Opio Vulture's Wisdom Vol. 1

Opio Vulture's Wisdom Vol. 1
The first instalment of a collaborative trilogy with producer Architect, Vulture’s Wisdom is an exercise in brevity at 14 songs in 39 minutes. Aside from the seemingly gratuitous "About Love” and "Don Julio,” Vulture’s Wisdom Vol.1 has a unique flavour that tastes like a mix of ’90s rap and what rap will sound like in 2090. He maintains the same laidback, badass style he built himself on 15 years ago but the pillars here are highly electric. Sometimes his rhymes are too far gone: "Top of the food chain/Hopping out two plains/Hit the ground running/All you saw was a blue flame” ("The Prize”) isn’t half as intimidating as, "I live fast, you dying slow” ("Outside Looking In”). But while the rhymes are steadily clever and chock full of caustic attacks, the beats are constantly flipping, unexpectedly rearranging drums and samples to keep Opio on his toes. For the most part, Opio succeeds, most impressively on "Vice Versa,” where Architect throws a surprise at him every half-minute and not once does the rapper flinch. Even though Opio brings a wistful West coast vibe it is the innovation of Architect’s celestial production that excites the most.

What exactly is the vulture’s wisdom?
Me and Architect were sitting back and watching how everyone was talking about rap, like from a bird’s eye view. We have experience and with experience comes wisdom. We were looking at the game and how everyone’s talking about how there is nothing left, there’s nothing of any value here; it’s over. It seemed like everyone walked away from rap based on nothing, but we felt like there is something here. We can keep right here and swoop in with the vulture’s wisdom.

Architect produced Vulture’s Wisdom and the next two volumes of the already finished trilogy. When he comes to you with a trove of beats what are you looking for, or not looking for?
Dude’s like a beast. He has so much material. Whenever he’d come to me he’s got so many beats. I’ve sat there and watched him bang out four or five beats like nothing. So it’s never like he’s trying to push something on me. He’ll just come through and say, "Take these 20.” He’s got so many things going on that I can’t say what I’m looking for or not. Mostly what I want is originality.

What’s it like for you when the latest generation of hip-hop heads, who were barely alive in ’93, give you props for Souls of Mischief?
Kinda crazy. It’s like I’ve got the same fans that I had when I first started. All those cats that heard us back in ’93 were really bumpin’ it, and now with the internet, the new kids are bumpin’ it too. We never went in there thinking, "Okay, we’re gonna make some timeless classics.” We were just trying to be creative and elevate our style and the culture. (Hieroglyphics)