OC has long been one of my top 5 favorite emcees while I would place his D.I.T.C. crew as the best crew in hip-hop, next to Wu-Tang Clan. Earlier this year he teamed up with producer Ray West and his and AG's label Red "Apples 45 to release an excellent nine tracks deep EP called "Ray's Cafe". Feaaturing nothing but laid back, jazz inspired grooves and smacking hip-hop drums the EP was filled with positive vibes and addictive sonics; creating an image of a smoky ol' jazz café where OC is both the toastmaster and the emcee. To me OC sounds rejuvinated throughout, effortlessly rhyming about various themes and the occassional classic battle rhyme. For me it took a while to grow on me, but once it did I realized just how good it actually was.
Originally releaesd on 12" EP, iTunes (with the brilliant bonus closer "Just Cause"), and cassette, the CD release dropped September 2 and fleshes out the 26 minutes, nine track record with five additional cuts recorded during the same sessions (including the beautiful "Just Cause"). These songs features some true gems including "After Hours" and "My Hearts in the Streets", though it also features the cheesy "Learn Lessons". The best part is that it kicks up the running time with 10 minutes, making it an, albeit short, long player rather than a slightly long extended play. For those of you who have already got the original copy the extra bonus tracks are being released by RedApples on . Buy "Ray's Cafe" CD @ UGHH or the five track EP "After Hours" which drops November 11.