Review – Othello & DJ Vajra ‘The Required Taste’
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With The Required Taste, veterans Othello and DJ Vajra are coming for the number one spot. What the listener can expect is soulful, jazz infused hip hop paired with conscious wordplay. It’s a project that will definitely cater to those starved for the classic, golden era sound.
Othello, perhaps best known for his work with Lightheaded, seems to thrive when working with specific producers. He and DJ Vajra, a gifted turntablist and beatmaker who handles all the production on the album, tap into their funk and soul roots to create a sound that is both mature and expressive.
Stand out tracks include Active Balanced, Trust, Great Divide, and John and John, which touches on the topic of relationships and their many pit falls. Othello is at his best when expounding on themes such as pride,control, and infidelity, advising the listener to be mindful of the relationships they get involved in. Ya Did It To Yaself, another gem, features Othello singing over jazzy horns. Then you have Power Moves, an upbeat track that makes you want to dance. We’re Coming, which blends in a beautiful guitar sample, does a great job at highlighting Othello’s smooth flow, which, at times, is reminiscent of an early Mr. Cheeks.
Notable features such as Lightheaded cohorts Braille and Ohmega Watts, the gifted Theory Hazit, Now On, Mayer Hawthorne, and Stro The 89th Key, give The Required Taste a complete, well rounded feel.
All in all, Othello and DJ Vajra have delivered a unique project. The rhymes are creative, the message is clear. And it’s one of the few this year poised to bring real hip hop back.
1. Were Coming
3. Same Team Suckas Ft. Theory Hazit
4. John and John
5. Connect For
6. Power Moves Ft. Ohmega Watts and Braille (Of Lightheaded)
7. The Flavor
8. Listen Ft. Bary Hampton
9. Road Letters
10. Active Balanced Ft. Now On and Mayer Hawthorne
11. Great Divide
12. Trust Ft. Stro The 89th Key
13. Ya Did It To Yaself Ft. Ragen Fykes
14. Its Ft. Dminor