Published on August 7th, 2012 | by joseph goral0
Album Review: Opt Rhyme – The Joe Carter EP
Damn, this dude can spit!
I’ve known Opt Rhyme for years. In fact, I call him Matt and it confuses the fuck out of people because most people just call him Opt. I first met him at an open mic at Kryptonite that they used to host called The Bizarro Beat Circus. It was a motley crew of musicians, rappers and DJs that got together once a week to jam. The first time he came through, I remember thinking, Damn, this dude can spit! Whereas most people, myself including, seemed hella awkward on stage, Opt had a presence about him that was damn near professional.
Opt’s latest effort is an EP that serves as a bridge between his debut, Se7en Years Later and his forth coming album, The Joe Carter LP. Overall, the record is reminiscent of hip-hop’s golden era but isn’t just a throwback to a time when the culture was more focused on the craft than cars and clothes. The first track entitled Break It is laced with 8-bit sounding samples that compliment the drums like Cheeto fingers and Nintendo controllers. Opt’s flow rolls right along the beat, keeping step with every nuance of the production. The cuts and scratches on the chorus bring the track full circle and set the tone for a short but enjoyable EP.
From there, the album moves right along in concordance with the tone set by the first track. The production is laid-back but ill enough to keep the listener interested. Opt’s lyrics don’t fight for attention but rather act as an instrument in and of themselves, fitting in with the beat rather than just being placed over it. The rest of the album is a bit overly inundated with guest features, but they don’t detract from the album as a whole. Rather they are appropriate for each track. DJ BizeOne kills it on 93 Style with his cuts and scratches. If I had to pick, I’d say Encyclopedia Brown takes the cake and eats it too with his guest spot. Not to say that Colorless, Dallas or RoKnew aren’t dope, but Encyclopedia has an intelligent style that proves why he chose that moniker and that he deserves it. RoKnew is dope in his own right as well. Him and Opt would make a good team as they have similar styles. They’d be really ill on some more hyped production on some back and forth rapping.
The album is available here for streaming and download through Mic Hand Recordings out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. You can also see him along side his labelmate, Imperfekt in their new video for The Hunger below.