The Golden Age of hip hop produced many vital recordings. But Brooklyn’s Omar Credle hit a four-run home run with his debut, Word…Life. He uses words to dodge and weave, boast, flex, rip, harangue, criticize and philosophize, to drop science and to drop knowledge. If you don’t know this album, you better get yourself back to school.

Freshness Quotient: Fresh as a baby’s newly powdered bottom.

The Skinny: O.C. is a member of the D.I.T.C. crew, (thats Diggin’ In The Crates, fool), but in terms of spitting, he carries the weight of the album himself. Nas was a no show at a recording session for the LP. Wait, what? Buckwild and Lord Finesse handle most of the production, but Organized Confusion give an assist, too. Know their names, people! DJ Ogee? Present!

Fruit of the Vine: “Times Up.” Word…Life.” O.C. thinks you need multi-vitamins, man, because you are for sure lacking in the iron and the niacin. He’s gonna be the coming like Noah. Shout out to Boo, for good measure, cause, you know, life is too short. You barkin’ up the wrong tree, homie. Any way, your aura is plexiglass, sucker.

Added bonus: Buckwild’s remix of “Times Up” transforms it into a whole new song. He brings the piano up front, loops it, and hammers the drums. It cracks your head like a 4×4, even more. Nod your head and sing along. Scratching? Buck is on it. Same old, same old? It is not.

Poetry in motion: Shake a leg/you’re fake while your concepts beg to be
heard/NED to wino, fed you what he said/Decided to take in all the gimmicky, (drunk imagery)/Trigger, drinking Hennessy psyched you up with energy/Think not, sucker/Stop, look, examine, I kick realities far beyond a cannon.

Class dismissed! Do not adjust your TV.