Self Sacrifice - Okayplayer

Self Sacrifice

Since its inception, indie label Mello Music Group has been that rarity among labels: an eclectic blend of artists who all have the classic essence in mind.

The impint, which has a roster of artists including: yU, Oddisee, Apollo Brown, Boog Brown and more, has made a name for itself releasing some of the most notable hip-hop releases of last year, including Oddisee’s Rock Creek Park, Daily Bread’s self-titled debut, and yU’s The Earn.  The label is gearing up to do the same with their upcoming release in the form of the collaborative, Trophies album from producer Apollo Brown, and legendary emcee OC.   With that being said, it’s only fitting that the label would release a full length project highlighting the roster, as well as some friends of the label.

Self Sacrifice opens with “Focus,” from DJ Soko and Def Dee.  The track, which mixes intricate scratches of Big L and Common, sets the tone for what listeners can expect—quality hip-hop.  On Oddisee’s “Slow Down,” the production is infused with strings and shows that Oddisee is just as great of a lyricist as he is producer.  The song explores topics of music and the relationship dynamics and conflicts between working on music and a relationship.

“Prestige of a King,” by OC and Apollo Brown is what many would consider to be a banger.  The production that Brown lays out on the track will make heads nod from the beginning and the added touch is when OC first comes onto production. OC’s flow on this song is reminiscent of his earlier days found on the album Jewelz. This song will make listeners hungry and anxious for the duos upcoming LP Trophies, which will be dropping in May.

Black Milk’s “Ease Back,” makes a nice addition to the project and seems as if it fits perfectly within the Mello Music Group roster.  “Raw,” which was originally on DTMD’s debut album Makin Dollas gets an update courtesy Oddisee.  The track which features Tone of DTMD, Godly MC, and Kev Brown has a rather smooth vibe – a very nice update.  “On Stand By,” featuring yU and Oddisee, the chemistry that the two emcees have with one another as part of Diamond District (along with emcee XO) incredible.  The way that yU rides the beat on this song makes for a stand out, not to mention the production courtesy Oddisee.  Other production highlights can be found on tracks like Kenn Starr’s “The Movement,” with production from Kenwood, Has-Lo’s “Secretary,” with production from Oddisee, and the Apollo Brown produced Finale track, “Protocol.”

Self Sacrifice is the album that all hip-hop fans should have in their discography and only helps to fuel the anticipation for the upcoming solo releases from the label.

-Erin Duncan

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