THE ODDITIES CD release party with Rikoshay , the Pangea project and DJs Grouch and Circle Research at the Reverb (651 Queen West), Friday (February 20). $5. 416-504-0744. Rating: NNNNN
Now that they have access to Swollen Members' oft-referenced arsenal of lyrical swords, dragons and mythical cauldrons of medieval rap terror, the Oddities might just be worthy adversaries for the Wu-Tang Clan. That's right, y'all, the Oddities just got signed to Battle Axe.
"I love that. Let's go with that, though I don't know if I could take them in a fight," exclaims Psy, one of the group's five MCs, over the phone from his crib in the 416-dot.
Madchild, Swollen Member and CEO of Battle Axe, had wanted to expand his label to the East Coast for some time, and with the Oddities he saw his chance. For Madchild the businessman, it was a power move. But for Madchild the sorcerer of rhymes, it may have been a sour move.
The Oddities are inching into the spot Swollen Members once occupied as Canada's hardest, heaviest hitters of fun party rap.
A neck work out on wax, the Oddities' first full-length record, The Scenic Route, catches MCs Bookworm, J-StaRRRrrr!!!, Sny-Whip, JSN JNS and of course Psy, at their tightest and most hysterical, over some of the brightest production this side of Eglinton West. No wonder their reps are growing bigga.
"If we could match the size of Swollen's impact, that's great," says Psy. "That would be beautiful. We've been getting pretty much good responses from everyone. I don't think our sound is like Swollen Members, but in terms of having an accessible style and an impact that can hit all across the country, sure, we'll take that."
While moving from mix tapes to CDs, radio to video, Oddities to commodities, the group is constantly confronted with the fact that one of their members, a certain Sny-Whip, also happens to be erstwhile MuchMusic VJ Rainbow Sun Francks.
"Some people think, -Oh, he's a TV guy,'" Psy concedes, "but you know what? Before Rainbow ever got on MuchMusic, he already had two tapes circulating around the underground in Toronto. His first joint came out back in 96 or somethin'.
"It has a certain shock value, too. People might look at him and take him with a grain of salt, but then he comes up and spits fire, and people are like, -Whoa! This dude can rip!'
"Much makes it even better because, though it's not like we're the Much group or something, he was able to throw his face out there, make some connections and do good for himself.
"Hopefully, that will translate into doing good for us, too.