The Beneath the Surface Tour | Oddisee & Good Compny w/ Olivier St.Louis
DJ Unknown, the man behind the turntables and the MPC in the Good Compny Band, seamlessly stitched decades of soul, hip hop, and house music together as The Music Box in San Diego came alive on Friday, May 5th. Similarly, Oddisee’s music stitched together an audience that spanned generations and cultures in a way very few artists are able to do. The beautiful patchwork of fans moved to the cornucopia of sound that Unknown steadily poured onto the dancefloor; looking around, it was one of those moments when you realize just how powerful music is, especially as a tool for unification. In unified glee and anticipation, the crowd let out a cheer that must’ve told Olivier St.Louis that he was among family, and that his funky soul was more than welcome.
St.Louis, solo artist and member of the Good Compny Band, took the stage like a seasoned veteran, easing into a set that could easily carry him across the country, and around the world, as a headlining artist. Funk and soul from the spirit of Hendrix filled the room as Olivier St.Louis belted out with Good Compny backing him. Olivier made sure to keep the crowd engaged, incorporating plenty of call and response, banter, and storytelling in between songs, creating an experience that will certainly linger in the hearts of all in attendance. Olivier St.Louis’ sound that erases genre lines and blends styles was the perfect appetizer for an audience hungry for Oddisee’s unique blend of sound, introspection, social commentary, and worldly feel-good vibes.
There really is none like Oddisee. The peaceful war at work within the artist permeates everything he touches, from his sound, to his content, to his very presence. He is perceptibly an introvert whose contemplations and pinings would be out of place if they remained inside; they find their fulfillment when shared. And share he does. HERE he shares a bit about the aforementioned “war” within.
Oddisee and the Good Compny Band together is like a living breathing organism that inhales the energy of the listener, and exhales a message that changes people - music just happens to be the medium of the message. Oddisee’s joyfully serious demeanor had the audience “Digging Deep” from the jump, setting a juxtapositional tone and a high bar. Calling Oddisee’s stage presence and performance professional feels too sterile, but he is one of the most technically sound performers I’ve come across, and that near-perfection obliterates any obstacle that may otherwise stand between the audience and the content being shared. Oddisee and Good Compny proceeded to throw a party that celebrated the joyful pursuit of revolution, and the party’s banner read something like, “I love my country, hate its politics”. The image I was left with, and hope to leave you with, is that of the sincere peace in Oddisee’s smile, and the intensity in his eyes, a dichotomy that ought to make you grateful for where you are but leave you absolutely uncomfortable staying put.
Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,
Nate Whitsell, creator of sdloveshiphop.com, curator at ThBlog for ThChrch.com, and promoter of all things hip hop at The Music Box in San Diego, writes as a champion for SD's hip hop culture, seeking to see unity and progression in our city's scene, as well as exposure for our artists locally, nationally, and globally.
Nate is a husband, father, middle school English teacher and an aficionado of quality music. Hip Hop has been instrumental throughout his life, playing a huge role in his choice of English as a major at SDSU, how and what he teaches, and continues to push him as a listener, creator and writer. As a journalist, he hopes to cover Hip Hop the way it ought to be written about, both critically and skillfully, with reverence for its past, acceptance of its present and hope for its future.