I never knew that indie hip-hop producers traveled to places like Stockholm, Lagos, or Khartoum. Apparently, though, producer Oddisee has proven me wrong. Earlier this year, he came up with a fantastic idea for a hip-hop album; creating a song to capture the feel of every city he toured in. While in each city, he would make a short, instrumental, hip-hop song to try and acquire the essence and flavor of each location. Such places include the likes of New York City, Boston, Philly, or international cities like London, Tokyo, or Melbourne. I think it's a really creative and ambitious task to pursue such a goal as this, trying to put a label on a city musically. In most cases, it works well. I certainly like the songs, but then the question of accuracy comes into effect. Obviously, I've never been to Khartoum, so technically Oddisee can make any song, label it "Khartoum", and I'd have to believe him. To me, though, I find it intriguing to try and imagine the city through his eyes. Or, if I have been to a city he makes a song about, not to judge it on accuracy but instead look at it through his own personal perspective. With the release of this new CD, I've started the tradition of putting on a song of the city I'm visiting. When I went to visit my cousin earlier this year, I threw on "New York City", and when I was on the subway in Georgia on the way to a wedding, I put on "Atlanta". Each song is a small sampling, barely eclipsing one minute for each song, which allows for a broader range of cities. On the album Traveling Man, there are 24 tracks (or cities) to explore, coming only to a total of about 45 minutes. Below, I have posted a few of my favorite places/songs; "Stockholm", "Inglewood", "Long Beach", and "Atlanta".
I've posted a few others here.