I’m not sure hip hop was ever not cool. Oddisee, at least, has been impossibly cool for as long as I have been aware of him.
Oddisee has long been one of the most entertaining producers in ‘underground’ hip hop. He seems to be working constantly, with a bulging discography of soul-inflected, classic-sounding records. His Odd Seasons collection – four records, one for each season – is particularly good.
His 2009 album Mental Liberation has just been rereleased, along with rediscovered bonus material. The opening track, ‘Hip Hop’s Cool Again’, is an early high point; the head-nodding beat is characteristically compulsive, and Oddisee sounds particularly lyrically at ease here.