Ogre Man – Unhappy Gilmore 3.5 – Album Review
“And if you ain’t know by now, you bout to know right now regardless.”
That’s the word from DJ CAYNE on the way into the new record from Ogre Man, Unhappy Gilmore 3.5. I definitely can’t argue that point – after listening, I feel informed…I at least know30% more about what I should know about than I did before I started listening. I don’t know if I didn’t fully know before, or if I only half-knew like a tidbit or two, but I definitely feel like I know now that I’ve listened to these new cuts from Ogre Man and a whole posse of featured talent supporting him throughout his latest album.
So take it from DJ CAYNE when you listen to the “Intro” of Unhappy Gilmore 3.5, the man speaks truth.
“The Industry’s Problem” immediately makes an impact. Using a sample from Korn’s “Freak On A Leash” to create a menacing atmosphere, Ogre Man sounds large & in-charge right off the drop with massive doses of confidence dripping from the mic. Using lyrical imagery & clarity to his advantage – a lot of the way this cut communicates so directly reminds me of good ol’ Public Enemy…I mean…you can hear that serious & gripping tone of voice from Ogre Man and the clearly knowledgeable mind that’s at work here – well ain’t that similar to Chuck D in a way? Or several ways? Several right ways – how about that? That’s my opinion…I think “The Industry’s Problem” comes out sounding absolutely wicked and the extreme way that it’s chopped-up & transitions makes for a bold & fresh sound that hits the mark. It’s not typical…it’s really interesting to listen to in the sense that the hooks are damn strong to begin with, but also because it takes some serious chances on how the song is broken up at times, so early on the record. While there’s a chance that might not have worked from the idea on paper to the reality in the studio – Ogre Man knocks this out of the park by giving your ears something they can really chew on.
LISTEN to the art of the rhyme on “You Must Think RMX” featuring #Skoundrellife, Killa Kyleon, Chase Pat and Mz. Trinity – I don’t fully know who is responsible for what, but when everyone brings their A-game, does it matter? Everyone on this cut deserves serious props for a job more than well done – this is completely exceptional in every way possible and a massive highlight early-on in Unhappy Gilmore 3.5’s set-list. Where to start here? I essentially love everything that’s happening here from the glitch-filled opening and record scratches, to the smooth drop into the beat, and then C’MON PEOPLE – LISTEN to the way the vocals start flowin’ here! It’s as sick as it gets, all the way through this cut – every emcee is focused on how to hit those bars with serious rhythm…the way the flow moves is a hook of its own. And then…THEN…like, as if things weren’t going well enough already, the chorus of this cut is so amped-up and in-your-face that if it doesn’t make you wanna smash something in celebration, you’re listening to it wrong. This is what energy and character on the mic is all about – and that’s what I’m saying when I’m talking about how singling any one of these emcees out wouldn’t even do the track justice – it’s the fact that every last one of them puts their maximum into the microphone that makes this cut amazing.
That tough-tone launches into action one again on “Step In My Square” featuring Don Claude, as Ogre Man details one helluva night. Kinda got a Ludacris-like vibe to it, only noticeably ten-times harder – talking flow, not intentions. “Step In My Square” proves that Ogre Man has got plenty of fight in him – verbally these emcees throw punches with every word, landing lyrical-shots straight to your dome. The beat’s equally menacing to set the tone for this cut and Ogre Man & Don Claude keep the threats coming…errr…well…they’re more likely promises. You see that’s the thing…you COULD assume that “Step In My Square” is ONLY a song…but I dunno…sounds pretty damn REAL to me – I’m just saying if you wanna test that theory, you’re on your own. Sounds like they mean every damn word they say. Step to these guys and you’re playing with your life homie, that’s all I’m sayin’ – the rest is up to you. Personally, I’m a lover not fighter (just kidding, I’m not good at either) but I gotta say, I dig the commitment here and the seriously entertaining vibe that this cut creates…I mean, this is ATTITUDE in music people, you feel me? I think this crew deserves some credit for really hyping that up here.
