Monday, October 24, 2016

O'hene Savant has not 'A Lack Of Convention' in the clear-minded album éclat

A Lack of Convention by O'hene Savánt
While the portrait of hip-hop's true nature gets obscured and falsified by media-created creatures like Drake, Young Thug, Future and still others, bands of noble artists keeping the music grand and pure are deliberately pushed out of view by the ruling commercial classes of America and the other first world states. Atlanta producer, rapper and multi-instrumentalist O'hene Savant (pronounced Oh-hen-knee Sah-vahnt) is one of those good true-schoolers in the game working to preserve hip-hop's greatness. His second album of 2016, A Lack of Convention (May 4), follows a number of other projects (including Os The Great And Powerful, Illuminated, I Am Ohene, etc.) and offers clarity on examining life so that it remains worth living and a deep, inquisitive look at how people conduct themselves and how they should, if they're not doing it the right way already. He spends the rest of his time spitting some boasts and hard remarks of I-told-you-so, not to mention bluesy notes on desertion without love, but his tremendous, indelible rap-flows of élan and his intimate productions reign very prominently. Come because of the hype but leave a real believer.

O'hene's awesome lyricism and twinkly beat in "Ntro 2 Aloc" deliver him out of his shell, and again his real awesome raps and rhymes help him to give others notice of his rising come-up and to leave behind folks that never helped him along the way and people riding on his coattails now. "Login Out" and "Silence in the Morning" are elected as the album's two love-blues songs, grieving and mourning dying love and the absence from an ex-lover's departure. They're blessed with E. Snipe, Sheda B and Joey Bean Little, who with O'hene are fully devoted and indescribably expressive poetically. In between them coincidentally, the funky "Femp," or the "female version of a pimp," cuts in to warn of these times' ultra-independent woman. After the hot, creatively narrated foreplay of "Misty Love" with razzBearry Vonté, the dreadfully important "Speak The Truth" describes how the financial elite directing quote unquote advanced society from up high are intentionally keeping the masses down (through entertainment among everything else) so they can continue to steal all the wealth and power of the world in dark secret, under concealment. The specific example of overseer control and domination from which O'hene derives his true conclusion has to do with music and the consumed arts being dumbed down to keep the people stupid so they won't get smart, wise up, rise up and lead lives counter to the wishes of demonic corporate forces.

"IDC" runs free into a fun wander through the realm of not giving an f over funkedified talk-boxing. It's the type of song that people in-the-know will understand in terms of what O'hene is thinking, but it would have helped if he made it a little clearer that it is the little harmful insignificant forms of hogwash in life that he is saying "I don't care" about there. In the satire of our society's focus on ego, selfishness and self-centeredness called "A Theory of Mine," O'hene leads us to conclude on our own (self-discovery) that the key mentality is for community, connection and common sustainable values. In "Pro-gress Music," he is fed up with the reoccurring stagnation in the black community, showing very tough love and sharing the fact that progress starts as a mindset, and in "Cesare Borgia," his super conscious flow dances on time with the rhythm of his trained piano fingers. A Lack of Convention is simply outstanding from top to bottom. The wisdom is striking with O'hene's perfect delivery and the music is hip and painstakingly made to mesmerize. It's bound to come out in the wash for 2016 as one of the best efforts of the year, as we'll soon enough see. O'hene Savant is a savant in a handful of technical art and music areas, but the idiot type he could never be.

5 out of 5 stars

(Review by Alex originally appeared on on May 10, 2016.)

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