Ode to the Ghetto is Guilty Simpson's debut LP, but independent hip-hop fans will be familiar with the cocksure delivery of this Detroit-bred affiliate from the work he did with the late J Dilla. Check "Clap Your Hands" from the Chrome Children comp for an airtight testimony of a guest spots-heavy résumé, or even beatmaker/emcee Black Milk's standout "Sound the Alarm" for the expectedly slick drop-in from Guilty. Ode's production load was mostly spread to his friends (J Dilla, Black Milk, Madlib, Oh No, and D-12's Mr. Porter), but the crisp beats don't overshadow Guilty's flow. There's plenty of hood talk here, such as the threat-peddling that takes place on "Robbery," and disappointing sexist complaints on "She Won't Stay at Home." Guilty's animosity shouldn't surprise his admirers, because he's carried an anvil-sized chip on his shoulder since his warpath on Jaylib's "Strapped," and, well, just because he's underground doesn't mean he's friendly. But his passenger-seat commentary on Ode is just as prominent: terse and spirited observations over Madlib's rattling "Pigs" rhythm (which doubles as "Freeze" on the producer's Beat Konducta in India [Vol. 3-4]) and Black Milk's melodic "The Real Me" backdrop should snag Guilty some indie ascendance if his colorful drop-in list hasn't already done the job.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.