West Baltimore rapper OTR Chaz recently released his “Longwood Legends” EP, co-starring frequent collaborator, Roddy Rackzz. The name of the EP honors the Northwest Baltimore street that Chaz calls home.
Chaz’s tendency to blend his crooning of slurred words with his storytelling separates him from his peers, and “Longwood Legends” is more of what we expect to hear from him moving forward. Sonically, Chaz may remind some of newer Atlanta-based artists due to his melodic style, but his use of local slang is reassuring enough for listeners to recognize he is from Baltimore.
The EP opens with “1722,” a gritty instrumental with repeating hi-hats. He doesn’t waste a breath as both of Chaz’s verses are assorted in very compact rhyme patterns. From there, though, the remaining production on “Longwood Legends” takes a different turn.
On “Addy Family,” Chaz details the current happenings in his everyday life over Dboi’s bright production, and his sing-song style showcases his pop appeal. The true highlight of “Longwood Legends” is “Real Luv<3,″ also produced by Dboi. It’s nothing more than Chaz pleading for reassurance from an unnamed woman to remain with him while he continues to hustle and better himself, but the method of delivery is ear grabbing. The instrumentation is bass heavy, but the main focus is Chaz’s voice as he toys with several different cadences throughout the song, specifically during the hook and the end of both verses.
The appearances from Roddy Rackzz on the EP’s single, “Breath,” and “Pour Up 4″ are tradition at this point; the two already have a collaborative project and appear on each other’s music so much that they’re often thought of as a duo. “Breath” is an especially solid addition to their catalogue. Roddy tends to use a fast-paced, punch-heavy flow, which is still heard, but the subject matter he raps about here is more heartfelt than his usual materialistic flexes. “Pour Up 4″ is a celebratory track, but both artists still take the time to acknowledge their journey, and how much more they have to accomplish.
“Longwood Legends” doesn’t break any new ground for OTR Chaz, but he has a distinctive formula that can’t be replicated, and the outcome tends to always be a solid project. Here’s hoping that the next full-length album is just as good as the EP.