Over the last 20 years, Ozay Moore (fka Othello) has proven himself to be an exceptional storyteller time and time again. Whether as a member of the classic hip hop trio, Lightheaded, or as a solo artist, Moore’s alto flow has always moved crowds.
Aided by some of the most soulful production and a deep knowledge of hip-hop culture, Moore’s music is highly relatable because he blends personal experience with larger themes that cross cultural lines. Moore has been making records for quite some time so it would be understandable if he didn’t have more to say.
Thankfully, Ozay Moore is back and better than ever with In The Wake of O. Throughout his life Moore has seen a lot, done a lot, and Wake is a reflection of his journey in and outside of being an MC.
Moore is no longer a young, ambitious rapper from Seattle focused solely on writing rhymes and traveling the world. Instead, he’s a family man in Lansing, MI having to strike a balance between his artistic goals and what’s best for his wife and two kids.
How do you strike that balance? This is one of the central questions driving the record.
As the album unfolds, Moore grapples with the decision to drop the Othello moniker, his faith, racial politics in the U.S. and the impact of hip-hop on his life. The word “wake” can mean many things, and In the Wake of O takes into account every single one.
With an exceptional set of producers including Stro Elliot, Tall Black Guy, Ess Be, Freddie Joachim and Ohmega Watts, Wake is a seamless blend of boom bap crunch and soulful grooves.
With guest appearances by Braille, Sareem Poems, Jahshua Smith, James Gardin and Propaganda the wordplay is as on point as it is thought provoking.
Ultimately, In The Wake of O is a reminder of why hip-hop is such a powerful mode of communication. It also speaks to Ozay Moore’s deep love and respect for hip hop culture. As Wake plays from start to finish, Moore beautifully speaks on his personal journey while also making space for listeners to reflect on their own lives. There is something for everyone on this record.