Now that I’ve had the chance to deep dive The Professionals album, it’s time to get stuck into reviewing the debut from the brothers Madlib and Oh No. I will state that ANY time an album is talked about for over a decade, it comes with some form of prejudice. We expect the fire because it’s been slowly coming to fruition – we’re only human after all. When you add into this mix that individually, Oh No is a killer on the mic and Madlib has done some incredible projects including working with Freddie Gibbs – expectations are high.

So here’s the good news – it doesn’t disappoint. This is a REAL hip hop album, cleverly blending soulful samples, banging beats and super sharp lyrical darts into as mini-masterpiece. That’s not to say it’s a perfect album (it’s not) but it has totally been worth the wait, exceeds expectations and delivers the old school sound in the modern day with ease. The brothers work well together – which is to be expected – and both have their moments of brilliance on the album. Often that’s on the same track, but other times one outshines the other which gives the album a little bit of a ‘rollercoaster’ style feel.

I feel given the opportunity, Oh No could have gone a hell of a lot more lyrical with some of his content. Not his wordplay or the lyrics themselves, but deeper into some of the social commentary he expresses. Take the album’s final track for example ‘Dishonored Valor’ which is a really insightful track about PTSD. More of these moments would have really taken the album to that ‘next level’ status. By the same token, Madlib delivers, but the overall flow of the album tends to just fall short of seamless with a few clunky moments that just take the polish off the overall product.

After banging this joint for a week now, I can’t say anything else but – I love it. Flaws and all, it’s an out and out thumping album which just grows and grows on you with every listen. The brothers did their thing, and the outcome is a very professionally delivered underground classic.

Bangers: Dishonored Valor, Superhumans, Timeless Treasure, Payday

Score: 8.5 / 10.

About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!