From the first moment we heard Ocean Drive, we fell in love with Athens experimental hip-hop act Wesdaruler. The brainchild of Wesley Johnson, he’s been quietly releasing digital singles and albums for the past decade. With Ocean Drive, he gives the world his debut proper. It’s a stunner, too; while it references hip-hop and rap, it’s an entirely different beast. Rapping over jazz rhythms, lackadaisical vocals, and a general mellowness makes Ocean Drive sounds familiar yet unique. One could make comparisons to the works of the so-called Native Tongues movement, but Ocean Drive is sample free. One could also compare to Guru’s Jazzmatazz and US3‘s jazz/hip-hop fusions, and one wouldn’t be wrong, either.
Ocean Drive is an album that requires nothing more from its listeners than an open mind and a sedate setting. It’s a truly brilliant chill-out record, something to soothe your soul after the end of a long and hard day. It’s also great music for after-hours listening, a perfect soundtrack for the end of the night/beginning of the morning.
Whatever what you choose to use it, Ocean Drive offers delightful groove and thoughtful rhyme, but more importantly it signals the official arrival of a young talent worth keeping an eye on.
Purchase Wesdaruler Ocean Drive: HHBTM / Bandcamp