When you are an artist who’s real name is Michael Jackson, you may have a hard time being taken seriously. When you are an artist/producer who is the little brother to beat-conductor extraordinaire Madlib, you may have an even harder time making it in this music biz. But if you are Oh No, you take all of this in-stride and attempt to move out of the shadows of your older brother and define yourself as the “producer to watch out for” for 2005. Oh No makes this attempt with his foray of production and emceeing with his first release on Stones Throw, entitled The Disrupt.
Many people may have heard of Oh No through many of his production credits but the question is whther or not he can hold a solo album down by himself. The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Right out the gate he jumps on the mic with ferocious tendencies on the Madlib produced “Right Now.” Madlib’s monstrous thump accompanies Oh No’s breathless flow and proves that the kid ain’t no punk on the microphone. Jay Dee chips on right after with the haunting head cracker “Move”, which features Oh No and Roc c vibing all over Dilla’s haunting organs. Oh No may be thought of as a producer first, but throughout The Disrupt he shows that handling the mic isn’t too foreign for the talented artist. Sure the kid can rock the hell out of the mic with a battle rhyme, but he can also ease into introspective mode on joints like “Getaway” as he speaks on his perception of the problems of the world today. “Every Section” featuring Cornbread (of Kaliwild) also showcase the solid concepts that Oh No comes with. And it doesn’t hurt that a wonderfully crafted Madlib beat provides the perfect backdrop. Oh No even delivers tales of skirt chasing on the belly-dancing backdrop of “Chosen One” with massive appeal.
While emcee skills are apparent, the real draw is how incredibly dope Oh No is behind the boards. Check the wild thump of “WTF”, as the beat demands a headache induced head nod. Wildchild jumps up to assist in the dome rock with his rapid-fire flow. The adrenaline filled vibes of “On My Way” show just how diverse Oh No can be with his own distinctive style. While he can show his softer side with joints like “I Can’t Help Myself” featuring the vocals of Stacy Epps, he can flip into the weed provoking sounds of “Green Tree” narrated by Dudley Perkins with the greatest of ease. The crown jewel of this album comes in the guise of a video game beat unlike any other that has been heard before. A video game junkie himself, Oh No sets us up with a nostalgic trip back to the Ninja Gaiden days before rumbling into the incredible “The Ride” featuring M.E.D. While most games are easy to put a finger on, the listener may have a hard time nailing the title of this one, but nonetheless, Oh No captures the essence perfectly and creates a joint like none other.
After seventeen joints, the listener may have to reach for a few Advil to stifle the headache’s that are sure to come from 50 minutes of neck-snapping. With The Disrupt, Oh No makes his mark on the world of hip-hop and proves that the Jackson family is filled with diverse, yet distinctive talent. Make all the remarks you want about his name and affiliation with his brother, but nothing can deny the talent Oh No harnesses and the potential he brings to hip-hop. Don’t be surprised if you see the name “M. Jackson” amongst many of your favorite emcees production credits in the near future.
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