Opio, member of the classic hip-hop group Souls of Mischief, has released details of his sophomore solo album, Vulture's Wisdom, Volume 1. The album will include a bonus DVD with music videos as well as animated shorts and features artwork by renowned pop artist David Flores. The album will be released in August on Hiero Imperium Records as the first chapter of a forthcoming trilogy.
Vulture's Wisdom, Volume 1 is a challenge to bloated hip-hop. With production solely from Oakland-based The Architect, whose production credits include early Stones Throw releases, Coolio, Planet Asia, and Encore, the album has a deliberate focus on Opio's rhyming and artistry. With fourteen songs under 39 minutes, the album is a short and sweet collaboration of golden-era rap polished to a 2008 sheen. While current artists such as Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West have been appropriating the classic mid 90's sound, Opio says, "People are trying to tap into that energy, whereas I am that energy". This is no braggadocio. In fact, it is an honest self- assessment of what Opio represents in the world of hip-hop; he is a living legend that has been recording and touring consistently for more than fifteen years.
The idea for Vulture's Wisdom came about in conversations between The Architect and Opio after they met while sharing neighborhood studio spaces. The conversations sparked a flood of creativity from Opio, and as fast as The Architect could supply beats, Opio was penning lyrics. "We embody the energy that people are trying so desperately to recapture or reconnect with. We never fell prey to all the trappings of materialism. Our music has stayed true to the art form and this album is a tribute to that". The album includes a bonus DVD with 7 music videos as well as animated shorts. Pop artist David Flores (XLARGE, Stussy, Deluxe, Shorty's) provided the album artwork.
As a teen, Opio hooked up with local rappers Tajai and A-Plus, whom he met through Casual, another emcee who was Opio's classmate and neighbour. The three instantly clicked and began recording together, soon adding fourth emcee Phesto Dee, to form the group Souls of Mischief. Together with Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual, Domino, and Pep Love, the legendary crew Hieroglyphics was born. Opio has always done double duty for Hiero as both an emcee and producer. Opio's recent production credits include the track "Naked Fonk" from Del's recent 11th Hour. Opio's first solo effort, 2005's Triangulation Station, moved over 20,000 units.
Opio will be touring this summer and fall in support of the album with Hieroglyphics.