O.T. the Real is a 36 year old MC from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who came up in 2016 after coming home from prison & dropping his debut single “Papercuts”. His profile began to grow from there after showcasing his skills on radio stations as well as dropping 3 full-lengths & 4 EPs so far, my favorites of the bunch so far being the Heatmakerz-produced The Irishman & the DJ Green Lantern-produced Broken Glass. But fast forward 5 months later since we last heard him, O.T. has recruited Boston veteran Statik Selektah behind the boards for his 4th album.
“Loyalty” is an airy boom bap opener declaring trust being everything to him whereas “Make It Count” works in a symphony providing words of wisdom for the listener. “Revelations” feels like something out of an Italian mobster flick talking about disclosure just before [Statik-Free] tags along for the soulful “Hardcore” spitting that rugged street shit. Meanwhile on “Turned on Me”, we have O.T. on top of some pianos & dusty drums taking aim at those who betrayed him leading into Merkules coming into the picture for “The Bottom” to talk about never forgetting what having nothing feels like over a cheery instrumental.
G-Weeder definitely has the weakest feature on the album with “Treachery” even though I like the production & the concept of deceiving people, but then “Windows” has some jazzy undertones talking about his coming up. The penultimate track “Came Up Fast” incorporates an operatic vocal sample discussing his meteoric rise in the underground within the last year or 2 & finally, “History” ends the album with an organ advising to check his resume.
I think O.T.’s been putting out some of his best work within the last year & you haven’t checked him out based on The Irishman or Broken Glass yet, then PLEASE give Maxed Out a listen. Statik remains one of the most consistent producers in hip hop today & O.T. continues to put his life on wax ever so sincerely.