One Self is a straight up cultural melting pot. Not only do their members bring an array of nationalities and ethnicities to the group, but their producer, DJ Vadim, sees no borders when it comes to his international-minded production. On their debut, Children Of Possibility, Vadim (a Russian born Londoner), MC Blu Rum 13 (a native New Yorker living in D.C.) and MC/vocalist Yarah Bravo (a Swedish citizen of Chilean and Brazilian decent) aptly carve out a unique sound and topic each and every track.
While Vadim has done his share of cross-coastal collaborations over the years, his production with One Self sounds more tailor made than ever before. From overcast to bouncy, Vadim lays out an ever-altering palette of sounds that he knows his MCs can work with.
Yarah Bravo and Blu Rum 13 not only do a remarkable job of flowing in accord with Vadim’s wide-ranging beats, but they actually have something to say in the process. And Blu Rum’s gritty East Coast tonality coupled with Yarah’s accented silky-voiced flow equals an unprecedented verbal output. On “Over Expose,” Yarah convincingly assures music video ?models’ that they’re worth far more than their T&A factor. With her friendly delivery, it’s hard not to pay attention when she sings: “If you chose not to rip off them clothes / you would know life is not those videos.” Then on “Be Your Own,” both MCs stress the importance of maintaining your own identity in a relationship while Vadim’s eerie Middle Eastern-flavored pounds. Sure, their rhymes can come dangerously close to being preachy, but Yarah and Blu Rum aren’t offering hollow advice?they speak on problems they can’t ignore and offer a viable solution.
“Bluebird,” arguably the album’s best song, sees Vadim lay down some easygoing funk while Yarah and Blu Rum encourage listeners to not let their aspirations slip away. Alluding to the album’s title (Children Of Possibility), this song sums up the group’s aim to make everyone aware of their potential. But that’s not to say that One Self isn’t going to delve into more traditional subject matter like calling out insecure rappers (as Blu scathingly does just that on the latest single “Paranoid”).
It’s not often that a group with members from three different countries comes along, but with the triumphant junction of their individual talents, One Self looks like they’ll be around for the long haul.
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