Street Hop Magazine

"Underground Hip-Hop Blog" Exclusive Q&A Interview Session w/ Oddisee this past week caught up with with D.C. based emcee / producer Oddisee (member of Low Budget Collective) for another exclusive question and answer session. Some of you may know him from his work with Talib Kweli, Wordsworth, Little Brother & DJ Jazzy Jeff. Oddisee is currently working on his debut album entitled “People Hear What They See” which will be hitting stores sometime next yeat. He sits down with Rap Talk to speak on his new album, his thoughts on Hip Hop right now and what sets him apart from every other producer out there. Make sure you check out the new track from Oddisee 101 “A Song For That” at the end of the interview.

Dub MD: Oddisee, What’s good?
Oddisee: I’m good man same’ol same, beats, rhymes and life. In the studio now making new beats to shop and working on a few projects of mine.

Dub MD: For those who don’t know, could you just give a short review of what you’ve experienced in your rap career up until now?
Oddisee: Well, If there was a blue print to the hip-hop artist experience, I guess I’m following it accordingly. I started off rhyming and peddling beat tapes at open mics, working and recording with anybody doing anything in the DC metro, taking trips to NY only to be told my music “wasn’t there”, returning home getting my music “there”, finally getting music placed on projects, getting a deal to do my own projects, doing my own projects, touring, getting better deals, making enough money to live…I guess I’m at the point in the blue print now where I’m suppose to blow it says. (laughs)

Dub MD: Coming from Washington D.C., what do you think of the D.C. music scene right now?
Oddisee: I think it’s amazing, it always has been. Our problem was to many sub genre’s to unite and no regional identity of our own. Being in the mid-Atlantic we’re not southerners but we’re not northerners either, so you have a large pallet of musical styles that develop in the DC metro area. Some will go dirty south with theres, some gangster, some pop, some go-go and then there’s folks like myself who went “underground” for lack of a better word.

What’s happening now is that DC is forging its own proud identity and all of those sub-genres are starting to fuse together. The music and the talent has always been here, with a marketable sound the industry will soon follow.

Dub MD: What do you think of the commercialisation of Hip Hop right now, do you think its showing respect to its pioneers?
Oddisee: Hip-hop is in a dangerous place right now. In this day and age we’ve been fortunate enough to have numerous examples of the rise and fall of musical genres. Everyone is trying to predict the end of hip-hop not realizing that we are manifesting it’s death everytime we utter “hip-hop is dead.” The lack of subject matter with substance on the main stream level contributes to it’s slow demise and so does the constant bitching of underground artist. I’m sure you can name a dozen underground songs and artist who do nothing but write about how hip-hop is suppose to be and sound.

As for our pioneers I think the industry does what it can. there is no retirement plan for active hip-hop pioneers, it’s up to us as fans and listeners of hip-hop to keep them relevant and appreciated. We truly exist in an industry where you are only as good as your last song. We have to insure that, that last song echo’s through our air waves for ever and that future generations know who made it. I’m sure a kid born in 2000 knows who Michale jackson is but they might not know the Rakim.

Dub MD: Do you have a new album / mixtape in the works? what’s it called? and what can heads out there expect from it?
Oddisee: Right now I’m working on my first official solo album! (says with excitement) It’s called “People Hear What They See”. I’m working to create an album that provides a visual experience. Visual stimulation and fabricated street reps seem to be all people respond to today. Either that or some bullshit hipster approach where I ride fads and current trends to make the “now” generation except me. nah, nah, I’m going to do me and bring art back to imitating life for a little while. The music will have a very live feel and the lyrics will have relevant substance without being preachy. I just want our generation to have songs again.

“We are manifesting it’s death every time we utter “Hip-Hop Is Dead.” The lack of subject matter with substance on the main stream level contributes to it’s slow demise and so does the constant bitching of underground artist”

Dub MD: With this project, what artists are you connecting with this time round?
Oddisee: Me, myself and I. I collaborate with artist all the time, with this solo album it’s so personal i can imagine anyone who can help me get across what I’m trying to convay.

Dub MD: Do you have any other collaborative projects with any other artists in the works, we need to lookout for?
Oddisee: I’m producing full albums for “Stik Figa,” (Kansas city, Missouri) Tranqill (London, UK) and Diamond District. (a group I formed with XO & YU from D.C.) I’m bored with the current artist out right now and I’ve always loved working with unknown artist. There ideas are fresh and I just like new shit.

Dub MD: What’s your label situation like just now?
Oddisee: I’ve fufilled my contractual agreement with Half-tooth records but they want me to resign. I’m not thinking about business until the music is done.

Dub MD: What do you think is your most defining and unique characteristic that sets you apart from every other producer out there?
Oddisee” I rap better than 90% of the MC’s other producers are dying to work with and I know how make songs. It’s one thing to have a dope beat and an Ill MC, but that doesn’t always equal a good song. You have to know when to let a track breath and how to coach the MC on the proper flow to bring the track to life. I keep all of that in mind when i work with my own artist. i cant sell a beat to some one and then tell them how o flow on it. If they got good sense they’ll ask me though. (laughs)

Dub MD: If you could describe yourself as a producer in 4 words, What would they be?
Oddisee: I can do it in one: Musician.

Dub MD: What is on tap for Oddisee for the rest of 2007/08 and beyond?
Oddisee: I just started my own music program at the national music center in DC called “school of beats” its a three week crash course on hip-hop production. I’m really excited about it and I’m sure it will be a success. Once people see the facilities the national music center has to offer its a wrap. As always, I’ll be hitting the road on tour and in the studio working with whom ever can afford me. I hope to secure my own division under and existing label in the near future to develop and release my own artist.

Dub MD: Do you have anything to say to the fans? anything you want to get off your chest? any shout outs?
Oddisee: to the all the listeners of my music thank you for “getting” it so soon. Now go tell a friend to tell a friend so I don’t have to skate board, wear pricey weird looking clothes, or get shot to sale a record! Peace. (laughs)

Check out this brand new exclusive “A Song For That”, Right click & save as to download:
Oddisee –  A Song For That (Produced By M-Phazes) – A Song For That.mp3

December 17, 2007 - Posted by | Interviews | , , , , , ,

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