I dig it when you can hear that old-school flow creep into Ogre Man’s rhymes, like you can on “I Got Juice.” I don’t even know if the man can help it – he might very well just naturally come to that similar cadence to Biz Markie from back in the day, with the tone of Chuck D when he’s at his most serious, and on a track like “I Got Juice,” he’s almost heading into that transformative & imaginative sound that Kool Moe Dee brought to projects like Funke Funke Wisdom. I’m assuming that a lot of that is also due to the work that DJ CAYNE is putting into the mix as well…you can hear that creativity working overtime on “I Got Juice” with its Frankenstein-esque sounds, brilliant record scratches, and insightful editing – you get a real respect for where Hip-Hop has come from on this cut. Hooks are strong, the bars are solid, the beat is tight – “I Got Juice” takes you on a smooth ride at high-speed, putting out a perfect vibe to take that murdered-out whip you got waiting to take out on a Friday night to go rip and own the road. This is what you want as the soundtrack for that moment…it’s cleverly low-key & chill but still fully intense.
“Ray About His Regal” featuring #Skoundrellife was one of my favorite cuts from Unhappy Gilmore 3.5 – I totally got into the sway of the lyrical-flow and insightful amount of details that you’ll find in the words. The quality on this record has been impeccable…from Ogre Man on his own, to tracks like these where he’s collaboratin’ – you really gotta hand it to this crew for keeping the focus up and their game sharp. The work has been put in, and the results are spectacular – vibes like “Ray About His Regal” are insanely cool…whether it’s the words that catch your attention or the smoothness in the sound of the music, this cut’s got a wildly relaxing & chill approach that connects and draws you right into the details being spit. The hypnotic style of the music & beat, combined with the personality on the mic…it all adds up to a highly absorbable and accessible atmosphere that surrounds you with extremely inviting sounds that let you slip right into “Ray About His Regal” without hesitation.
There are a few times where you do get that similar feeling to the flow of Ogre Man’s rhymes…which is partly a stylistic choice I’m sure – but also something that I’d recommend seriously standing back from and listening to objectively…because there’s definitely still room to get even more creative there in the future. That being said, it’s kind of hard not to chuckle a little at the words on “Know A Little Freak” – and if coming out with something like this means we get a familiar flow to go with it, so be it, it’s worth it. Even DJ CAYNE shouts out a warning at the beginning of this one, so don’t claim you weren’t told – Ogre Man is keeping it X-rated on this cut. He gets…hmmm…let’s just say really fucking graphic lol – he definitely ain’t holding nothing back in this load of lyrics, he’s blasting verbal-nut all over this track. He’s callin’ himself “Dr. Hedicksher” on “Know A Little Freak” if that gives you any indication of the direction that this track heads towards. I ain’t gonna lie, I know full-well there’s a market and an audience for this – there’s tons of people out there that would dig this for how shocking it can be, the humor that springs up, and the straight-up unfiltered frankness of it all. Ogre Man sure as shit ain’t shy, this much is clear. But as it runs into “Ogre Of Lust,” that’s where you begin to notice that similar flow in the pace, tempo, & metering…back-to-back, that can be taking a bit of a chance, but at this point on the record if you’ve stuck around it’s cause you definitely dig what Ogre Man has been throwing down on the mic to begin with. So in a way, there’s no serious harm in that, but again, I’d encourage the main man in charge to take that step back to really look at that need to go rhyme-for-rhyme line-for-line, because there very well might be another unique way to approach the bars that might even satisfy Ogre Man more as an artist and push him to that next level. I mean, there’s lots of ways to look at it…there’s no way you could listen to “Ogre Of Lust” and not know it’s Ogre Man – it’s identifiable AF…either through the flow or through the lyrical content. Facts is facts…you can audibly recognize this emcee on the mic and there’s always something to be said for establishing that – but even beyond the sound of his voice, if you’re listening to the content that this insatiable poon-hound is rapping about, you can’t mistake this guy for anyone else out there right now and that in itself, is a serious accomplishment. So even though there are times like “Know A Little Freak” and “Ogre Of Lust” that come out sounding similar in the rap – it’s equally justifiable to look at that as a clear advantage in creating an identifiable style people will remember. And besides, Ogre Man has ALWAYS got something wild to say when it comes to his rhymes – one way or another, there’s genuine entertainment happening here & a ton of reasons to listen.
