O.C.: “Same Moon Same Sun” Album Review

messages-image628118971Few emcees from any era in Hip-Hop have been fortunate enough to enjoy careers and legacies as long and illustrious that stretch as far back as O.C. For close to 23 years, over the course of 10 albums, a string of EP’s, a myriad of collaborations with fellow D.I.T.C. members and a roster of legendary emcees and producers; the Flatbush, Brooklyn emcee has consistently time and time again proved himself to be one of Brooklyn’s finest, with a track record that quite literally speaks for itself. Despite being a figure frequently brought up and named dropped during “most underrated” conversations amongst Hip-Hop heads and artists alike O.C. proves himself more than worthy of the the praise and accolades, easily going toe-to-toe with the borough’s all-time greatest heavy hitters. Same Moon Same Sun is no exception to this rule, continuing a long tradition of quality projects from O.C. that seemingly only get better with time.

Coming fresh off the momentum of collaborating with D.I.T.C. on the crew’s reunion album Sessions last October and capitalizing on the group’s momentum, O.C. has let no moment go to waste and returned to mic on Same Moon Same Sun. An explosive, emotional and even politically charged effort that reflects the bleak, fiery, social atmosphere that has embroiled a divided nation as well as examining the sentiments and reflections of a seasoned veteran of the New York Hip-Hop scene who has finally reached elder-statesmen status in a genre that is rarely kind to its pioneers. That being said, Same Moon Same Sun is anything but an another dusty, throwback album. Instead, the album is yet another gem in the evolution of New York’s Boom-Bap vein that pushes the genre’s sound and a testament to the regions lasting impact and vitality in Hip-Hop culture. The lion’s share of the album’s production is handled by producer Motif Alumni, who contributed to D.I.T.C’s ‘Sessions’ with assistance from Lord Finesse, Showbiz, Gwop Sullivan, Soultronik and Supaugly on select tracks throughout the album’s runtime. Keeping in line with the classic New York Hip-Hop sound D.I.T.C. and its members have come to be known for, Same Moon Same Sun manages to capture a sound that invokes the best elements of classic New York Hip-Hop all while still maintaining a fresh, crisp edge. At a brief length of just 12 tracks and a run time of just under the length of 33 minutes, the album is a brief but fulfilling listen, that never pauses or lingers for too long with no track ever crossing over the 4 minute mark. Just barely whetting listeners appetites, and leaving them hungry for more. Likewise, O.C. keeps the guest appearance cast on Same Moon Same Sun down to a bare minimum, only featuring emcees Majestic Gage, David Barrs and fellow D.I.T.C. member A.G. respectively throughout the album’s 12 track entirety.

Though Same Moon Same Sun is almost painfully brief, even for a free project, the album is in no short supply of standout tracks. Highlights include the chorus-less “My City”. An unrelenting lyrically laced exploration of foreign and domestic woes that plays like a lyrical news broadcast brought to life by O.C. as the audience’s own commentator and investigative reporter as he runs through issues ranging from racial tensions, inner-city violence, political corruption and a merciless indictment of deadly U.S. foreign policy in a world gone seemingly mad. Painting vivid images in the listener’s mind O.C. minces no words or emotions delivering lines such as, “From what I’m seeing is the government is triggering a race war, can’t be settled by a friendly game of baseball. Nations clashing first it was Al-Qaida now it’s ISIS, who’s wicked and who’s righteous?” as well as “Bombs hit Syria wiping out men, women and kids in the area, the bully is America. Will benders, never thought about enlisting. No disrespect to soldiers but false pretenses under evil regimes controlling resources using the armed forces for war endorsements”. The song is without a doubt the main highlight on the album and is perhaps one of O.C’s most politically charged tracks to date. Other highlights on the album include “SAM”, a brief story chronicling the life of an old-neighborhood head who has lead a hard and troubled existence but nonetheless remains a fixture in both the neighborhood and O.C.’s heart as he laments about the thin line that separates them both and all of us from falling into the deepest depths of poverty and society’s cold sentiment towards the homeless. The track is just one of many throughout O.C.’s career that serve as a testament to his storytelling abilities and penchant for reflective material that has been a hallmark since his debut. Continuing in this vein, the album’s closing and perhaps most heart wrenching track is “Real Life”, a somber re-telling from O.C. as he reminisces about the tragic events leading up to him and the rest of the D.I.T.C. crew’s discovery of the murder of fellow crew member Big L back in 1999 and the toll that L’s death took on the crew. The track is a stark reminder that nearly 18 years after his death, Big L ’s impact on the culture and his fellow crew members can still felt and is dearly missed by his friend O.C. and those who knew him.

After nearly 23 years in the industry O.C. continues shows no signs of stopping nor slowing down in the near future. If anything, Same Moon Same Sun is proof that the Brooklyn-bred wordsmith hasn’t lost an ounce of his lyrical finesse over the course his two decades plus career and that he still has plenty to say. In an era and Hip-Hop scene oversaturated in a sea of free mixtapes and seemingly endless free material that would have never seen the light of day in another era O.C. proves that quality Hip-Hop regardless of its price tag can still found in abundance and that sometimes the phrase “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always apply. With several more solo projects supposedly in the works as well as a collaborative LP Perestroika with Connecticut emcee Apathy slated for release later in the year, it’s very likely Same Moon Same Sun will not be the last that we see of O.C. in 2017.

Same Moon Same Sun is available now as a free download on D.I.T.C’s official website as well as offering pre-orders on CD and vinyl copies available through the site’s online catalog.

Full Album Track Listing & Credits:
1. Same Moon Same Sun Intro (Prod. by Motif Alumni)
2. Serious (Prod. by Gwop Sullivan)
3. Good Man (Prod. by Soultronik)
4. Waste Not Want (Prod. by Motif Alumni)
5. Sound Off (Prod. by Gwop Sullivan)
6. New Day (Prod. by Lord Finesse)
7. My City (Prod. by Motif Alumni)
8. Sam (Prod. by Motif Alumni)
9. In The Paint ft. Majestic Gage & David Bars (Prod. by Motif Alumni)
10. DNA (Prod. by Motif Alumni)
11. Soulsville (Prod. by Showbiz & Motif Alumni)
12. Real Life Part 1 & 2 (Prod. by Showbiz & Motif Alumni)
(Part 2 Prod. by Supaugly)

Executive Produced by Showbiz
Recorded at DITC Studios
Recorded & Mixed by Parks Music

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