Oddisee – “Lifting Shadows”

I can’t say this enough: Be thankful we’ve got Oddisee.

Two words describe the Maryland artist well: Consistent and sincere. The producer and emcee has been on a steady rise for nearly a decade, year after year putting out stellar music, and each new record he’s showing growth and skill. Oddisee’s built an impressive discography, be it his instrumental efforts or his rap records, and he approaches music-making with discipline and a drive that few can match. He’s always on the move, touring and constantly creating new things with his band Good Compny. This is not only his job, but his heart, and you know you’re getting quality when he releases a new work. As an emcee, he’s come into his own, with a conversational style that is thoughtful and frank. Oddisee doesn’t shy away from being personal either, really breaking down his hopes, motivations, and fears. Listen close and you’ll learn a lot about him, be it his upbringing in Largo, his Sudanese descent, his approach to music, and situations in life.

Like clockwork, this year he put down his instrumental effort, The Odd Tape, but shortly before that he put out the rap EP, AlWasta. Meaning “the plug,” the title refers to one who uses his wealth in social currency to act as a connector, which Oddisee is pretty good at doing.

Anyhow, the EP is solid, and coming across “Lifting Shadows,” I knew I had to share it, particularly in the social and political climate we’re in right now. Take a close listen, as Oddisee breaks down the plight of being a person of color and a Muslim in today’s world, and sharing just how much immigrants matter:

And monsters’ what you make of us and we make you succeed
And that’s what makes this country great, it’s built by those who bleed
It’s built by those who came on boats, it’s built by those who flee
And you forgot your family tree and we’re just all your leaves
So if you just try to chop us down you only hurt your knees
And we could go in pieces but we’d rather come in peace…