Id Obelus 88 Oranges

After the short intro to Id Obelus’s 88 Oranges, Paid Jah’s Earl Heinz Ketchup gets most impressive with his production for "Push the Button,” providing a beat to make any rapper look good; so Obelus decides to drop some slick observations on his post-9/11 world. It’s as catchy as you’re likely to find on 88 Oranges, although "Irrelevance,” with Tae Sun’s horn and conga-heavy beat married to Obelus’s self-deprecating braggadocio, and "Orange Everything,” with another triumphant Earl Heinz Ketchup beat for Obelus’s drug-induced theorising, are close on the heels in song order and enjoyment. Nomar Slevik’s Ghostbusters-reject beat for "Song About Psalm 101v7” continues the string of successes. In fact, the beats are most often well-chosen, and Id Obelus is a quirky but honest rapper that would fit well with Anticon or Plague Language. He touches on numerous topics: along with the politics of "Push the Button,” Obelus also raps about poverty ("Poor Mule”), the temptation to sell out ("M.C. Trustworthy”) and love ("Mrs. Starfish”). The sound is often lo-fi (but not gritty) and there is a very casual feel to the whole project that gives 88 Oranges an endearing quality. A very independent — and likely to be limited — release that is worth seeking out by those interested in hip-hop that’s outside the box. (Splitwood)