Omari kicks things off with ‘Judge A Tape By Its Intro’. An Intro either raises or lowers the bar of expectations as you begin to listen to a mixtape/EP/album, and it does just that and more. The Intro includes a sample of a Jay-Z interview where he basically says “Rap is poetry”. The bar was raised here for me; something different.
The intro is a snapshot of what you should expect from the rest of the tape; on-point and distinctive samples, good production and ‘some honest music from a forgiven man’. Let the review begin.
‘When I Get To Heaven’; top notch sampling (Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful) — this track is simply beautiful, best track on this tape. He wonders aloud; would he make it to heaven?, would God still love him when he departs from this world of vanity, pain and sin?. It’s a good thing he was searching God’s word for answers cos he found it;
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. -Jeremiah 31:3
Impatient – now this is art that represents where he’s at that moment in his life. He bares it all.
‘Green Pastures’: Don’t burn that bush, come get high with the Most High! This is different! He totally remakes the cliché and overused CHH line into a very good track, the sample at the beginning is golden.
‘Broken Promise’; this is beautiful, one of my favourites, and it happens to be the only interlude on the project. It clocks in almost four minutes and it is longer than the subsequent track; Paradigm Shift. “I just spray cologne on the corpse”– powerful statement.
Tracks like ‘Art From the Heart’, ‘Good Mourning, Bad Morning’ & ‘Paradigm Shift’ let you know the kind of artist he is, get a glance at his blueprint.
On ‘Art From The Heart’, he repeatedly lets you know; “This art from the heart I rap…”, the part where he goes
“All these rappers ain’t taking heed
All these rappers ain’t making hits
All these rappers ever talk about is women, money and blowing trees
All these rappers need discipline, All these rappers need to talk to God
All these rappers so Hollywood
Acting better than Tom Cruise in a black coupe watching cartoons
Industry like e-Bay, selling souls for forbidden fruit…” — that’s the truth there.
‘Good Mourning, Bad Morning’ – features production from Omari and a sample of Kanye West’s hit track ‘Good Morning’ on the second part of this track. On this track, you get some honest bars like “I’m prolly just the biggest hypocrite…” “Y’all heard me on my last song talking that stuff like vanity is sin but I got issues of my own and I’m tryna be discreet…I’ll prolly not buy it if it’s cheap”.
‘Paradigm Shift’ is another glimpse at his blueprint, he’s far from the norm. He’s trying to get a reaction from your pastor.
The features on this project are carefully selected.
On ‘1000 Miles’, Preye is the star of the track backed by production from CR. Grace is the topic he’s never heard on this one, trying to run to where God can’t seek him; nowhere. It’s futile.
Psalm 139:7-8 comes full circle on Omari’s second verse;
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? -Psalms 139:7
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. -Psalms 139:8
Everyday Love; first feature: Kei Dubb on the hook & chorus, Coded on the beat. The Jamaican singer complements him perfectly on this. Everyone shines on this one, it’s got that Old School vibe. He reminds us why he does this, for the King; “I’m a make believe king, I told em watch the throne, but when I saw the real King, I told em; Watch His Own”.
“Words I Write” featuring Rhye. This is deep! Beautiful and mellow production from Rhye. This is not a feature, this is Rhye’s track on the project.
It is important to note that all of Rhye’s bars are between these two important clauses at the beginning and end of the song; In the first verse, he says:- “My hands tremble under these words as I try to write em, I can’t find my shadow, been looking for the light”.
In his last verse he then says; “My hands tremble under these words as I try to write em, I can’t find my shadow, I’m hidden in the light”.
He needs to diversify his sound if and when he releases his tape especially if he produces majority of the tracks like Omari did on this to avoid sounding monotonous.
On the title track ‘Rap is deep, Poetry is deeper’; Omari proclaims “I am not a poet, I am not a rapper, book of life, book of life, I just want a chapter…”. It is simply beautiful, this is what a title track should be like *In Yeezy’s voice*.
He rounds the project with another Coded production; ‘Not Quite There Yet‘. This is just the beginning.
Although the skits on this project provide a contrast while still staying true to the theme, the ‘Too Big, Too Little Skit‘ comes too early after just two tracks and is a clichéd one at that, while ‘Mr Johnson’s Poetry Class Skit‘ is different, hilarious and comes too late; at the end of the project. They both still have deep words and meaning behind them, the latter alludes to the Jay-Z interview sample on the intro (Rap is Poetry).
Another department where he seemed to fall behind is the length of certain tracks, unnecessarily lengthy. Green Pastures on first listen felt like an overextended skit, 6 minutes long.
There’s no doubt Omari like many has been and probably is still inspired by Kanye Omari West. Kanye West references are all over this project.
Omari handled things well on the production side of things, producing about six tracks out of 15, and he comes through with some very good beat selections from other producers (CR, Coded, K41, Rhye, Donald John & LMB Beats).
This is a very solid debut project. Things can only get better from here.
Stand Out Tracks:- When I Get To Heaven, Art From The Heart, Broken Promise & Words I Write
Download Here:- Rap Is Deep, Poetry Is Deeper Project
Have you listened to it?
What did you think? Leave a comment.