Colossus’ West Oaktown is the first rap record released on Om’s new Hip Hop imprint. And, fittingly so, as Om is known for its jazz influenced mixtures and trance and bass music, so too does Colossus offer up plenty of West Coast drum and bass, with more East Coast flavored jazz grooves. What’s really cool, though, is that Colossus, born Charlie Tate, isn’t even from the states at all; he’s a transplant from London town, who brought his in-depth musical training to the shores of Northern California—after touring with and learning from such inspired artists as Roy Ayers, James Brown, and Gil Scott-Heron.
For this project, the man now known as Colossus, dispensed with the Samples and drum machines—in much the same way Dre did on The Chronic, gathered a few close associates (Capital A, Hylton Smythe, Delphi, and others) and crafted a new kind of record. Dispensing with the traditional notions of Hip Hop, Colossus mixes guitars, horns, and The Easy Access Orchestra, into street-scapes of imminent power and beauty. The deejays and MCs, when they do appear, are not overpowering the track, but rather a part of it as much as the music. Likewise, when singers show up, its not to just add the dujour flavor, but to accent the already delectable meal.
Songs like “Innacity” and “You a Grown Man Now” stretch the boundaries of ghetto fable. While, “The Tribute” and “Sunshine” offer up a more positive view of the world as seen through the eyes of this musical guru. What’s even better is that you get two disks for the price of one. The original West Oaktown side, with its heavily jazzed out and musical sound scapes reminiscent of Yo! Flaco in a chronic induced haze, and the more bouncy, traditional rap sounding West Oaktown Remixes, which features interludes and showcases the effect that the Bay Area has had on the creator’s mind state since relocating. Looking for a more grown up sound with your rap music, then look no further than this collection.