There’s definitely an argument to be made for everyone stayin’ in their respective lanes – you know you’re in for reliable entertainment when it comes to the collaborations on Unhappy Gilmore 3.5, feel me? You’re gonna get incredible lines from Ogre Man, you know that DJ CAYNE has got a grip on the music & beats every time, and whenever a guest-star pops up, it provides that diversity in the flow that we’re often seeking out as listeners. Pharoah Da Don for example – this emcee ‘keeps it pimpin’ seven days a week’ on the incredibly chill vibes & sound of “I Don’t Tricc” – I mean, just based on his apparent work-ethic alone you’d want this guy on your side in the studio, but it’s the fact that he brings real flavor and character to the mic as well – that’s what you want in a collaboration. Hooks are strong, delivery is solid all the way through, super-clear in the mix to make sure we catch everything these emcees got to say to us. Great balance in “I Don’t Tricc” overall – between the clever lyricism, the enticing hooks, and the ridiculously smooth music that hypnotically drives it all forward, I honestly couldn’t decide between which part I thought brought more to the cut…everything comes out sounding just right on this track.
“Cipher III” features a whole posse once again, creating a larger-than-life experience on this cut that passes the mic between several emcees all making the magic happen. I don’t know if I got all this right or not, but it sounds like Ogre Man is looking to out-do the rest when it comes to how wild he’s willing to get with his words – like, did he just mentioning reaching into a woman to snatch out a fetus, add salt & pepper and make someone eat it? I might be trippin’ but likely not – it’s something close to that…so again, if you’re somehow unclear on the lengths that Ogre Man will go to shock you verbally…ain’t much else that could be said after you hear his bars on “Cipher III.” Between guests #Skoundrellife, Zulu Bison & B.Y. The Fly Guy – there’s plenty to listen to and a diversity in both the sounds & subjects that come pouring out of these emcees. From political lines, to socially-aware content, to the sexual antics that Ogre Man brings to it – they collectively roll through bar-to-bar bringing their own personality & perspective to the mic, which gives “Cipher III a versatility that seriously satisfies. Listening to emcees that all have undeniable skills like these guys do, trading the mic between them, I mean, it just WORKS. What “Cipher III” doesn’t give you in straight-ahead hooks, it instead supplies the spark & interest from the continual passing of the mic and the electrifying energy they all bring to it – this is real Hip-Hop right here. Accessibility-wise, probably a cut that’ll have to fight a bit harder for attention overall in those first couple spins on this record, but I think it’s gonna be a track that really holds up time & again and captures your attention more & more as you repeat the Unhappy Gilmore 3.5 experience.
Bringing out hooks created out of the Stonecutters episode of the Simpsons, things get pretty wild on “We Do” featuring #Skoundrellife. DJ CAYNE has been mixing up quite the recipe for theatrical madness on “We Do” – and you can hear these emcees rise to the occasion in the tempo & pace of their rhymes on this cut alone. Like, the first set of bars and verse to follow that occurs in this cut, RIPS by at lightning speed, getting more impressive by the second. Takes more than a minute to get to the meat of this cut as it transitions…but listen to the way that, like, all of a sudden you’re just IN IT; you’ll wonder how you got there so quickly after the switch happens and you’re right in the thick of Busta Rhymes-esque warp speed words flying at ya. With the addition of the sample on this cut, it’s safe to say that you’d expect an Illuminati comment or two along the way – and they’ll certainly drop a couple…it’s clearly a sly reference to the secret societies that are running the place. If you dig into that topic, you’ll find a lot here in the lyrical content of “We Do” – I might not have time for Illuminati theories (which I believe, usually implies that I must be a part of it?) but I do dig hearing a heated emcee on the mic and you get plenty of that on this cut, no matter who is on it. Add in the natural hooks from the Simpsons sample…and I’d assume that whether people are kept awake at night by the Illuminati or now, there’s plenty of ways into this track to enjoy it on several levels.
Unhappy Gilmore definitely plays like a mixtape & all-out live experience, fueled often by the clever samples added in by DJ CAYNE. There are times where it does wear a bit…maybe a bit trigger-happy on those Hip-Hop horns in terms of how often they show up throughout the record…but I dunno, I think there’s something about the way he’s used them that also adds a real cohesion to this record. Usually, I don’t feel that way…I’m not big on advertisements on who created the beat at the beginning of each song, that kind of thing…but between the smart way that DJ CAYNE has threaded the flow, edits, samples and chops throughout this record in its search for a diverse & imaginative sound, he’s really made it all sound like it belongs to part of the same experience overall. Whether or not Ogre Man is spittin’ out tales & details of extreme sex acts, or the vibe switches up to a threatening sound like he finds on “Saw VIII” featuring #Skoundrellife – the music and lyrics have found brilliant ways to complement each other along the way, matching the energy and atmosphere insightfully well. Loved the way the samples are used in “Saw VIII” – loved the continual roll that the vocals & rap go on…from the wicked flow in the first set to the wild’n’out personality on display in the second one, the whole track gets deadlier & adds more mayhem into the mix as it plays on. Really effective track – the beat is perfect, the menace in the atmosphere surrounds you, the lyrics are graphic & clear, the story is…well…okay the story is pretty grim, but what did you expect in a song that’s got samples from the Saw movie series in it? “Saw VIII” delivers on its chilling potential…it’s an evil cut that has a psychotic narrative and a beat that pulls you right in to its darkness…like it or not, you’ll want to listen to this. And like I was saying before – there’s completely an audience for this…what’s happening here on “Saw VIII” in particular, has an angle & depth that most emcees won’t dare to reach for, but they’ll sure listen to it.
