Oldominion was a giant crew of hip-hop affiliated artists that assembled into a colossal rap group in the late ’90s. The group’s first single, Don’t Kill Your Radio appeared in 1999 on both CD and wax format.
The A-side of the vinyl starts with the vocal version of “Don’t Kill Your Radio,” and Oldominion immediately moves to capture wordy, thesaurus-rap territory in a literary land grab. These are very atypical rap lyrics here. “With bloody Carrie walking down the path of a pet cemetary,” is a good example, dropping a couple of Stephen King references. You won’t hear raps about blunts, cars, sex, jewelry, and the typical materialism found in a lot of hip-hop. Instead, these MCs spin colorful yarns and mini-vignettes which keep your ear wondering what they will say next. “Don’t Kill Your Radio” ends with a very metaphysical quote about positivity and negativity, wait for it. Instrumental and acapella mixes are included here for the DJs.
Side B features “Understand This,” maybe the smoothest of the three tracks here, but like all of Oldominion’s material it’s still a bit harsh-sounding. The group embraces paradoxes, “The closer you come, the further away you get,” is one of many examples found here. The last cut, “Ego System” contains more of the same out-there, conceptual lyrics like, “I wrote this song with the world on my back, because I took it back from Atlas and destroyed the Zodiac.” The beat on “Ego System” arrives suddenly with tense violins, eventually adding drums and finding a chaotic equilibrium. Instrumental versions of both songs are included here adding value to the twelve-inch.
Don’t Kill Your Radio features many of the rappers in Oldominion, including Destro, Nyqwil, Onry Ozzborn, Pale Soul, Sleep, and Snafu. Just like Wu Tang Clan, Oldominion built a solid foundation as a huge crew, and then various members and groups broke off and recorded numerous side projects over the next decade. Written by Novocaine132