Before hip hop exploded on the internet, Oliver Wang was posting a lot on the Usenet, had his own radio show, and was doing some freelance work. Today, his work can be seen in a number of publications, both offline and on, and his radio show continues to gain fans. His mix tapes have always been a personal favorite, and after hearing them off and on over the years, he has released one of his best.
Before hip hop exploded on the internet, you had to buy your mix-tapes the old fashioned way: on the streets or at your local hip hop mom & pop store. These days, you can find the sloppiest DJ’s releasing tapes that sound like 8th generation Salvation Army cassettes, with duct tape over your mom’s Hall & Oates album. Let’s say the art of the mix tape has weaked over the years, especially when people like Doo Wop, DJ Clue?, and Funkmaster Flex were consumed by the mainstream. Oliver Wang, known to many as O-Dub, knows that a good quality mix tape is about actual “mixing” and not yelling over the top of your lungs, giving shoutouts to your barber. O’S DUB VOLUME 9 is one of the best mix tapes I have heard in awhile, because it has all the right elements: lots of new material (and the occasional “soon-to-be classics), nice blends, and a few surprises here and there.
Let’s face it, if you can’t blend two songs right, even in this cut-and-paste world, forget it. O-Dub only plays what he likes, and this double tape has some great material, including Ripshop’s “Crabfakers”, K-Otix’s “World Reknown”, 7L & Esoteric’s “State Of The Art”, Dilated Peoples’ “Triple Optix (Remix)”, Breakestra’s “Getcha Soul Togetha”, Joey Chavez’s “Worldwide II”, and Lyrics Born’s “Always Fine Tuning”. One song I had ignored before was Q-Tip’s “Lets Ride”, but within the mix it sounds like classic Tribe. The overall feel of the four sides is great, you just want to drive all day and night listening to this. What took me offguard, and what made this tape become a “must-have” item, is his mix of Lyrics Born’s “I Changed my Mind”. At the end, a blast from the past comes in the form of Y’All So Stupid’s “Van Full Of Pakistans”, the title track from one of my favorite hip hop albums of all time. It is mixed in within “I Changed My Mind”, but it’s one of those “what comes around goes around” things that makes you go damn, I remember that.
O’s DUB VOLUME 9 works as a great sampler tape, for all those times you wanted to hear a record but didn’t want to spend the bucks on the 12″. O-Dub may not be known as a mix tape master, but his tapes have always been worth the hard time he puts into it. Before you make a fool of yourself, buy a copy and learn how to do it correctly.