Split between instrumentals and collaborative tracks with vocals, Chicago producer Odd Couple’s new album Chatterbox recalls a sliver of what some of us might consider the golden age of underground rap: The late 90s and early 2000s when producers like J Dilla, Hi-Tek, Madlib, and RJD2 (to name but a few) pulled together instrumentals and their rapping friends to make “producer” albums long before the producer-as-artist become de rigeur on Soundcloud.
Odd Couple’s sound blends the various styles that collide in Chicago, jazz influences and soul samples splashed against southern drums. Alongside instrumental standouts like “LightShow” and “DayDream,” the producer collected some of Chicago’s talented up-and-comers (Saba, Alex Wiley, Kweku Collins, Taylor Bennett, among others) alongside a handful of recent P&P favorites from across the country (Pell, Michael Christmas, WebsterX, Allan Kingdom).
“From the start I wanted Chatterbox to be kind of a journey for the listener,” Odd Couple told P&P. “I wanted it to start you at point A and end at point B and for you to be like ‘how the hell did I end up here?’ At the same time it was damn near the same way for me creating it. Working with all these amazing artists and picking up their vibes and bouncing inspiration back and forth is easily the best part about making an album like this. It also coincided with life a lot. I’m a completely different person than I was when I started it. It damn near came from a place of really having nothing to lose, and now as I finish it up, I’m looking back at the growth I went through as producer and person throughout the process and am just astounded.”
Stream Chatterbox below and download it here to get a special “box set” edition, including baseball cards of each of Odd Couple’s collaborators.