When Symbolyc One (with assistance from Illmind) provided the beautiful soundscapes that backed up Strange Fruit Project’s strong Soul Travellin, heads began to take notice that there was possibly another producer(s) that could make a breakthrough in the industry. The soulful sounds that bled through speakers made many eyebrows raise and wonder “Who the F*ck is that?” Now, to keep the emergent hype afloat, Symbolyc One and Illmind have linked up with a slew of different artists to release The Art of Onemind.
One thing is for sure, this album is chock full of soulful and nod inducing production. Take “The Broke Song” for instance. Illmind’s ultra soulful backdrop allows Strange Fruit to articulate the balance of making beautiful music while staying broke. When The Procussions sound off backed by S1′s simply beautiful production on “High Powered”, the listener will melt into the sweet vocal sample surrounded by organic melodies. Even Darien Brockington (of Foreign Exchange fame) finds a comfortable home in S1′s expressive production on “Nights Like This.”
The production on The Art of Onemind isn’t in question, it is the guests that are brought in to offer their lyrical stylings to the mix. The results are pretty pleasing to the ear for the most part. Of course when Little Brother and Median rock the hell out of “Right Here”, there will be no complaints from any 9th Wonder fans who think that LB would only come off righteous when backed by 9th. Illmind provides a beat that compliments the trio of emcees perfectly and would have no problem landing right in the mix of Khrysis and 9th. Ghostface, Trife and Strange Fruit’s Myone ease into a production that can be considered a little too Wu-ish for Illmind but still comes off properly. One of the more interesting moments is when El da Sensei and Chip Fu are dug up from parts unknown to lambast the thriving “Onemind.” Not only is the song commendable for the reasons of just sounding ill, but the concept of pairing El and Chip Fu gets an A for effort regardless.
No matter how many ways you slice it, The Art of Onemind is a lesson in eloquent production. Sure there may be a track or two that doesn’t “do it” for a particular listener, but overall this album is worthy of anyones fifteen dollars. Now the next question is “When can we hear artists such as J-Live, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and even a Nas over these beats?” Hopefully soon.
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