I am a full believer in the talent of the Jackson family. No, not the Gary, Indiana Jacksons, but the Oxnard, California Jacksons. Oh No, née Michael Jackson, is the latest family member to drop an album with Exodus into Unheard Rhythms. Oh No is the younger brother of underground beat maestro Madlib and son of 70s soul singer Otis Jackson.
Oh No’s Exodus into Unheard Rhythms smacks of the tireless crate-digging his older brother is famous for. Many of Oh No’s beats bring a kind of laid back, smoke-a-blunt atmosphere to the forefront, heavy on subdued piano riffs and bopping funk drumming. For the most part Oh No’s beats on this album come from Galt MacDermot, the composer of the score for the Broadway musical Hair and a renowned jazz musician. The infusion of jazz and funk on Oh No’s tracks are, no doubt, a by-product of being around his older brother and soaking in some of his influence.
The rhymes on the album are pretty much on par with any west coast underground compilation. Nothing that will have you silently spitting bars to yourself while taking a piss. Still, it is nice to hear Murs, Cali Agents, Wildchild and Wordsworth drop their contributions. LMNO is on the album, but his track doesn’t hold a candle to the verses that he used to spit on the Beat Junkies mixes. Buckshot’s track, “Get Yours”, is probably the best on the album in terms of lyrics, while Vast Aire’s opportunity to bring some credibility is severely missed—skip that track. Oh No himself gets on the mic only three times over the whole album but he holds his own; he doesn’t need any gimmicks like his older brother to keep your attention.
LaToya, Jermaine, Tito, Michael and Janet step back. The real Jacksons are making noise.