Omar Offendum’s SyrianamericanA //
Finely crafted, Arabic, English, internationally produced and unquestionably from the heart, SyrianamericanA — Omar Offendum‘s debut solo album — is a perfectly balanced musical clash of cultures. In 13 tracks, he drops knowledge on everything from history to politics to love and delivers it with wordplay. The concepts are elevated yet accessible, for the most part catchy and thankfully, never preachy.
One of my favorite things about the album, which he calls “a Nation-State-of-Mind where everything is connected and everyone is welcome” is how Omar truly breaks down the hyphen in his art — tastefully morphing Nizar Qabani (one of the Arab world’s greatest poets ever) into hip-hop – in “Finjan” – and arabifying Langston Hughes – in “The Arab Speaks of Rivers.”
And the production is solid. From the soulful “Straight Street” to the energetic “DC Guide” to the infectiously bouncy “Mother’s Day,” the samples are tasteful, snares tight, and bass lines groovy. The balance of raw hip-hop, Arabic, east coast and west coast vibes is nearly perfect — you can’t help but nod to the beat straight through.
Almost all of us are from somewhere else. And at some point we’ve all asked ourselves, “why live on either side of the hyphen?” and gone on to erase it and create some new identity. Omar Offendum’s SyrianamericanA is an ode to that, and one of the best this generation has produced.
Get the album here, and listen for yourself.
LISTEN: Omar Offendum – “Finjan” (DOWNLOAD)