Othello X DJ Vajra “The Required Taste” Review
When I first listened to Lightheaded, it was Othello that stood out in my ears, he had a flow that was unlike no other and a voice to go along with it. Immediately after I listened to Pure Thoughts I begged my cousin to get me ALL of Othello’s solo work. His debut solo project Elevator Music wasn’t the best in my eyes I don’t know if I hyped it up too much for myself or what. Alive at the Assembly Line was a very unique album and I loved the mix of jazz and hip hop on that album, Othello destroyed that album in a good way. So here we are in 2010 and we get Othello and DJ Vajra, I knew from the minute I heard the debut single “Active Balanced” that this was the record that Othello fans were waiting for. Here it is, the review for Othello and DJ Vajra’s album The Required Taste.
The minute I heard the first track “We’re Coming” I got super excited because of the production behind Othello’s rhymes. Othello has always had the talent of giving us advanced wordplay, but not advanced for us to not understand what’s going on. This is the case on a lot of the tracks on the album. Simply put this is a feel good album, the album flies, by the time you blink it’s over. Fast paced beats that’ll make you jump up and b-boy along with fresh rhymes that’ll make you appreciate the hip hop culture.
“Jon and Joan” is an interesting track, where Othello tells us a story about a guy who pretty much gave up all his friends to be with a girl. The song at least in my opinion says don’t burn your past bridges because you never know when the bridge you’re on will burn and you’ll need to call your friends to help you through the situation you’re in now!
Remember when I said that this album is a “feel good” album well the track “Power Moves” is the epitome of this “feel good” music. Lightheaded is back with a bang on this track because they all take the beat and destroy it. This is also a good time to mention the impact that DJ Vajra has on this record. Usually when you have a DJ on a record you usually just get cuts from the DJ. But on this record I think DJ Vajra has a big impact on the record, from the fact that his beats bang and have a unique feel to them. Filled with jazz loops, sampling and cuts, we also get interludes from the DJ, I just think DJ Vajra kills this record just as well as Othello does.
“Listen” is a track where it has Othello talking to numerous people and giving them his advice on the situation. Now my favorite beat on the album is “The Great Divide”, but my favorite track on the album is “Trust”. Othello talks all about times in life where it seems like everything is going wrong, but when those times come around all we can do is our best, while TRUSTING and FOLLOWING God. Othello also does us hip hop heads a favor and brings along Stro from the Procussions along for the track. It’s my favorite track and I had it on playback for a while.
Now the surprise track was “Ya Did It To Ya’Self” Othello comes out of nowhere and starts singing. Now sometimes when an emcee does this it just doesn’t work (cough….Mos Def on The Ecstatic…..cough). But with Othello he kills it, his voice fits perfectly with the vibe of the song and the beat.
The Required Taste truly is the album that Othello fans have been waiting for and surpassed all expectations that I had for the record (and trust me they were real high). Othello and DJ Vajra compliment each other real well, this is a duo that I really hope we get to see a sequel from in a couple of years. Also maybe an Othello singing album? Go buy this album, Humble Beast Records continues to release dope material and A Required Taste is no different.
Rating: 4/5 (This Is A Hip Hop Fan’s Dream, BUY IT!!!)
If You Can’t Buy The Album Download These Songs
2. The Great Divide
4. We’re Coming
5. Same Team Suckas