Rapper/producer Oddisee has a new full-length album, People Hear What They See, due out June 12th, but that’s not stopping the D.C. double-threat from treating his fans to even more music. The latest in a long line of short-burst EPs, Odd Renditions, is a 4-track batch of remixes (spin-offs, to be more exact) that feature original production and rapping from the Diamond District member. The mix takes its source material from an eclectic mix of originals, including Metronomy’s expansive indie pop number “We Broke Free” (the closest thing to a straight rap-over here) and k-os’ terrific “Man I Used to Be” (which Oddisee wraps in his trademark multi-layered soul production). The one track that is already garnering considerable buzz (it was even on Worldstar!) is the remix to Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar,” which pairs Gaye’s unflinchingly smooth vocals with a buzzing electrohop beat.
With those kind of creative flourishes, it’s easy to miss how Odd Renditions serves almost equally as a showcase for Oddisee’s ability as an emcee. The unadorned seriousness with which Oddisee delivers his raps belies a genuine poetic sensibility present in his uniquely-phrased, mostly personal writing. “Ain’t That Peculiar” is no doubt a cool blend of old and new, but it’s also worthwhile in the way Oddisee carries over the lyrical theme from the original, in the process expressing the kind of vulnerability that is rarely heard in most rap music.
Watch the video for “Ain’t That Peculiar” and stream/download the other three songs from Odd Renditions for free below. People Hear What They See arrives on iTunes on June 5th (pre-order here) before being available everywhere else on vinyl, CD & other digital retailers, June 12th.