Odd Thomas
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Odd Thomas

Band Hip Hop Spoken Word


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Fighting Words"

To a guy like DJ/producer T.J. Terry, hip and hop have been fighting words. When he was young, the kids in his classes constantly baited him for being a white dude obsessed with music made by minorities. He fought back with his fists, a strategy that works well if your goal is to miss school. He was expelled from just about every high school in Anaheim.

Now, a decade later, Terry—you can call him by his DJ handle, Odd Thomas—produces music for his hip-hop crew, Science Project. He lives with punk rockers in a Long Beach house, and, years after high school ended, he’s defending hip-hop all over again.

"People think MTV videos are hip-hop. They laugh at the money and the ’hos in the videos. My housemates identify with the punk scene. They say it’s more real than all the yo-yo-yo-wassup they see in hip-hop," says Odd Thomas, who looks something like a Chicano beatnik, with his thin beard and shoulder-length locks.

But Odd Thomas’s got a better defense now: music that’s faster than his fists. In Science Project, with MCs Relentless (born Ralph Perez) and Express (Anthony Thomas), Odd Thomas sculpts a tough hip-hop that calls out everything from violence-loving, bling-bling-wearing MCs to sly politicians who play hide-and-seek with the truth.

Like most musicians, the Science Project crew fantasizes about making a music that can’t easily be labeled. Relentless says such rock influences as Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine help take their music beyond categories. But Science Project is part of a movement nearly as old as hip-hop itself. It’s about returning the music to its roots of rocking parties and speaking truth. That’s part of what makes their music refreshing, says Maggie Gutierrez, a DJ who produces Anything Fresh night Tuesdays at Costa Mesa’s Detroit Bar. "They relate to the crowd more," she says. "They don’t need to dress crazy or act crazy, and that’s rare to find."

A recent Anything Fresh show found Science Project looking like anything but a collection of scowling political firebrands—they were having too much fun for that. Relentless, a six-four, 350-pound giant with a wooly Afro, busted freestyle rhymes at center stage. To his left was the lean MC Express, matching and one-upping his rhymes in a sometimes urgent, sometimes graceful patter. Odd Thomas, meanwhile, controlled the stage, and added raps with a high, nasal voice reminiscent of Zack de la Rocha.

Their political reputation precedes them. They’re one of 10 bands invited to perform this month at the California NAACP Hip-Hop Weekend, a summit exploring connections between hip-hop and social action. Listening to Science Project’s music is also a clue they’re concerned with something tougher than a midnight snack at J-Lo’s house.

"When I think of my rhymes, I think of wet concrete," Odd Thomas says. "It’s slippery, hard hip-hop."

And it’s a tough, spare mix, occasionally accented by Middle Eastern sounds and spidery basslines. On top of this, Odd Thomas, Relentless and Express bust snarling rhymes. Take their song "Hate," a protest against post-Sept. 11 anti-Muslim hysteria: "If the Constitution is a contract/The government just breached," Odd Thomas raps. Relentless joins in to lay out the rest of their case: "Hate fueled fire/Inspired by the liar/Death brought tragedy/Life blanketed by fallacy."

But a lot of their anger is reserved for the effect modern, commercialized hip-hop has on kids. On their track "Façade," Relentless raps, "There’s a young 12-year-old white child in the suburbs dying right now because Jay-Z told him to get some bling." But Relentless insists he’s no prude, and knows from his experiences working at a group home for foster kids in Newport Beach.

"It made me more aware of our society and how we treat our kids," he says. "No one listens to 14- or 15-year-olds. No one validates their feelings." So they escape through hip-hop. "Our entertainment system tells them to be overtly sexual at a young age, and that’s totally insane. They’re watching videos where women are being objectified on screen. That’s where they learn women are to be used for sex, just to get bitches."

So would someone like Senator Joe Lieberman approve of Science Project’s music while at the same time curtailing the marketing of violent hip-hop to minors (or perhaps you’ve forgotten Holy Joe’s Media Marketing Accountability Act of 2001)? Relentless hopes not. "I’m not for censoring. There’s freedom of speech, but be aware of what you’re putting out there—how it will affect someone in the future, how it will affect a young kid."

