Listen: OOH, “Hometown”
OOH, a member of the long-running local hip-hop band Brown F.I.S.H., has been trickling out great solo tracks like “Pink Money” for a year or two now. And now it looks like he’s finally going to be collecting them on a proper solo release, an upcoming EP called The Big 7. That news comes with an incredible single produced by Dukeyman, “Hometown,” which sidesteps the usual bland attempts at chest-puffing Baltimore anthems that local rappers crank out on a daily basis by commenting on the city with warmth, humor, and brutal honesty.
Over Dukeyman’s thumping beat with a plaintive piano loop and a rapidfire 32nd note hi-hat pattern, OOH opens “Hometown” with the line “Baltimore ain’t been the same since Odell’s been closed.” But by halfway through the song, the tone is less nostalgic or pessimistic than an exhilarating rush of conflicting emotions, as he hollers to the producer, “Duke, I feel like I’m on the elliptical or somethin’, yo! I start talking about my city, I get these goosebumps!” It’s hard not to get caught up in the moment right with him, even when he stops ad-libbing and just lets the gorgeous instrumental play out for a full minute at the end of the track.