There’s an inherent nostalgia to Vast Aire’s OX 2010: A Street Odyssey. Not only does the title strategically allude to his seminal debut, The Cold Vein (as part of duo Cannibal OX with Vordul Mega), but the 15-track LP’s aggressive boom-bap backdrop and sinister cypher rhymes harken the days when street records ran the airwaves. At it’s best, it’s refreshing.

“This is the kind of life I live / We gonna put you to sleep and take your rib / We gonna fondle your wife in front of your kids,” raps Vast Aire over Kount Fif’s brolic snare on “The Man Of Steel.” Fif delivers again on “Nomad,” mixing a rumbling gem layered lovely with blippy, electronic intonations. It sounds as if it’s designed for teleportation - or at least for disregarding the speed-limit.

Aire’s innate eccentricity and metaphor-loaded lyrical utility belt keeps OX 2010 engaging despite it’s limited contextual range. His Addams Family extended reference on “Merry Go Round” - a Surock-produced soundtrack to VA’s twisted carnival - is a bit sloppy. But his Incredible Hulk/Deon Sanders flip on “Phenom” (produced by Harry Fraud) just may be the album’s finest:

“In the laboratory / Mixing up Gamma / Now my clothes is ready to rip like Banner’s / Now I’m dancing on the yard line like Sanders / Neon / You peon / Your arms is too short / To box / Dream on / You’re like pubic lice / You like to cling-on / ‘Cause I’m something like a Phenomenon.”


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