Manila Folders

November 26, 2017

This Folder is dedicated to one artist, and one artist only. There’s plenty of things I want to share with y’all, but Oddisee deserves your full attention.

Collecting Dust: Oddisee

In the first edition of Manila Folders, I mentioned how I discovered Curtis Harding through a Berlin-based YouTube channel called COLORS. Well, they’re also the reason I came across Oddisee. On COLORS, Oddisee performs “Like Really,” a politically charged, rhetorical track off of his newest album The Iceberg. Which I must also note is his 11th studio album! Here are a few of the extremely real lines Oddisee lays down in this song:

How do you police the streets of a neighborhood you do not engage in? (Nah, like really?)

Why a brother get three for a sack while your brother go free for a raping? (Nah, like really?)

I can’t say enough how good this song is, just give it a listen.

Any time I discover a new artist, I end up falling down an inevitable rabbit hole of seeking out more of their music. Before I even had a chance to search Oddisee’s name, I saw a Tiny Desk Concert featuring him in the related videos and I damn near lost my shit. (I love NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.) I knew there was something special about Oddisee after his performance on COLORS, and this Tiny Desk Concert confirmed that hunch.

These discoveries above all came a few weeks ago, but I was very excited to see this tweet from him pop up in my timeline just the other day:

The path I’ve chosen is niche. I don’t expect the masses to appreciate it. Those that do have afforded me the privilege of making my love my career. For that I’ll never consider myself slept on. We don’t need everyone to like everything for it to be valued & have real worth.

— ODDISEE (@ODDISEE) November 20, 2017

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned how Oddisee’s latest album The Iceberg is his 11th studio album. Oddisee has been making music since the early 2000s, y’all! This man is the definition of peristance! Every new Oddisee experience I have I somehow manage to love and respect him more and more. This tweet is from just a few days ago, but Oddisee has talked on this subject before. In the interview below with Peter Rosenberg from HOT 97, between ~5:20–8:00 Rosenberg poses the question of why is it that he’s being slept on. Oddisee’s answer is perfect, and I just suggest that you watch it yourself.

To close things out, I want to leave you with a line from “Want Something Done” off of The Good Fight album which reads:

“Glorifying music, that’s abusive and a threat to us

And if you got a message in your records

You collecting dust upon the shelf.”

While this may come off as a sad truth, that records with a message are destined to collect dust as they don’t conform to pop-culture, I’m reminded of the Korean saying: “One can build a mountain by collecting specks of dust.” I may have only recently discovered Oddisee and his music, but I already look up to him as an artist and an individual. Go listen to The Iceberg on Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, or where ever else you listen!