O.U.O
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O.U.O

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"OUO - of unknown origin"

OUO
Of Unknown Origin
Domination | 2005

Let's 'Take it back to that raw rap format', as O.U.O. raps in the chorus of 'It's Time'. Indeed the time is here with the return of Zimbabwe Legit's Dumi Right aka Doom E Right who's now backed up with his cousin Pep instead of Akim, who's not down with the duo but still remains heavy affiliated and features on 'Crash Thru Walls', a sit back-relax, trademark Cadence production. Trademark in this case means: heavily jazz inspired music with a fat double bass loop and smooth xylophones. This is the sound that dominates on this album: raw, melancholic and pure jazzy vibes.

Both Pep and Dumi kick easy but thorough lyrics, with fresh punchlines, talkin sense and wisdom, bringing back the era of when MC’s had something to say without losing their sense of humour. 'We do this for the love of it', they immediately admit in the opening song 'For The Love Revisited'; 'Pryor to Richard, I was young, black and gifted'; you just know these guys ain’t playin! What’s more: 'I love the underground and I’mma stay down, as I’m rollin below the surface, I seek the purpose', they rap in 'I Rock', a track featuring Cadence who leaves the boards for a minute and lays some vocals over the magnificent Kev Strange production. Besides Kev Strange and Cadence productions, there’s also beats by Mister Do and H-Peh, all of them reachin a high level and constructin a great musical back-up to OUO’s on-point rhymes. They definitely got us hooked with 'Hooks Reloaded', a superb production like only Cadence could make em; swift reverbs and wailing strings with rough Ed O.G., Mad Skillz and Greg Nice samples scratched in the chorus. Cadence’s production talent is more than ever exposed in the magnififcent 'Pushin Pens'; best believe this song is on rewind mode right here at the office. With its dark piano loop, soul shivering voice, exceptionnel horns and lyrics as tight as a string between a fat lady’s cheeks: 'Used to believe in emcees, but lately I’m a sceptic' or 'I get heads open like the Spanish Inquistion'.One of the biggest headnodders on the album is 'Dutted Lines', with Pep runnin through some old school names like G-Whiz, Biz Markie, Trouble T Roy and mid school names like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Grand Puba. Following this, is the laid-back, jazzy 'Trapped' featuring the heavenly voice of Jazz Kat Blu and existential, even spiritual rhymes, 'Trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea'. Short but very nice is the intermission with contemporary poet Nikki Giovanni, droppin some food for thought. Another highlight is 'Eye 2 Eye', a raw, kinda dark cut, but with a sparkling Latin guitar lick and Pep rappin 'I’m a sick cat, ain’t been to the vet in a while'.

It's clear; OUO poured their heart and knowledge in this album. 'Of Unknown Origin' is one of those albums that keep it real and make us proud to say: real hip-hop is still here, and it’s not only inherent to the 80s and early 90s. Nah, it lives on in the underground. And so, even in the 2005 we're still able to enjoy hip-hop that’s pure. This is hip-hop like it was meant to be; it got great beats, serious themes, fierce punchlines, but also humour which makes this album bigger than it would be without it. So what more can u ask for?

posted by: cpf | 07-27-2005 | rated: phat - Platform8470.com


"O.U.O Reviews"

Here is what they are saying about O.U.O's "Of Unknown Origin" that is in stores now on PH Music / Domination Recordings:

- Elemental Magazine
A cohesive album
fiery tag-team bravado
provocative verses
double-barreled delivery and on-point lyricism

- Washingtonpost.com
Smart, stripped-down hip-hop loaded with captivating beats and enterprising lyrics

- Platform8470.com
Thorough lyrics, with fresh punchlines, talkin sense and wisdom, bringing back the era of when MC's had something to say "Of Unknown Origin" is one of those albums that make[s] us proud to say: real hip-hop is still here.

