The prolific MC, producer and musician Oddisee’s new album, ”The Iceberg,” is a plea for humanity to dig deeper in search of understanding and common ground. ”The Iceberg” is a distillation of stereotypical tropes in hip-hop and beyond, 12 tracks about money, sex, politics, race and religion that appear superficial until his multi-dimensional lyrics unfurl to expose the complexities of individuality and identity: How we see ourselves and how others see us. Deeply soulful, and shot through with jazz, go-go, gospel, thick r&b and hard beats, the album is a timely, poetic statement.
“It was more so of an epiphany that came first, then the title of the album, and then the songs were created around it,” Oddisee told NPR of the album. “Initially, there were things going on in my own personal life and around me that had me constantly questioning, “I wonder how much people really know is going on.”
But his concerns on “The Iceberg” are far from just personal.
“People ask me, “Amir, are you worried about what Trump’s doing? Are you worried about the impact this can have on your life?” I don’t know what else can be done that hasn’t been done already. They say, “Well, are you worried about the Muslim ban?” You know how many white rooms I’ve been detained in since 9/11? You know how many times my passport has been looked at by an official and they look me in the eyes and ask me what country I’d been born in, as they’re looking at my passport? These offenses have been happening to me for quite some time. I’m normally the one who takes the longest when I tour with my band — it’s an ongoing joke, where we all get in separate lines, ’cause they know that if they get behind me, they’re not gonna get out to the baggage carousel first, because I’m the one who’s always detained.”
“I think America is waking up in general — and this is people in power in America, and the majority — to what a lot of the minorities have been saying for quite some time. “No, we haven’t come that far,” or “I’m a victim or racism.” I think African Americans in this country, we’ve experienced so many presidencies where not much has changed for the black experience, so this is just yet another president that doesn’t care about us. And it’s easier, because he’s a bit more upfront with it.”
Read the entire interview with NPR’s Scott Simon HERE.
“The Iceberg” is out on CD now, with the vinyl LP version scheduled for release in May. We’ll have it in-stock, along with these other titles from this amazing rapper/producer/innovator’s catalogue.