Ralph Solo is a 20-year-old emcee/producer who recently released a fifteen-song album entitled Solo 2 (Oasis). This is a fleshed-out album with some stellar production that puts Solo’s vocals front and center. Solo delivery incorporates old school ‘90s rap as well as contemporaries such as Kanye West and Pharrell. When it comes to music Solo doesn’t present stale, regurgitated beats. The music has more in common with Flying Lotus than mainstream hip-hop whose beats often fall short. This is no doubt a girthy album and has a lot of content so will take time to fully appreciate but in my opinion it is well worth the time.
The album opens with a-minute-and-a-half intro entitled “Oasis” that revolves around synths and a back beat that creates rhythmically complex and fun to listen to transitions. It segues into one of the highlights of the album entitled “Meteors at 3:30 A.M.” I absolutely enjoyed the production as the track integrates multiple synths stacked on each other. It almost made me dizzy because there was so much instrumentation going on so that you may want to sit down. On top of that Solo delivers a clear, sharp-witted rhyme that begins to point to his talent. “Taco Tuesday” opens up with a comical mock weather report before busting into a verse that revolves around a thick drum beat, vocal harmonies and atmospheric synths. The song has split-second fills that interject Aphex Twin style drum breaks.
“Danny Waffles” has a bit of ‘70s funk/daft punk style vibe. Solo’s rhymes here are flicker fast during the verse and he attempts to throw in a singing hook towards the end of the song. Another highlight was “Letters From The Past.” Solo combines white noise, space-age synths with a beat that crawls but is effective.
If you look at the tracks on Soundcloud you will notice that a lot of the tracks were produced by different people. This explains the diversity amongst the tracks. I’m not sure hiring multiple producers will always work as it could create an album of music that is too disparate. In this case it wasn’t. In addition to that Solo’s vocal style binds the tracks together.
The album was pretty consistent and there weren’t any tracks that made me cringe. I think Solo is a solid rapper but hasn’t completely found his own style yet. He’s only 20-years-old and has all the time in the world to refine his craft. Overall, this is a very solid effort that displays talent and potential.
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