30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 6: Oddisee, 'That's Love'

Photo: Mello Music Group

Oddisee is one of the hardest working artists in music. And I say music, and not just hip-hop, because his catalog is so expansive that it’s unfair to limit him to the genre he’s most well known for. And that’s if you’re familiar at all. Oddisee seems to live in that interesting space of being supremely highly respected amongst peers and folks who are aware of him and others who haven’t quite made the discovery... yet.

The Washington, D.C., native (though I believe he grew up in Prince George’s County, Md.) is a rapper/producer, though I first came to know him as a producer because his compositions are so amazing. Without digging too far into the weeds, he was part of a large D.C.-based crew called Low Budget, and is the production arm as well as rapper in a trio out of D.C. called Diamond District, whose song “Get In Line” could easily be part of this series just for how much I love the beat and how he and rappers Uptown XO and yU flowed over the beat.

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Oddisee has dropped solo albums, instrumental albums and worked with artists like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Apollo Brown and Foreign Exchange. Basically, he’s done a whole lot. Search him out on any of your streaming music platforms and you’ll have a bevy of items to check out. His song “Contradiction’s Maze” featuring Maimouna Yousef was even featured on an episode of Queen Sugar.

Oddisee, “That’s Love” (2015)

Which brings us to his song “That’s Love” off his 2015 album The Good Fight. As is typically the case when I see an album by Oddisee that I’m unfamiliar with, I immediately check it out, specifically for the production. I have no idea his career goals or aspirations, or how he views his own career in the context of his goals, but I’ve always felt like if the superstars, i.e. Drake, Rihanna, T.I., etc., of the world heard his music, they’d be just as amazed as I was and throw all the money to have him handle duties on entire albums. Maybe he’s received that offer and turned it down. I have no idea. What I do know is that when there is some new Oddisee offering, it’s a must-hear for me.

So when I saw The Good Fight on Apple Music, I hit play and the first song on the album is “That’s Love,” a song about, you guessed it, love, but with a doooooope organ-laden beat and pulsing bassline that never overwhelms the song. It feels good. Then the trumpets come in on the hook and it’s like, “well damn, this really is some feel-good music.”

I don’t know about you, but I tend to think of my own life in terms of the soundtrack to it. Like, what songs would be on the double-album soundtrack to my life. “That’s Love” is a song I’ve always felt belonged on my life soundtrack because of the vibe of the song. I like songs that make me feel good spiritually, creating an internal happy space that I can always go to when I need a pick me up. Music is almost always that well and this song is definitely part of that therapy. Oddisee is a good rapper who does his thing, per usual, finding just the right flow for the beat. But the music is what truly brings it to church for me.

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I’d suggest checking out his entire catalog because “That’s Love” is just one of many gems. Besides, what’s better than music that makes you feel good? That? That’s love.

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About the author

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.