Science Project hopes to see some success before Lieberman tanks in the 2004 presidential election. They’ve toured with underground hip-hop acts like Busdriver, and they’re independently releasing a 12-inch single called "Bad Brains" while searching for a record deal. As challenging as their music is, Odd Thomas confesses to occasionally worrying that their uncompromising stance could hurt them.

"We’ve had record industry people say that if we were more fun, they’d make us huge," Odd Thomas says. "But we’re not going to jump on any bandwagon. I hope we’re around long enough to say that we never compromised."

Science Project perform with AWOL One, Kosmic Four and DJ Strong at The Pier (formerly Live bait), 6251 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 596-7522. SAT., 11 p.m. $10-$15. 18+.

"Weand of Lyrics"


Some conform to the world’s standards, while others deviate. Guess to which category the emerging holy-hip-hop group Deviance belongs. It should be clear to the attentive listener that their first album, “Weaned of Lyrics”, is set to raise the standard of hiphop.

On “Weaned of Lyrics”, Odd Thomas and Aleus bring us fifteen solid hip hop tracks. Each of these resonates with cool hiphop vibes, while every track remains crisp and distinct. A few songs establish a jazz lounge atmosphere, while others display a taste of the Orient, and still others can make one feel like she is living in a video gameland. Odd Thomas’s production utilizes instruments as eclectic as violins, horns, upright basses, sitars, and more.

Yet, what makes the Deviance album more of a great find is that these artists do not revert to spitting nonsense to our youth. Their lyrics are evidence that Deviance has spent time learning. The album does the hip-hop community an additional favor by surfacing the should-be hip-hop leaders of the next millennium, as Agent M. Bookworm, Diva Jones, Joey L. drop precious lines on precious drums. Simply put, the album is packed with teaching, edification, and even a few rebukes. They challenge their listeners to think, dig deep and seek Truth. This is a must buy.
- Sphere of Hip HOp

"The Divine Use of Anamosity and Ridicule"

Track One: all men amen... so, i know what you're thinking, well actually i'm probably wrong... i was gonna say that you were thinking, "Who is Odd Thomas?"... but then i realized that you probably wouldn't be reading this unless you knew enough about him to be interested in reading more about his album... so let's start over... so, this is starting off with a nice full sound... it's almost like a bunch of monks chanting in the background to give the track some texture and then every now and again the cadence of the drums comes in and takes over... it's pretty sweet... and quick... quickly though, it's challenging us to be ready for the second coming of Christ... are you ready?...Track Two: bad brains... this one has a sci-fi feel to it with a lot of laser-like sound effects, dropping in the distance, almost like a video game, but the beat is constant and really fresh... ok, there's obviously different people rapping on this track but i'm, oh, never mind... i just looked it up and this song features Science Project... i knew it... anyway, it kind of reminds me of something that Luke Geraty would rap on... but the lyrics imply that they are all psychotic or something... or at least viewed by the world that way... Track Three: gun control... this one i've heard before... in fact i think it's up on the Odd Thomas Myspace page... i really like the concept of it... it's not exactly a new thought, that there's a problem with guns in America, but it's one of those " hot topics that keeps coming up politically... like what should we do about this problem... "how you gonna claim peace with a piece in your hand?"... i love that line... anyway, he kinda says that it's everyone's responsibility, but also that we should all petition for some sort of change... Track Four: deception... this is a very biting look at the modern church... a general disgust for people who are misleading others into a false sense of faith and a false religion... he's talking about people trying to buy their salvation... kind of a fresh take on the age-old faith versus works... "money for your soul is like casting lots"... that's pretty deep there, since if you base your salvation on things you do or give, you'll never really know if you've done or given enough... it's like gambling... and "what's the point of faith, if you've paid the cost?" is pretty self-explanatory... and it has to be, 'cause i'm running out of... Track Five: father figure skating... i like the beat... scratch that... i love the beat on this track... just plain dope... the title of this one makes me think of the television game show "Wheel of Fortune"... i haven't watched it in a long time, but they used to have a catagory called before and after where it was two phrases joined together by the word in the middle... anyway it's significant to this song, 'cause it's about his father being simply a father in figure only... it's interesting... well... time to break...