Believe it or not – eating a fetus on “Cipher III” or the menacing-meets-haunting vibe of “Saw VIII” STILL ain’t the full maximum strength of just how dark Ogre Man will take his lyricism – that’s what “My Basement” is for. This is DARK. I mean…I got a pretty strong stomach for almost every subject out there and I’ve clearly heard music of all kinds as a reviewer…but I gotta say, this one might have been too much for even yours truly. On the one hand, I admire the commitment, because this song sounds wayyyyyyy too real; on the other hand, due to its lyrical content, it’s as twisted as it gets because it sounds wayyyyyyyy too real! Tough one…I think that the beat works, I think the flow works, I think the story sticks to you like the worst parts of the evening news and is highly memorable…but yeah…I mean, it’s a bizarre notion perhaps that this might become one of the most unforgettable experiences on the record. You gotta ask yourself if taking bitches down to his basement is what this emcee wants to be remembered for, you know what I mean? “My Basement” is a really strong tune from its execution to its shocking lyrics – even the deadly use of like, a nursery child’s toy in the vibe…it all creates one of the creepiest tracks you’ll likely ever hear. I can’t advocate on behalf of lyrics like this of course…like I said, this is intense even by my own standards…but like I’ve claimed throughout this whole review, I know there’s an army of people out there that would totally love to hear something as twisted as this. It’s the confident and self-assured tone that really becomes the part of “My Basement” that’ll make you verifiably queasy – it’s the kind of track you certainly hope is somehow fictional, yet the way that it’s spit, that bold tone, focus, and commitment here…it makes this experience so real it’ll stick to you.
Staying on the offensive, #Skoundrellife shows up once more at the end of Unhappy Gilmore 3.5 to lend a hand as Ogre Man takes them into battle one last time, charging forward with “Gun Powder.” Lots of explosive dynamics in the music and on the mic to make for an ending that more than satisfies; there are a few moments along the way where I felt like I wanted one or two of those gunshots to start earlier or last a bit longer, but props to the idea itself. I like how these bars were often fused to those effects & samples being used along the way, like a place to pivot, shift, and spring-off from verbally as the shots ring-out along the way. After the heavy vibe & dark themes of “My Basement” – I gotta say, the opening sample from George Carlin was a welcome addition as well. It takes like, zero time at all for “Gun Powder” to get serious though, dude all yellin’ at us & shit as the track begins to morph into the main beat…after that, it actually gets even more intense. Let’s face it – “Gun Powder” sure ain’t makin’ an argument for any kind of disarmament unless it’s coming through emptying every clip along the way. So…there’s that! The verse just past the 2:30 mark that rolls into the third-minute…seriously gripping stuff, highly skilled, blazing speed, plenty of character and charisma on the mic…definitely a highlight set of bars on this song & on this record. But then…like…LISTEN to the final verse on the fourth-minute as this story comes to an end – because there is genius stuff happening both in the lead and the background that bring “Gun Powder” home to roost in your speakers with a verbal reckoning.
Wild stuff! I don’t know if “Gun Powder” will completely dissolve the uneasy feeling that “My Basement” will likely leave you with beforehand…but it does create a solid ending to what’s been a seriously focused and entertaining experience on Unhappy Gilmore 3.5. Whether you know him as Earl Ray Da Ogre, or Ogre Man, or the guy that uses ‘that voice guy’ on his tracks – he always supplies cuts you’ll remember and a perspective in music that’s unafraid to dive into the darkness & get right into the grim & gritty with no apologies or fucks given to what anyone might think. Salute to that – respect!
Find Ogre Man at DatPiff right here: https://www.datpiff.com/Ogre-Man-Unhappy-Gilmore-35-mixtape.890103.html