Oddisee Blends Grace & Grit In a Stunning Example of Duality (Video)
With his stellar 2015 album The Good Fight still in heavy rotation by many, Washington, D.C. rapper and producer Oddisee is frequently named as one of the most gifted of his generation. He recently dropped his Alwasta E.P. in March, and with it came a fresh batch of inventive, multi-faceted instrumentals that have become standard fare for the artist born Amir Mohamed el Khalifa. Without wasting much time, May saw the arrival of The Odd Tape, a 12-course project replete with sensuous beats that is helping to make his production discography consistently resplendent.
Today, he has released a video directed by Ryan Calvano (who also directed “Celebrity Reduction Prayer” by Open Mike Eagle, which featured production from Oddisee) for “Brea,” a visual ode to Los Angeles that begins with his walking down Venice Boulevard in the Palms district of the city’s West side. Although the song contains no lyrics, it is no less enthralling to watch, thanks to the presence of a ballerina’s grace. In its black-and-white treatment, the video is subdued at first glance, but conceptually speaking, it speaks volumes. Despite being within close proximity throughout, Oddisee and his ballerina don’t ever physically interact with one another. At least, not directly. As he spends his day wandering the streets, she is there for every moment of disappointment and triumph, channeling emotion through her dancing. In fact, Oddisee himself shows of his own moves, expertly mimicking the steps of his creation. When he stumbles and tumbles, she is there to lend some finesse and fluidity, as if performing as his other self.
Eventually, the two combine energies and go toe-to-toe, humorously trading each other’s techniques while never stepping away from celebrating their complementary symbiosis.