Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ogun - In My Spare Time (Architects Studio/Real On Purpose)

Recently did kind of a clever promotion to hype up the release of this Ogun mixtape and Skarr Akbar’s The Pursuit Of Happyness 2, dropping them the same day, contrasting their very different images and personalities by casting Ogun as ‘the hero’ and Skarr as ‘the villain’ and asking fans to pick their favorite of the 2 releases. Obviously they’re friends and peers, and Skarr even did the artwork for this tape, but it’s kind of a friendly competition thing. I thought that was a real smart idea, although to be honest I’m not even sure which one I like more -- they’re solid releases from both artist but not the best I’ve heard from either.

Ogun’s been doing his thing for a long time but where Skarr’s kind of always been a ‘mixtape artist’ and has kind of stayed in a particular lane for a long time, Ogun started out his career making a couple of really cohesive albums with a specific viewpoint and persona, and in the last few years he’s turned more to mixtapes and has kind of toyed with his delivery and his subject matter more. I’m not totally in the camp that thinks Ogun’s old stuff was more ‘real’ or ‘conscious’ or that his new stuff is too commercial or anything, but sometimes it does feel like he’s reaching outside his comfort zone, and not necessarily in a good way. Like his flow on “Get It How You Live” is just too different, almost sounds like he’s doing an impression of Smash and it’s just awkward.

Ogun f/ Sonny Reddz - “Real Life” (mp3)
Dope introspective song produced by Traum that uses the same sample as one of my favorite introspective Jay-Z songs, “You Must Love Me.”

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I think he finally got it right. He's been doing a bunch of stuff up until now that was Not really him, stretching out I guess, but I think on this mixtape he's getting comfortable in his new skin. And I wouldn't say in the past he's been conscious, but there is definitely a change in focus which is natural for any artist. If you REALLY listened to his older stuff, it was still pretty much the same subject matter, just a different focus. Does that make sense? lol
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