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Omni – Ballyhoo

The underground legend known far and wide as Omni finds himself in good company for his third solo disc, Ballyhoo. Featured artists include the Living Legends’ Luckyiam.psc, Wildchild of The Lootpack, Micah Nine from Freestyle Fellowship, and Fatlip (late of the Pharcyde). Produced almost entirely by L.A.-based producer Earganic, the album maintains a consistency of feel and sound, equally balancing head-nodding tracks with earnest rhymes.

Since breaking onto the scene in the late nineties as a member of the infamous crew B.L.X. (BassLine Xcursionists), L.A. bred MC Omni has balanced the worlds of lyrical creativeness and gangsta rap bravado, showcasing his unique “streaming, fluid flow” along the way. He’s rocked stages from Belgium to Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, and Japan, sharing stages with groups and individuals like Twista, The Alkaholiks, Kool Keith, Zap Mama and Madlib, while soaking up the energy and wisdom of the cultural collective to continue his growth and share it with the masses.

To this end, though previous albums have highlighted his solo flow, he made a conscious effort to include respected colleagues for his third full-length effort.

The result is a gem of a record that plays like a various artist’s collection—diverse flavors, flows, and punch lines—but with the constant thread of the presence that is the underground ambassador of rap, Omni.

What is even more impressive is that Omni never finds himself being overshadowed by his storied guests. “Coca Cola Classics” is a prime example. A funky bassline, riding a steady high hat and deep kick, draws you in like a hazy, smoky get high. “Desperately,” with its mid-eastern melodies, showcases how Omni has adopted many of the cultural sounds of the places he’s visited.

If you are a fan of any of the groups whose members make guest spots, you will definitely want to make this a part of your collection. If, however, you like your music more commercial oriented or radio-ready, you’ll want to pass this one by.


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