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Album Review: Propaganda & Odd Thomas "Art Ambidextrous" | Plus Album Download

Ambidextrous is a unique word. First off, it’s a extremely long word and hard to spell. However, being  ambidextrous makes someone unique. One definition of ambidextrous is “the ability to use both hands equally well”. It also means to be “unusually skillful at something”. These are key things to remember as you think of Propaganda and Odd Thomas new project. They are both ambidextrous “painters” as they show us the canvas of “Art Ambidextrous”. This name even has a ambidextrous “double entendre” (pun intended)  within itself. One hand has producer Odd Thomas and the other has hip hop artist Propaganda equally having a grip of what hip hop should be on this project. Also, Propaganda is a very skillful hip hop artist that shows “both” sides of life as art-the good and the bad/divine versus sin. Let’s take a look at it now.

This is a very moving song about understanding “The City“. This track teaches the listeners that you create your outcome in life and not your surroundings. You don’t have to conform to what everyone else around you is doing. This track is very inspiring for anyone who feels trapped within their surrounds and allows “the city” to define them. Favorite bar:

“YOU CANNOT TELL ME THAT POVERTY,IS BIGGER THAN SOVEREIGNTY”

Propaganda flips his style and gives us a true west coast banger on “So Help Me“. Odd Thomas shines on this production. It has a eastern feel and goes well with Propaganda’s flow. There are so many pictures he paints with his imagery , this track makes you feel as though Propaganda deserves to be called “the West Coast Nas.” Favorite bar:

“I DON’T CONDONE GHOSTWRITING UNLESS IT’S THE HOLY ONE

Propaganda gets a little dark on “Lean“. His cadence is flawless and the ambidextrous tag team style of Propaganda’s flow and Odd Thomas production make this exciting to listen to. Propaganda’s storytelling skills are great on this song. Favorite bar:

“BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE, LEARNING HOW NOT TO CUFF THE MIC”

Propaganda comes with a gripping story of broken families on “Inheritance“. It touches on the harsh reality of what happens in so many single parent homes, but also shows the father’s viewpoint. A father that is actually working at making the situation better viewpoint. It also shows the importance of holding on to your “seeds” and how important they are to your future….hence-your inheritance. Favorite bar:

“HOW SOMETHING SO SINFUL, 9 MONTHS LATER GOTCHA BLISSFUL AND IT’S NOT AS SIMPLE”

I Hate It.” I have to say that this is my favorite song off of their project. I wouldn’t call this track a diss song (even though Odd Thomas gives that old school battle beat style on the track), but it’s a “conviction” song for all the people he is calling out. I love how he steps out of the typical box of race and religion and speaks truth. He speaks militant, but also speaks in love-which is so hard to do. This is a REPEAT OFFENDER. I LOVE “HATE IT!”! Favorite bar:

“MARRIED OUTSIDE MY RACE BECAUSE I DON’T SEE COLOR/NEITHER DOES HIP HOP ODD THOMAS IS MY BROTHER”

Change This World (Featuring Braille & Alert),” Propaganda goes off on a slight classical mixed with rock beat from Odd Thomas on “Change The World“. The only problem on this track is that it feels that it’s too short. Favorite bar:

“GOD LEAVES YOU JAIL BROKE LIKE MY IPHONE”

Beautiful Pain” is a excellent track showing  the term “oxymoron” to the fullest. This is also another one of my favorite tracks on the album. Propaganda touches on the beauty of our “war wounds” from living and gives the track a universal feel. Favorite bar:

“HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE, SHE WAS PROUD OF HER STRETCH MARKS”

The wordplay on “Dig” is great and is also another album favorite. This is a very motivational track and teaches us to continue to push or dig until we get to our goal in life. This is a very powerful track and is a REPEAT OFFENDER! Favorite bar (Its a four way tie):

“SHE’S A JEWEL IN YOUR CROWN, DON’T TRADE A MILLION DOLLAR FUTURE FOR FOR A NICKEL RIGHT NOW”

“ME, THE SON OF A 9 TO 5ER/CIVIL RIGHTS AND VIETNAM WAR SURVIVOR”

“I DESIRE A HIGHER OUTCOME THEN WEED GET YOU/FORGIVE ME IF I DISMISS YOU IT’S NOT TO DISS YOU”

“I’M NOT THE ARTIST, I’M THE CANVAS/REMIND ME OF MY OWN WORDS EVEN THOUGH I CAN’T STAND IT”

How does one say or “Como Se Dice” feelings of love in poetry? According to Propaganda…he can’t. Within the track he searches for the best simile and words to describe his feelings and gives on of the best spoken word love songs ever. The production has a eerie, but peaceful vibe that sounds almost angelic. Favorite bar:

“IT AIN’T NEVER FELT RIGHT, YOU FEEL ME RIGHT?”

Art Ambidextrous,” All I can say after listening to this song is “WOW”! If you’ve listened to the album thus far and didn’t have a full grasp on the meaning-it is perfectly broken down within this track. I love how he gives shot outs to the “lefties” (R.I.P. Citizen Aim and Oscar Grant). Propaganda makes a sad, but true, statement of how certain stories aren’t good enough for news headlines. This song is a sermon and hip hop quotable all in one. Once again Propaganda shows his “West Coast Naz” feel on this track and just blows any and everyone listening away.Favorite bar:

“BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, WE BRING ART FROM THE OTHER HAND/ POWERFUL BRUSH STROKES FROM THE SON OF MAN”

Overall, I give this album a 4. It is full of great lyrics and messages. At times, it may get too deep for the average listener. Some people may get thrown off by the spoken word tracks, but many need to embrace other aspects of hip hop other than your typical 16 bar song. Odd Thomas shines with his different styles of production and really makes this album feel like a west coast-classic hip hop album. Propaganda’s style is so unique and needed in hip hop right now. His militant, yet loving, mentality is the lacking in music now. He lives up to his promo video for the album (My next Record). This canvas is worth looking at. Spread the soup.

Editorial Note: The views of Chican George do not necessarily represent the views of para-DOX parABLEs but the author. His contributions are appreciated. Follow @ChicanGeorge on Twitter to find out what he’s got going on his world.

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  1. [...] Album Review: Propaganda & Odd Thomas “Art Ambidextrous” | Plus Album Download (paradoxparables.wordpress.com) [...]

  2. [...] Album Review: Propaganda & Odd Thomas “Art Ambidextrous” | Plus Album Download (paradoxparables.wordpress.com) [...]

  3. [...] Album Review: Propaganda & Odd Thomas “Art Ambidextrous” | Plus Album Download (paradoxparables.wordpress.com) [...]

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