UK Emcee Otis Mensah, dropped his latest project, “Computers Outside.”
We got the review right here! But lets go over to the build up of the album.
Otis Mensah is most known for his alternative, Soul, Hip-Hop sound. His debut “Days Over Damson” you can hear him singing on the very melodic “Home” and spittin’ quickly on “Days Over Damson”
Days Over Damson was a great debut. Storytelling, harmonic singing and rapping. All over J-Dilla beats. It was a solid five track album. It did leave me wanting more. So following Otis mensah on Instagram you can find him spitting heavily and quickly on his 4BarFridays. I had no idea he had that in him.
It made me want to hear this style where he would beast on the mic. Computers Outside has taken that direction.
Before his album is released, Otis Mensah released Trouble. A single that Mensah was inspired by from rock band Cage The Elephant. Watch below.
His latest project, “Computers Outside” has Otis Mensah exploring in a new direction.
HipHopUndead got an early listen to the album and have the review of the album here.
In Hiphopundead fashion, we break down the album one track at a time.
- Computers Outside -This record is highly intelligent and incredibly conceptual. Otis Mensah‘s pen game has doubled in strength since we last heard. Otis Mensah sounds crisp and complex. He adapts seemingly to the eerie, Boom-bap production from Ray Sosa. A different pace from the melodic approach he is most known for. He is out of his comfort zone and thrives here!This is a great way to start the album. New sound, complex rhyme schemes and an interesting concept. The end of this track is very cinematic. The sounds of rain drops and the computer add a lush narration to the album.
2. Internet –
This is one of the few tracks where we get an RnB sound from Otis Mensah. Its smooth, fluid and melodic. This is also one of our first glimpses into Otis Mensah’s new, complex pen game.
To me he sounds more clear and direct. For some Americans, its difficult to get past an accent. I’ve personally have never been bothered by it. But I personally watch BBC television programs. With the addition of listening to Dizzee Rascal for years and now to Skepta, Dizzee, Stormzy, JME. It’s never been unclear as to what these artist are saying.
I feel people who are weary about U.K. artists wont have to worry about that in this album. This track here has my personal favorite production on it. Ray Sosa does a great job on this album.
This track here is incredible! This is Otis being pissed off talking about too many “Trying his profession.” Otis is exposed. Talking about hiding his depression and spending his days alone.
All while keeping the track cohesive with his drowsy sung chorus “This world will turn you upside down. Inside out.” The production reinforces the mood with somber horns. There is also a choir to back this feeling.
KOKO is a moody song. Along with Otis’s improved pen game, this is also Otis being more open. Just like when we heard in his track “Home.” But Otis counters that with his words, “Keep On Keeping On” KOKO! I see you Otis!!
Boom-Bap. Snares and Kick! This beat quickly picks you up with its clever keys.Perfect transition from KOKO. Otis Mensah supports it heavily being vulnerable and honest. His lyrics are consistent. The highlights from this record is the wordplay. …cut that. I’ve been listening to hip-hop since I was a rugrat. You saying all you got in this world is your word and your nut sack but I got these verses and verbs that I disperse when I despair. Instead of cursing the earth and the birth and the birds and the seven seas.” Beast!
We also get to hear Otis Mensah‘s take on the industry. Could this be the fuel that has ignited Otis’s direction? His anger? Whatever it may be its working.
The chorus on this track is gorgeous! The singer Nashe XX has a similar sound to Canadian singer/emcee, K.O.S. That sounds great with the piano cuts from the track. Especially the second time around. It brought some separation from Otis Mensah‘s voice and set him up for the next verse with interest.
“I don’t want to die alone, I don’t want to die alone!” The second verse starts and it doesn’t let go! Filled personal thoughts and his vulnerability.
5. Empty Hour Glass
This is my personal favorite record of the album. It caps the album perfectly. Filled with mellow piano keys and a boom-bap formula. This is Otis Mensah‘s farewell track till next time. Its got the most confident flow of the album and the most lyrical bars of the album.
You hear the personal responsibility he takes being an artist with his first lines to the verse. He switches up rapping fast and being poetic. All while being true to himself. Dropping names of rappers he’s not, even talking about him living at home. Something he touched on his last album. We listen to these albums in order and hear about his life.
We begin to make a connection with him and relate with life situations. Were not like Drake either! The way the skit ends is perfect. The first time I heard this song I was like wow, I really got to look through his eyes on this track. We connected on this song.” Then, the computer says,”not available. Connect to the internet” The whole time he has been trying to distance himself away from the computers and when he finally does he makes a connection. WOW!
Stream the album below. LONG LIVE HIP HOP!