*** INTERMISSION (maybe it's cheating but i'm falling behind on this typing and i need to go stretch) ***

Track Six: television evangelist... man, this is a quick album... really testing my typing speeds... anyway, we're back and this one was actually on the MySpace page a while back too... i think there's even a video... of course this is obviously another cynical look at the religion that is commonly referred to as Christianity... and a look at how some people simply use the name of Christ to try to exploit an audience and earn money... like the gun control song, it's not like it's the first time anyone has spoken out against television evangelists, but the song is quite bold and hits pretty hard... close to home in some cases... Track Seven: ghost hymns... this is a pretty light beat... i'm not sure who this is on the first verse... probably should know, the voice is pretty familiar... maybe from a Mars Ill song long ago... i don't know right now... though i'm having a rough time keeping up... this one seems to be talking about other rappers or even public figures who promise something or create an image that lacks any true substance and is in fact ghostly in that it dissappears quickly... Track Eight: fundamentalist... i just caught myself actually breathing heavy as i'm trying to get this done... all the songs on this EP are right around three minutes in length so there's little room for straying or mistakes... this one is again dope musically... dude did a really good job on the beats here... totally feeling them... lyrically, he's taking shots at people who claim to be fundamentalists of any religion and try to use their religion as an excuse to commit acts of violence and hatred... Track Nine: the divine use of animosity & ridicule... here's where the album gets summed up... the divine use of animosity and ridicule... yes... the album is full of biting lyrics and a whole lot of "calling out"... so here he is explaining why he's so abrasive... he's basing his opinions on his faith... and he's being energetic and enthusiatic not because he hates others, but because he wants to get people's attention and share his message, which is part of God's word... that said... i've often told people that my spiritual gift is cynicism... usually i get laughter in return, but i think Odd Thomas would understand... anyway... i'm well over time by now... thanks for checking out this EP with me... keep it locked...

- TRU-DAT Music


2000 "weand of lyrics" -DEVIANCE

2000 "fashion expo" -SCIENCE PROJECT

2001 "the coalition" -DEADBEAT

2001 "night owls 1" -SCIENCE PROJECT

2001 "night owls 2" -SCIENCE PROJECT

2002 "a collection of beats and lyrics" -DEADBEAT

2003 "anti" -SCIENCE PROJECT

2003 "backbone/hate 12" -SCIENCE PROJECT

2004 "badbrains/no love featuring MR. Brady" -SCIENCE PROJECT

2004 "polititainment" -SCIENCE PROJECT

2005 "a collection of my works" ODD THOMAS


Feeling a bit camera shy


Picture a rapper with complete lyrical dominance over a mic proficient enough to stand out over the heavy sounds of percussion based beats, now slap a Che Guevara t-shirt on him, if you're the typical hip hop head you see Jay-Z at his prime in his memorable Mtv Unplugged performance, now who would you get if you stripped the trendy iconic shirt and applied the spirit of what it represents to his principles and lyrics while drastically lightening his epidermis and adding to his visage a thin beard and shoulder-length locks, wrong again but close, Odd Thomas is what the fans of the longley departed band Rage Against the Machine crave. He is actually the complete antitheses of Jigga, they are on two completely different spectrums only thing they have in common is their ability to paint masterpieces through rhymes. This multi-talented emcee/poet challenges listeners with dictations rarely seen in the cliché-ridden cesspool of modern hip hop, his past works as Omnipoetic of Deviance (1999) and Deadbeat from Science Project (Present) overwhelms the colloquial standards of the culture. Odd Thomas bends and revolutionizes language to manifest his assessment of life and our society with more backbone and stage presence than any other emcee.