The release of OMM Vol.1 is exciting for Queen City Stoop Kids and Saskatchewan’s music scene as they continue to develop a presence in the international music community. Their chosen format for this release took is a beautiful way to add to their platform. Plenty of people are still hustling mixtapes on street corners, but the OF Tape is what hurled OFWGKTA and their cohorts to superstardom. Teenagers don’t make their crushes mixtapes to show their feelings any more, but Drake and Future’s mixtape asserted their dominance on the hip-hop scene and is still ruling clubs. The mixtape lets you play to your strengths as individual artists. The mixtape lets you feature multiple artists easily. Mixtapes are one of the most important weapons/tools in hip-hop’s arsenal.
This release is properly attributed to Out My Mind Music, but because of the overlap I think it’s fair to look at the release as part of the Stoop collective. The two main players are Okay Moz (OKM) holding down many of the hooks with a relaxed, melodic flow and Voodoo Doll slashing in with a number of high energy verses with dense word counts. Their styles mesh well together. Peanut butter and jelly. Wholly worthwhile on their own, but something special together.
“Woes” opens up the album and is the stand out track with its collage approach to production. The allusion to Drake is obvious and makes it seem that they are happy to draw comparisons between the artists; the production is high quality but completely separate of the OVO sound and no one is biting the 6ix God’s delivery.
All of the tracks are on the shorter side, keeping in style with the mixtape format. The beauty of it is the hooks have many opportunities to take the forefront. A divebombing synth glitches through “Billy”. Hi hats skitter over “Rich”. These short motives bring your ears to the vocals and beg for you to sing along live.
“D.G.A.” brings fellow Stoop member James Worthy on the track for a nice mid-tape switch up while still keeping the hooks in the forefront. The beats have been interesting to this point but the next 4 are the tour-de-force in production mixing in video game sound effects (maybe even an 8-bit soundtrack in the background?) with Rubin minimal/maximal bass lines and a hefty dose of 808 samples all across.
The mixtape is a sign of how skilled the Stoop Kids are at moving through genres, flows, and beats all while retaining their own style. Not to mention, this is only two of the kids! Put em together? Ooh.
See the Stoop Kids live at The Artful Dodger, Saturday June 11th.
– Jon Neher