This is Dualeh Oke’s debut mixtape. Let that sink in for a second. The talented London-based rapper comes through with Oke’s Odyssey, an introspective, raw and honest project that highlights his talents as a musician. He had released just a few singles before the release of this album, which he celebrated last night at his listening party. Honestly, I was blown away when he said that he had been focusing on music for only about a year and a half before today. And yet here we are with a 7 track project that is both catchy yet raw and honest, capturing Dualeh’s true essence as a person and artist.
Oke’s Odyssey represents a time in Dualeh’s life after university, where he was trying to balance his kid-like energy with becoming a more responsible adult, working on himself and becoming a better human being as result. That high-energy comes through on this mixtape, and what I’m impressed with is his maturity on the mic, as he’s sounding as hungry as ever. “Oke’s Theme” properly introduces his story, coming through with that unapologetic, confident energy. “The Ride”, which is his lead single is a catchy, feel-good track, and a true highlight to this tape. “Highlight” features a French-based singer and rapper named Selektaa, who comes through with a sweet hook. “Demon Cycle” is another highlight… all the tracks are, but this one in particular is dope for it’s hook – “My demons come in cycles so I shake ’em like I’m Michael.” “Come Alive” is probably my favourite track on the mixtape, which features Richie Saps, who also produced the majority of the record. The beat features bass-heavy production with keys and synths that are present throughout, and it’s the slight beat switch that got me on my stank face again. The atmospheric production throughout the second half of that track is angelic, and a true testament to both Richie and Dualeh’s talents, being able to create a track that captures a mood that sticks with you after listening to it. “Baba, I’m Sad” is produced by Jay Prince, and ends on a sombre, yet optimistic tone, talking about his inability to talk to his parents about his deepest, darkest emotions. In the song, his father opens up about him feeling the same emotions, ending the project on a beautiful, humbling note.
Dualeh Oke really excels on this new project, being able to create a project that sounds defined, mature and memorable, which is impressive for a debut mixtape. Listen to Oke’s Odyssey via Spotify below, and make sure you support!