OC – Word… Life/Jewelz (limited edition)
Tue 12th Feb, 2008 Music Reviewsin
OC is one of the all time greats. I don’t care what your counter argument may be, in my eyes he is up there with the best to have done it. Grindin’ in a somewhat surprising recognition of quality US talent have repackaged his first two classic albums into one tidy little bundle. If you don’t know who OC is, then the time to learn has arrived.
OC burst into the hip hop arena with a cameo on Organized Konfusion’s classic 1991 track Fudge Pudge. From that moment forward it has been classic tracks, and brilliant affiliations. Here together in one convenient package are his 1994 debut Word… Life and the follow up undisputed classic from 1997 Jewelz. Perhaps the smartest move OC ever made was getting down with the legendary DITC crew and all the talents within, for some their appearance all over Jewelz will make it their favourite, but for mine the original is still marginally the best.
Word… Life is pure 1994 New York boom bap, with its classic production from Buckwild, Lord Finesse, Organized Konfusion and others as OC catches lyrical wreck. OC wasn’t interested in the flashy nature of Biggie or the gunplay of Mobb Deep debuting around the same time, he was all about making your head nod and you hit rewind to double check what he just said. Let It Slide and Time’s Up are my two particular favourites off of the album, but it is an album that 14 years on features no weak moments to my ears.
Skip ahead to 1997 and the solidified reputation of OC and his affiliation with the brilliant DITC crew sees plenty more guests on board. On this album DJ Premier delivers classic production, while a beat-making duo who were setting the scene ablaze in Da Beatminerz also deliver absolute quality. On the guest tip you can expect verses from Organized, Big L & Freddie Foxxx. The chemistry between L and OC on the Beatminerz laced Dangerous Brilliant, The Chosen One, Hypocrite, You & Yours and the list goes on, is still as good as anything being released today.
Included to make sure collectors make the purchase and new fans get maximum value across two discs are a bunch of remixes and rarities. Most notable is Australia’s Katalyst getting a gurnsey with a remix of Time’s Up and the inclusion of Bonafide featuring Jay-Z.
This is a must own.