“I felt it would be interesting to experiment on how my style would sound over a series of Dilla beats and found that the outcome was simply natural.” These are the words of young Brooklyn emcee, ScienZe as he explains what motivated him to embark on his latest mixtape, Ode 2 Dilla. I know, I know, Dilla mixtapes and tributes are as common as potholes in Bed-Stuy, but I will never discourage any emcee who wants to take their turn to rock over Dilla. Especially since the chance to work with the man in physical form, is impossible. No new beats are coming. No verses, or videos. No new stories. So if ScienZe wants to join the libation pool, it sounds good to me.
No, really. It sounds good to me. ScienZe’s Ode 2 Dilla is a supersonic soundscape. Sure, I could blame Dilla. Give him all the credit. I mean, it’s not hard to sound good over the perfect drum, the perfect bass. It’s not hard to sound “natural.” But it’s unfair to totally negate the fact that ScienZe is a sincere, real-deal emcee with much to say, and a massive amount of pen ability to say it.
He makes this clear at the very beginning of the mixtape. On “Light Work,” the young emcee literally gets busy. I don’t know how else to put it. It almost sounds like he knows he has to do these instrumentals justice, and that the pressure is on. And he never lets up. From the hypnotically perfect, “Dream Me,” to the flaming, super-lyrical “Sweet n’ Low, Half n’ Half,” ScienZe proves that he can run the gamut of lyricism, and, quite frankly, make Dilla, and all of his cohorts, proud.
ScienZe said that this mixtape, Ode 2 Dilla, was an experiment. Though the experiment is not so quixotic anymore, due to the influx of Dilla tributes, I still take my hat off to any emcee that keeps Dilla’s pedestal legs sturdy. Though Dilla is now the James Brown of hip- hop (though James Brown technically is the James Brown of hip-hop) and calls for movement and praise by default, ScienZe really does bring something different to the music. Or maybe Dilla brings something different to him. I’m not sure. Furthermore, I’m not sure it matters. What matters is that the pairing birthed an amazing mixtape, with Dilla’s spirit moving all around it. ScienZe, I hope he hears you. I hope they all do.