too soft and yet not heartfelt enough for such a song like that. One reason is the drum overpowers the sample but that might just be me.
I think it’s sad that these vets are dropping way better albums than the new dudes and so called “Hip Hop” heads are not even checking for these albums at all. Oasis shows all participants of the project are still on top of their game. To here Lord Finesse and Show’s beats is pure magic because they are two of my idols and like I said I always thought OC was top ten worthy. If you want an album that makes you want sign up to a record pool, steal milk crates and just enjoy the perfect mesh of beats and rhymes, Oasis is that album.