Omni Ballyhoo

Expanding out in all directions at once, that’s what Los Angeles-based Omni has done to separate himself from the pack. Already, he has the Deep Space Nine beats and scientific/philosophic flow working in his favour. He rifles off rapid-fire verses, letting lyrics dash from his mind to his mouth, scripting some compelling free-form poetry at warp speed on "Daily Hustle.” Members of Lootpack (Wildchild) and the Freestyle Fellowship (Mikah Nine) make guest appearances and enhance the effort, especially when Fatlip ponders having cold cuts for dinner on the hook for "Feel How I Feel.” "City 2 City” features an ethereal beat, courtesy of Tradd/Afterhours, which features a spine-rattling riff from an electric guitar. Earganic handles most of the album’s production, providing the sinister undertones that bubble under the surface of Ballyhoo’s almost psychedelic West coast drone. "Coca-Cola” comes off as a thin-veiled, but humorous ode to cocaine abuse. Despite its lack of gravity groove, and the inspiration it obviously owes to Amsterdam and weed, Omni anchors Ballyhoo to a reality accessible by most. (Kajmere Sound)