UK-based producer Big O has been hard at work with a slew of instrumental and collaborative projects over the years and now he cements it with his latest album entitled In the Company of Others. The 16-track body of work is a testament to Big O’s production prowess and knack for weaving soulful samples into boom-bap, and trap with multi-genre stylings. Over the course of 59 minutes running time, he brings along a solid team of artists from the US to the UK who help bring the project to life with their rich lyricism.

“Where We’re Meant to Be (Intro)” sets the tone with its solemn and reflective soundscape with some words of wisdom from Trell Money and Abel Boquera. It’s a declaration of being content and making the best of one’s situation. On “A Cause for Concern”, P-Rawband L.O.U. join the fray and share their respective experiences in this thing called life. The track has a sombre and reflective vibe and it’s bolstered with scratches by gman who helps tie it all together. This is followed by “Seen it all Before” featuring Lomax and Cosm who take us deep into their world over Big O’s scenic soundscape made up of nostalgic textures and solemn pads. Lomax leads the charge with his insightful look into his past followed by Cosm’s vivid storytelling of the happenings in his neighbourhood and the many characters who fell on the wayside.“Generational Curses” starts off with a vocal snippet from writer James Baldwin and switches into a melancholic string-laden backdrop that is underpinned by the vivid lyricism from MC². The rappers proceed to break generational curses with uplifting and aspirational lines like “Trying to be immortalized, I look into my daughter’s eyes and tell my son just like the sun, the fate that he was born to rise/ these curses don’t define me/I shine the light through the blackness and come and find me”. The trio of Dray Taylor, Lynx 196.9, and Nique Robinson team up with Big O on “Vantage Point of View”. The soulful tune sees the artists sharing their perspectives on the lessons they learned from their mothers which translates into their relationships with women, and how these gems helped them survive life’s daily troubles


In “Ms. Takes”, L.O.U., Frannie El and P-Rawb are the main characters who help set the tone with their insightful take on the concept of broken love, making mistakes and finding the right steps to rectify the situation. G-HOLY goes for a solo mission on the mid-tempo and groovy “Win or Lose” . Here, G-HOLY delivers the goods with “If I could rewind time, I wouldn’t, and that’s on all the work that I put in/I never let them take it light putting my flesh belong to the Earth” and reminds us that he is always focused on the grind and nothing can detract him from his goals. “Seasonal People” flips a classic soul sample and pairs P-Rawb and Rxlph for a heartfelt and reflective track that explores friendship and how time changes people for better or worse. “The Company We Keep” sees B. Chaps, Tyler V, Rhakim Ali and Ohzhe teaming up to share their perspective on keeping one’s circle close and staying weary of detractors and naysayers. Bolstered by Big O’s moody pads, and resounding bass-heavy backdrop, the emcees hold nothing back and hit the nail on the head with their unapologetic take on the topic. The track is peppered by a soothing melodic chorus as well. “Green with Envy” starts off with a snippet from Jordan Peterson which talks about true friendship which sets the theme of the song. The emcees Maine Soul and Dankery Harv give their own perspectives on the topic and remind us of what true friendship should look like as they try to survive in the proverbial concrete jungle. “Dark Bright” pairs L.O.U. and P-Rawb once again for something refreshing as the duo gives us much-needed light in these dark times. Over Big O’s dreamy and melancholic backdrop made up of rich melodic vocal samples, and rich textures, the emcees give us an unadulterated look at how tough life can be but the only way is to find the light to continue to move on.



The duo of rapper C. Roots and vocals Shari appear on “Wishing Well”, a melancholic piano-driven track that sees the rapper reflecting on his life and the many decisions that put him in dire straits. Shari adds her off-kilter melodic chorus to tie it all together. “No Regrets” is a feel-good and somewhat celebratory track that brings Tranzformer, Fashawn, and 3D together to reminisce on the good life after a hard time grinding. The production has a classic Summer West Coast bounce and fits the rapper’s stylish flows and vivid lyricism. B-SKE and vocalist Shari are on the “Grind” and they let it known from the jump. Shari leads the charge with her commanding melodic vocals and asserts it in the chorus “Not gonna stress about you haters/Staying ten toes down/Nobody made us, we don’t care/We got it from the ground”. B-SKE then peppers the track with his laidback and distinct flow.

The project closes out with “The World is Mine” and “Farewell & Good Night (Outro)”. The former brings together Loki Loko, YungLean, Gotham Green, and Groove. The track starts off mellow with ethereal and solemn pads that slowly build up into a downtempo groove. The emcees here, are in their element and share their thoughts on taking their destiny in their own hands and going all out to achieve their goals and secure the bag by all means. The former is as solemn and reflective as they come and ends with a befitting closure as a mum puts her baby to sleep and implores the baby to wish everyone a wonderful night.


Overall, In the Company of Others does a wonderful job by giving listeners a plethora of topics that they can relate to. From love, friendship, personal loss, and self-doubt to aspirational themes, each track has something for the listener coupled with the excellent production by Big O, we get a fully-fleshed cohesive project that doesn’t stray from its core message.



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