EPs made a lot more sense when vinyl reigned supreme. It was a variety-pack introduction to artists such as Showbiz & A.G. [click to read], M.O.P. [click to read] and even Jurassic 5 [click to read]. The Blue Scholars [click to read] are too seasoned to be introducing themselves, and more in-tuned with the digital age than vinyl. Still, their premiere Duck Down Records joint venture, the OOF! EP makes old traditions come alive. From beginning to quick end, originality, creativity, Funk, grooves and lyrical savvy reign supreme. The dynamic duo styled in the classic emcee/deejay blueprint of Gang Starr [click to read] and Eric B. & Rakim [click to read] have released five albums and two EPs since 2004. Hailing from Seattle, emcee Geologic and deejay/producer Sabzi are Hip Hop academics who specialize in the major art of knowledge, intelligence, humor, metaphors and getting funky.
Geologic has a smooth yet commanding delivery and swagger a la Brother J lyrically cavorting on a classic X-Clan single. The track, “Hello” thrives with a beat that you can Whop to. The production takes you back to a time of simplistic Funk and a well put together quality song. The hook, “Hello!, What’s up? Hey!, Hello!!!” longs for people to just say hello to each other, whether you’re walking, flying, talking or driving, because it only takes a moment to acknowledge someone. The jibe in the scenario of the song is that Geologic introspectively and almost compassionately really only wants people to say hello to one another because in his own words, “Lately all I’ve been saying is good-bye.”
“New People” is a track best described as the perfect mixture of a club joint married to an intense tribal beat with dreamy highs. Geologic’s passionate sing-song delivery gleams with unlimited possibilities. He highlights his observation that everybody’s saying yes we can in a time that we can’t do much, but ultimately he is just a man waiting on his chariot to arrive, but before he goes he’s dropping substance and positivity.
With keyboards and synthesizers creating a jazzy, simplistic Funk, the song, “Bananas” continues the vibe of positive uplifting lyrics, while the Reggae inspired, “Cruz” with its spacey and universal production offers a tranquil-yet-supple invitation to luxuriate and take it easy at a soothing Island pace.
The OOF! EP contains six full songs followed by six instrumentals of said songs. The instrumentals feel far less essential than the vocal versions, but smooth lyric-less versions of songs like, “Hi-808” with its claps and India influenced high hats and “Coo” with its hard drums and succulent bass prevail because they still captivate and hold your attention. The EP, OOF! manages to deliver an eloquent yet subtle positivity when you truly listen to the words. Blue Scholars makes music how it used to be done. The music uplifts your thoughts and Geologics’ voice moves you.