Los Angeles lo-fi producer Oliver Rodley teams up with Jurassic 5’s Akil the MC to release an uplifting, old school style hip hop/rap song, “The Top.” Packed with boom bap rhythms and a positive message, the song disperses knowledge and encouragement to anyone working toward something they believe in or working to making their world a better place.
With an animated music video (directed by Ethan Kinney) showcasing cartoon characters of various races and age, “The Top” is an open hand connecting all humans to truth and compassion, noting that we all need each other and if everyone looks for ways to help, as well as be open to receiving it, then no one could possibly be in opposition with each other. With this transference of positive energy, all of us would be better equipped to accomplish our goals.
“I think Akil hit it on the head with his lyrics, and we didn’t want to burden the video with anything too heavy, because the message is quite clear,” notes Rodley. “We are living in such challenging times and we all need help to get where we want to go, even if we have great confidence and self-esteem. At the same time, we need to encourage others to reach their goals, and sometimes we have to help them. It’s a two-way street, and the pandemic has made that reality even more evident.”
“The Top” follows Rodley’s “Sweet Green Tea,” an instrumentals only lo-fi stunner laced with piano and rooted in Jazzy undertones. Rodley’s releases prelude his upcoming album, Sweet Green Tea, out Sept. 24 via Underload Recordings.
Steeped in the expansive musical taste of his father and influenced by older musicians and current artists alike, Rodley’s work combines an ear for music with the learned knowledge and experience as a keyboard player, producer, DJ, music programmer and studio engineer — talents honed both at the University of Texas (B.S.) and at UC Berkeley (M.S.E.E.) where he earned degrees in electrical engineering. At its core, Rodley’s music links multiple genres to create a texture rich sound with powerful messages.
Words: Patti Sanchez