Outside family acts, most artists diligently try to avoid associations with more successful siblings who work in the same field, but hip-hop producer and MC Oh No, aka Michael Jackson, seems to have no such qualms. His brother Otis, aka Madlib, produced five tracks on Jackson’s terrific 2004 debut, The Disrupt (Stones Throw), and Madlib collaborator J Dilla produced a sixth. Much like his brother’s work, Oh No’s tracks on The Disrupt are an invigorating mix of quirky but soulful samples and dry, overlapping rhythmic loops that lurch, weave, and sputter in a way that sounds organic and flexible. Both trade in stop-start rhymes as well, and though neither is a strong lyricist, Madlib has settled on his own style; Oh No is still developing his. But working the same territory as his brother has provided him with a good model, and The Disrupt was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable hip-hop albums I heard last year. Diverse and Thaione Davis open. Thu 7/21, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/B+.