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DOOLEY-O: OG Status (2013) + ‘Back To Basics’ video

There’s no doubting Dooley O‘s credentials as a hip-hop legend: the first man to sample Skull Snaps’ It’s A New Day break over two decades ago, producer of cable access show Graffiti TV, mentor figure to Stones Throw label founder, Egon and producer of and rapper on two (until now) critically acclaimed classic LPs – the slept-on Watch My Moves and the superb I Gotcha – one of the monkey’s favourite ever hip-hop LPs. He’s original alright. Gangsta though? Well – this is hip-hop – allow a rapper a little swagger. And you will find swagger on third album OG Status though the overall vibe is subtly different to his previous efforts.

Lyrical content ranges from social observation (Back To The Basics, Nobody Smilen), weed-rap (Space Ride) and, of course, battle rhymes like Hip-hop Warriors and Word To The Man where he effortlessly busts out couplets like “They walk around, gangstas in they Timberlands/ Really tennis-racket niggers hanging at Wimbledon.” creating a sense of a retired OG dispensing wisdom to the young and impressionable in the ‘hood from the – er – hood of his vintage 70s Chrysler. Or perhaps from that time-honoured social secular pulpit – the corner – a place, incidentally, hallowed in Common’s 2005 hit The Corner. As it happens, the sound of that track (minimal but heavyweight boom-bap) provides a handy referent for the vibe on OG Status. Ironic really since while Kanye West (for it was he who produced The Corner) was standing on the shoulders of the previous generation (like Dooley) for that beat, Dooley, at that time, was on a more uptempo and funky ’89 style trip. On this drop however, the production is heavier, the humour is less overt, the tempos are generally slower and you’re as likely to find snatches of jazz, smooth soul or classical piano samples being used. Still – as our man points out on single Here We Go, “This is underground shit right here not disco.” Players below plus video for Back To Basics…
(Out now on Sleediz Records)

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