“Are you a diamond, or are you a freak?” Embrace the question at the hands of BLK ODYSSY’s new album DIAMONDS & FREAKS…

Do you crave anything as much as the intoxicating and heady rush of falling in love? If your answer is a hard “yes,” then let us introduce you to ‘DIAMONDS & FREAKS,’ the sophomore album by Austin’s very own BLK ODYSSY. Following his impressive 2021 debut, ‘BLK VINTAGE,’ ‘DIAMONDS & FREAKS’ immerses you in a world that mirrors the experience of passionate love. Vulnerable yet evasive, BLK ODYSSY effortlessly mimics the way you can fall for someone sideways, just as desperate for more as you are to run to safety.

‘DIAMONDS & FREAKS’ is a 15-track concept album that tells the gripping tale of a man consumed by lust. Possessing an emotional range that draws deeply from chill-inducing melodies as it plays mischievous games with your emotional equilibrium. Presented as an erotic novel, the album is divided into four distinct chapters, each exploring BLK’s internal struggle between success and various addictions. Delving into the influence of religion, faith, family, and loss, all pulling him back to reality. Sewn together by the charismatic narration of Bootsy Collins and infused with captivating features from artists like Rapsody, Eimaral Sol, KIRBY, The Alchemist, Grace Sorensen, and STOUT. 

Among the remarkable features on the album, Rapsody’s contribution stands out. Exhibiting a softer, more funk-infused tone and showcasing a different side of her usual lyrical prowess, it’s clear to see why he broke her out for both ‘DIAMONDS &FREAKS’ and ‘BROKE FOLK FUNK’. Teeming with remarkable material and perfectly narrating the turmoil of a deeply erotic love affair, it might be overwhelming to pinpoint the standout tracks on the album, however, we have selected a few must-listens that include ‘DOPAMINE & HENNESSY,’ ‘ADAM & EVE,’ ‘HONEYSUCKLE NECKBONE,’ ‘DIAMONDS & FREAKS,’ ‘PINK MARMALADE,’ and ‘ORANGE WINE.’

BLK ODYSSY’s masterful use of instrumentation perfectly captures the emotive essence synonymous with funk and pulls it into a new alignment with his R&B and soul influence. This is most present in the way he incorporates a cornucopia of trumpets and saxophones which adds a unique depth to the album. Right from the introduction, BLK drags you into a nostalgia-infused experience with his raw vocals layered over ‘DOPAMINE & HENNESSY.’ As you progress to ‘SUMMER IN THE RAIN,’ you begin to notice the seamless flow between each track, when BLK ODYSSY decided on a concept album he did it with his whole chest and it paid off. Every song feels effortlessly interconnected and unfolds like a self-fulfilling prophecy. ‘MS SWEET TEA’ exudes all the refreshing energy of a sweet tea on a scorching summer day, while the plucked strings and harmonious backing vocals in ‘ADAM & EVE’ conjure images of angels serenading you as you sharply fall back to earth. 

The choice to develop this project as a concept album is a stroke of genius, most evident in ‘HONEYSUCKLE NECKBONE’ one of the singles released to tease the album. Bootsy Collins shines through, deftly weaving together unfiltered narrative with elements of choral harmony. The journey of the project is one of release, culminating in a relinquishing of self and a nestling in of acceptance ‘JUDAS & THE HOLY MOTHER OF STANK’ encapsulates this sentiment perfectly with its provocative statement of “seduction, seduce and then remove”. With all this in mind, it’s time to answer the burning question BLK ODYSSY put to us: “Are you a diamond, or are you a freak?”

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