The Professionals – Self-Titled review

The Professionals are a hip hop duo from Oxnard, California consisting of Oh No on the mic along with his older brother Madlib on production. Both of whom have made household names for themselves in the West Coast underground in their own rights. An album together has been long overdue in my opinion & has been hinted at since 2008, but it seems like we’re finally getting it a little over a decade later.

After the “My House” intro, we get right into the first song “The Pros”. Which is a very short but gritty way for the duo to reintroduce themselves to the listener. The next track “Payday” of course talks about making money over a nondescript instrumental while the song “Give N Take” tells the story of Oh No trying to sleep with a woman at 3am over a somewhat funky instrumental with this vocal sample relaying in & out like a radio transmission. The track “Superhumans” with Chino XL & eLZhi sees the 3 comparing themselves to superheroes over a haunting instrumental while the song “Buggin'” talks about people annoying him over a somber beat.

The track “CDP Breakdown” talks about wanting to fight someone over a grimy boom bap beat while the song “Timeless Treasure” gets conscious over a tense instrumental. The track “I Jus Wanna” talks about wanting to relax over a mellow boom bap beat while the song “Away Too Long” talks about the rap game over an extravagant instrumental. The track “Make Due” is a dedication to people putting their last buck on trying to get it over a gorgeous instrumental while the song “Tired Atlas” is another politically charged cut much like “Timeless Treasure” over a hypnotic loop. The album then finishes with “Dishonored Valor”, where Oh No talks about the soldiers who went A.W.O.L. over a vintage sample.

I personally have been waiting on this album for a long time & now that we finally got it, it’s not as perfect as I’d hoped yet solid. Madlib’s production is creative always & Oh No’s rapping is sharp, but it could’ve used a couple more features in my opinion. Nonetheless, I’m still happy with the outcome of what the 2 legendary Oxnard siblings did together.

Score: 4/5

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