Walter J. Liveharder and Jed Sed are back with another full length LP inspired by the legendary Wes Anderson of course! Lets Not Make This More Difficult Than It Has To Be is already the duo’s 2nd LP release of the year! This record is the follow up to We Haven't Located Us. O.R. They? Once again feature DJ Alo for their scratches and the project is fully produced by Mike Redenz. The front cover is an original illustration (done by Kip Irish) of Bill Murray and Jascon Schwartzman from the iconic art house film, Rushmore. Their uncanny ability to fuse their own mythos with the unbridled comedic lore of the Wes Anderson film catalog is incredibly impressive. Their records are about a lot more than just their favorite film director, but their attachment to high art cinema gives any listener an interesting draw into the universe of O.R. They?
Jed Sed’s voice begins the record chock full of puns and references, something that I really like about these cats is their ability to incorporate references that tie all of their influences together. “I throw these Carole Baskins a Kosher dog, I went into your house of Cards and left the toaster on, looks like you’ll have to find another way to post your blog.” I'm not even sure what this means exactly and that’s what I love about their hip hop, the replayability factor, art you don’t understand requires your attention again and again over the course of all time. Anything you can EASILY understand won’t be timeless to me. I’m not listening to simple hip hop hits from 2010-2015 so I beg the question if you’re reading this to reexamine what timeless means to you, and then maybe you’ll discover a hidden gem of art or music in your own backyard. “Self portrait paranormal, all from paranoia and yes I am official because of you I stay informal, you should be more private, let me do the corporal” another dope line from Jed Sed. An interlude sampling what I assume to be a Wes Anderson film before Walter J. Liveharder’s voice comes in saying “Took a Poll(pull) off the liquor, then quoted Max Fischer (main character, Rushmore), (nice nurses uniform guy) no one got the joke go figure” Walter J. Liveharder immediately making a movie buff giggle when coming in with fire lines over the beat. Is This The Adventure is a dense intro track for the Chicago based art rap duo.
Views Are Better Above Ground is track number 2 of the project beginning with Walter J. Livehard referencing the new Wes film, The French Dispatch. The production on this album is a throwback to old school boom bap beats which I absolutely love. “O.R. They? On your brain like we’re attached with a chin strap, you fall for a fish trap, couldn’t keep the beat with a click track.”
A dope DJ scratch comes in right after the gruff voiced Walter J. Liveharder raps that line. “Meanwhile O.R. They? Fantastically functioning, keep the chatter alive, like wives when they’re munchining” raps Jed Sed.
Track 3 features the legendary rapper and producer Tony Baines titled, i Think You Still Have Lightning In You. Tony Baines was a gentleman I met while attending Columbia College Chicago who schooled our whole class on hip hop. Years later seeing him featured on this project is super cool for me as a hip hop head. This record seems to center on the theme of not letting age get to the grind and passion for pursuing hip hop. And as I’ve said before, the 2020’s are for the old men in the rap game, and examining the industry with a fully wide lens, I’m literally not wrong. Tony Baines compliments this track with an incredibly smooth Chicago style rap verse.
“Old People, Who Have Failed” is track 4 beginning with a Jed Sed verse, followed by a solid verse from Walter J. Liveharder. This song seems to slightly contradict the previous record having a cynical and sardonic perspective of being an old man while pursuing the work that makes one a man. “Got an eye on you Fetty Wap, Jedi Mind, you don’t need to know how we identify.” rhymes Jed Sed. “Every man has got a code, every man has got a path, one day maybe we’ll appreciate what you have…”when the cops scream freeze, some ran, some froze, a tale as old as time, that’s how the story goes…”a diva when i whip it, bending quarters like Beckham.” Love these references from the dynamic cinema rap duo! Especially the Beckham line, Keira Knightley favorite, still!
So Many Things We Don’t Know About Each Other begins with another movie sample I can’t quite identify but it mentions being in the nuthouse. A dope interlude record to prepare the listener for more witty gems from O.R. They?
Before The Age Of Obedience is an even more lyrically complex record entry from the Wes Anderson inspired duo. Walter J. Liveharder’s verse is ridiculously dense with the poetry. Jed Sed follows it up with an equally complicated entry, and they both add a bit more uptempo cadence in their flow on this record. “Hello there, we ain't going nowhere, we fight for our right to live this life so don’t go there, we don’t care, we don’t scare, it's the brave that stay what can i say but hello there? We ain’t going nowhere!” The hook is a positive mantra that reinforces and manifests the longevity of O.R. They?
The Chessboard Revolution begins with another movie sample before beginning with a Walter J. Liveharder verse. A groovier style of record on the album, I can see people really getting down on this song before even realizing the comedic genius of the lyricism. “The order at Rushmore must be restored, these transgressions will not be ignored.” This song is hilarious if you’re familiar with Max Fischer from the film Rushmore being involved in literally all the school's clubs from fencing to chessmaster.
Jed Sed begins rapping a whirlwind of references and punch lines in This Is Gonna Hurt. Walter J. Liveharder and Jed Sed trade bars on this track, I love hearing their voices go back and forth with their signature rap style. There’s also a really fun music video that was put out a couple weeks ago to this record.
Did You Ever Have A Touch To Lose, Man?; And The Beginning Of The End Of The End Of The Beginning closes out the album with more wittily complex verses, scratches from DJ Alo and powerful punches from Jed Sed, Walter J. Liveharder, and a guest verse from the talented, Collasoul Structure!
When I received this wonderful project in my email, it was pitched with this touching letter from Walter J. Liveharder explaining the pure love for music and performance these gentlemen have, the love for their craft, and the raw drive for pursuing hip hop no matter what. Every lyricist dreams of playing bigger rooms and getting their messages felt by people in real time, if I can help push the careers of these dangerously talented emcees, I will. Who knows, maybe their music will be soundtracked for the next iconic Wes Anderson production, if you enjoy O.R. They?, let's speak greatness into existence.