At least at first, Peterborough rapper Fresh Air comes off on his new album as a blissfully braggadocious, vaguely sophomoric, and occasionally misogynistic man, superficial and simple in his desires. “Pussy, money, weed—that’s all I need,” he proclaims on “Higher Axis.”
But as the album progresses, this simple philosophy starts to feel more like the hard-won teachings of a man who’s lived a life, and now wishes only to communicate his strategy for success. “Guard Up” serves as an anthem of inner strength in an uncaring world. He addresses Black Lives Matter and police violence on “Smoked Out.” Songs like “Pressure” and “Moment” speak to an inner conflict about how men treat women.
Fresh Air is clearly a rapper with issues on his mind—and a twisty, clever flow and smooth beats behind him. “You know I’ve been here before,” he says on “Old School,” “so you better let me in.”
Fresh Air’s Oddball Slang is available for purchase on Apple Music.
Images courtesy the artist.