O.C. is quite
possibly one of the best emcees to have ever lived, and he'd likely be one of
the last people that anyone would want to contend in a battle. His voice,
tinged with an unmistakable tone of wisdom, commands one to listen.
Unfortunately, O.C.'s musical career
has not been quite as moving as his skills. In the early 90's he exploded upon
the underground scene with his classic, poignant diatribe of the materialistic
rap life in Time's Up. With its
gritty bass line, up-tempo beat and quotable rhymes Time's Up was instantly marked as a diamond in the rough, in the process
catapulting O.C. to the forefront of
respected emcees. However, on his sophomore release, Jewelz, O.C. seemed a
hypocrite through his glamorization of the 'high life' and material things,
thus alienating many of his die-hard fans.
Thematically Bon Appetit is very similar to Jewelz, and on the surface it may seem that O.C. has once again abandoned the ideals he set forth on Time's Up and throughout Word...Life. But when you immerse yourself in Bon Appetit it becomes clear that O.C. has not become obsessed with materialism, but rather that he is only cloaking his sermons under a flashy "platinum and diamond encrusted" veil.
In many ways Bon Appetit, possibly with the exception of his D.I.T.C. work, is O.C.'s best material to date. Bonafied featuring Jay-Z has 'hit' written all over it, if only it were to receive the exposure it deserves. Jay-Z's smooth contribution on the hook is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face, one that will only broaden when they hear O.C. spit rhymes like: Yo, I try to live my life right/Earth is like the tree of life/Tempted by the forbidden fruit of my face, I want to take a bite of it/It looks sweet, making my mouth water/ then I thought of a foul thought of filming somebody daughter on camcorder. Never one afraid to experiment, O.C. successfully navigates a deceptively complex word association rhyme pattern over a funk-laden track on Back to Cali. Buckwild of D.I.T.C. handles the vast majority of production and as always does an admirable job, particularly on Soul to Keep and Respect tha Drop. On the latter O.C. spins a vivid tale of being mugged and wisely choosing to give up the goods rather than his life. Weed & Drinks pairs O.C. with A.G. for a horn laced party joint that will likely be a favourite for some time to come.
Although Bon Appetit is exceptional it is not without its holes. Sadly, some of the great producers that O.C. has worked with in the past like DJ Premier, Showbiz and Organized Konfusion (O.K.) do not make any contributions. Gone too are the terrific guest spots by D.I.T.C. brethren (other than A.G.), O.K., and Freddie Foxx. Lastly, although Bon Appetit is more cohesive than O.C.'s last album it lacks the presence of a classic to stand the test of time such as Time's Up or My World. But all in all this is a very solid release and well worth having.