- Shotgunreviews.com
Your ears are bombarded with meticulous metaphors, superb similes, and a deadly overflow of hip-hop quotables

- Impact Press
Catchy hooks and sturdy beats for 18-tracks of pure hip-hop flavor

- Rapreviews.com
O.U.O. drops a respectable debut that shows flashes of brilliance

- MusicRemedy.com
The LP shines bright with the chemistry, soulfulness, and true spirit

- Urbansmarts.com
A record that has a respectable number of really nice tunes - Various


Discography

Zimbabwe Legit EP
Hollywood Basic Records

O.U.O - For the Love of It - 12" Single
pH Music

The School of Emceeing Volume 1 - pH Music
1. Orientation - Dumi Right
2. Dotted Lines - O.U.O
Executive Producer - Dumi Right
pH Music

O.U.O - Look Good 12" Single b/w Eye 2 Eye
(National College Charts Top 10)
pH Music

Cadence Presents State Lines - Crash Thru Walls - O.U.O and Zimbabwe Legit
Domination Recordings

H-Peh Diplomacy
Yesterday - O.U.O
Pushin' Pens - O.U.O
Groove Attack Records (Germany)

O.U.O - of unknown origin Album
pH Music/Domination Recordings

Cadence Creative Commerce
Word Got Around - feat. Dumi Right
Domination Recordings

Zimbabwe Legit - Brothers from the Mother Album
Glow in the Dark Records

The Last Eighth - Mercy feat. Dumi Right and Skillz
Rapattacklives College Chart #1, Rap Network National college chart #2
pH Music

Spencer Doran Remixes (Japan)
Outstanding
Sub Contact Records

Ssence Compilation (Japan)
Eye 2 Eye
Sub Contact Records

O.U.O Import Album (Japan)
King International

Zimbabwe Legit - Brothers from the Mother Import (Japan)
Mic Life Records

Zimbabwe Legit - Siyabonga Import 7" Single (Japan)
Mic Life Records

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Dumi Right and Pep are O.U.O., a pair of emcees who trace their lineage all the way back to Zimbabwe, where the two cousins began breaking and popping, before developing the rhyming skills that would carry them across oceans. Growing up, they drew on influences from the US and the UK, learning lessons from tapes of radio shows by the likes of Mr. Magic, Red Alert, Chuck Chillout and the UK's Tim Westwood; always dreaming of the day when they would play a role in the development of the music they loved. Now their music resonates from their current base in the DC Metro area through Virginia, Maryland, Philly and out to the rest of the world, where O.U.O. is developing a reputation for making hot tracks, solid music and ripping down stages, wherever they perform.

The long journey of O.U.O culminated with the release of their new album, Of Unknown Origin. The multi-faceted album is carefully woven together with a constant thread of ill rhymes and solid beats which permeate the entire record. Listeners are taken on a voyage through the highs of uptempo grooves like "Outstanding" and "Unorthodox," and then the captivating grind of tracks like "Yesterday" and "Came Too Far," which speak to the mind and soul, and paint poignant pictures of struggle and perseverance. Of Unknown Origin is an essay on life, love and the essence of hip-hop, with a variety of soundscapes and subjects that are sure to grab the ears of discerning listeners.

About Of Unknown Origin, WashingtonPost.com had this to say:
“O.U.O makes smart, stripped-down hip-hop loaded with captivating beats and enterprising lyrics.”

Shotgunreviews.com adds:
“Your ears are bombarded with meticulous metaphors, superb similes, and a deadly overflow of hip-hop quotables.”

Perhaps the online hip-hop site Platform8470.com sums it up best:
“… one of those albums that keep it real and make us proud to say: real hip-hop is still here. This is hip-hop like it was meant to be.”

Although this is O.U.O’s debut album, the two emcees are hardly new jacks to the business of music. Dumi Right got his start in the business when he and his brother Akim released an EP with Hollywood Basic under the name Zimbabwe Legit -- the first rap group from Africa signed to a major U.S label. Pep is also a longtime hip-hop practitioner and has a discography that includes tracks written and recorded with jazz great Hugh Masekela.

O.U.O was nominated for a 2004 Washington Area Music Award for best group in the hip-hop category.

For more information visit:
www.ouofam.com www.dominationrec.com