O.T. the Real – “Maxed Out” review

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.

Score: 4.5/5

O.T. the Real – “Broken Glass” review

This is the 3rd album from Philadelphia emcee O.T. the Real. Coming 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 an eponymous full-length debut & 2 EPs. His sophomore album Evil Empire just came out at the beginning of the year & celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Heatmakerz-produced The Irishman, but is now finishing 2021 by enlisting DJ Green Lantern to produce Broken Glass from start to finish

The title track is a cold blooded opener talking about coming up from the mud whereas the piano laced “Coke & Guns” with Benny the Butcher perfectly gets in their mafioso bags. “4 Wheeler” has a more drearier sound talking about being remembered when he’s gone leading into Millyz tagging along for the combative “Go to War”.

Meanwhile on “The Wheels Fall Off”, we have O.T. delivering a powerful piano ballad about riding until the end just before “The Details” has a more chipmunk soul vibe spilling his come-up on wax. Eto & Uncle Murda come into the fold for the downhearted “So Foul” calling out the industry, but then “You Do It” goes into a more bluesy direction talking about how there’s rules to life even though it ain’t no game.

“Serious Shit” hauntingly advises listeners that this is as real as it gets even though SKNJ’s verse is a bit underwhelming & the “You Are Who You Eat With” sequel is arguably better than the predecessor down to the organ-laced beat. The song “Philly Streets” basically tells you how it is in O.T.’s hometown over a groovy instrumental while the penultimate track is a wig-flipping freestyle lasting 3 minutes. The album ends with the guitar-driven “I Got You”, where O.T. pretty much looks back on his life up to this point.

I know I said that The Irishman was O.T.’s best work thus far, but he really might outdone himself on this one. The lyricism is continuing to level up at mindblowing rate & DJ Green Lantern’s production on here is much more darker than The Heatmakerz’ even though I love their signature sound.

Score: 4/5

O.T. the Real – “The Irishman” review

O.T. the Real is a 35 year old MC from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who started out in 2016 after coming home from prison & dropping his debut single “Papercuts”. From there, his profile began to grow after showcasing his skills on radio stations as well as dropping an eponymous full-length debut & 2 EPs. His sophomore album Evil Empire just came out a couple months ago & to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the East Coast up-&-comer is dropping his 3rd EP produced entirely by The Heatmakerz.

“Non Fiction” is a heartfelt opener as O.T. spits about drilling it out with bars on top of an exultant instrumental & then the next song “Restitution” talks about waiting when he wanted what was his over a morose beat. The track “Carry On” talks about the hustle forever continuing on over an affluent instrumental while the song “Connected” with Jim Jones finds the 2 saying that it’s all about connections over some bongos & faint yet beautiful harmonizing.

The track “Losses” gets on the romantic tip over a stripped back instrumental while the song “Hold On” with Joell Ortiz sees the 2 asking who’s gonna be there when the laws & drugs are gone over a wraithlike beat. The penultimate track “Streets Again” talks about looking for a way to get back on his feet over some hypnotic vocal melodies & then “Relationships” finishes the EP off with some exuberant horn sections as O.T. spits about having 33 on him like Patrick Ewing.

Despite enjoying everything I’ve heard from dude up to this point, he really outdid himself on The Irishman. Not just because The Heatmakerz gave O.T. a more refined sound in comparison to his previous efforts, but the songwriting on here is the best it’s ever been before.

Score: 4/5