The projects are there. The years are put in. The mark is legendary. If you study hip hop like I do, you will already know that O.C. has been explosive since Organized Konfusion’s “Fudge Pudge” and his debut single “Time’s Up”. But we are not talking about the golden era right now. We are talking about grown man bars, consistency, and relevancy amongst boom bap connoisseurs. “It’s a new dawn”.
Let’s all give a warm welcome to a true Hip Hop legend — O.C.
Same Moon Same Sun and A New Dawn — explain the concept behind both of these projects, how they connect, and if there are more phases in the works.
It’s simple. Basically we are all human beings that experience the same struggles, whether it deals with personal issues, finances, politics, etc. We all literally live under the same moon, sun, and stars. Although in reality, when it comes to people of color, we deal with way more hardships than most. And history shows it. But there’s one thing everyone who has life in they’re bodies have in common, no matter the circumstances, and that’s life and death. The 1st project was a precursor to the 2nd phase, A New Dawn. So if you listen to the 1st Phase, it was a bit darker. Especially the way I ended the last song called “Real Life”, which breaks down the events on that fateful night Big L was killed. I was waiting in D&D that night for him and he never showed. Anyhow, me and Showbiz decided together on turning this into a trilogy. We had all these songs recorded so we would break it down into three parts. Plus there’s actually a full record called Same Moon Same Sun. Other than that, there’s one more phase after this one called Blood Moon.
What’s your process as far as picking beats and writing an album?
My process? Well, me and Showbiz’s process is simple. He picks — and this is something we agreed on — so he’ll go thru a gang of tracks, and this is where that producer instinct kicks in. But he’ll listen to music that he hear’s my vocals match up with, and he just hits me with a gang of music — it can be anywhere from 10 to 30 tracks, sometimes more. And I’ll end up writing and recording damn near every single one. So on a good day, I’ll record 10 records. And then I’ll take ’em home and make corrections as we go along. But I don’t spend time on a song trying to perfect it that day. I’ll come back to it later. And by 2 weeks, we’ll have a whole lot of material. And then we figure out which one’s to focus on and just narrow them down.
What inspires you to create?
Everyday life, whatever’s going on in my life, other people’s lives, current event’s, it’s whatever triggers that feeling to write. So honestly, it’s so much going on in the world. How can I run out of things to talk about?
What motivates you to keep making music after many years in the game?
I’m Really passionate about my music, or should I say music period. I wouldn’t have done it from jump had I not loved music wholeheartedly. It’s my life. I love other artist’s music. I’m a true lover of all music. If it makes me feel a certain way, no matter who or what it is. Stevie Wonder’s Songs In the Key of Life is true to its title. Music can change or shift our emotions from a worse to a wonderful day. That’s some powerful shit right there.
How has the game changed since you first got in it?
Besides being in a cyber age, in my opinion, a couple of areas in creativity are of no substance when it comes to artistry. That’s the industry though — sexism and money talk been around before hip hop had any validation. Research the music business in its past. If I’m not mistaken, Berry Gordy wasn’t feeling Marvin Gaye’s What’s going On? Shit was too positive. And he didn’t think it would sell.
What are your triumphs vs struggles in the independent music scene?
Triumphs? 20 years in the business and doing it at will. It’s a blessing; still touring, doing what I love, and making a living at it. The struggle is competing against the actual machine. If you’re not signed to a major label, you already know your access is limited. So you have to figure out how to compete against major marketing dollars. It’s as simple as that. Not to mention, making the traditional music I started out doing as opposed to what’s trendy or format ready for mainstream radio. It’s bananas. You have to constantly remind your core audience why we do this, and hopefully they’ll stick with you.
Where do you record? And do you have any particular rituals before recording?
We have DITC STUDIOS. It’s home. We built a full-functioning spot. It’s like any of the spots like Chung King, Battery Studios, Green Street Studios, Hit Factory, and I MEAN LITERALLY! With many amenities — a full kitchen, bathrooms, a shower, multiple rooms, etc. Oh, and no rituals for me. Everyone knows, when I’m in recording, it’s just me and the engineer. I don’t like people in the room when I record.
What are your future plans for hitting the road?
I’m planning that as we speak. As long as the business is correct, and accommodations are met, then I’m out!
What’s It like working with your DITC brothers for so many years?
We don’t see each other on a daily basis. A few members live outta state. Overall, when they’re in town, we usually just meet up in the studio and chop it up. But each member is busy on their own, unless it’s DITC business to tend. Other than that, we’re a family. So it’s normal as a family would be with one another. It’s truely a brotherhood.
What are you listening to now a days?
A lot of 70’s and 80’s Reggae and R&B.
Other than music, do you have any hidden talents or passions for anything?
Reading is a true passion and writing. Definitely see a book being published in a couple of years. But I’mma do it under an alias.
Which emcees are in your top 10?
10. Chuck D
6. G Rap
5. Kool Keith
2. Slick Rick
I definitely learned something from each one individually.
Are you going to produce hard copies — CDs/Vinyls for these new projects?
What is the best advice you can give an aspiring artist?
Take it as serious as you would if you had your life on the line. Learn the business, so you don’t get jerked throughout your career, if you decide to get into this game. And last, but not least, love it or leave it alone.
I love the Trophies album you did with Apollo Brown. Any other collaborative projects with producers in the future?
I have an album done with PF Cuttin. Group Name is OPiuM. Album is titled OPiuM.
O.C. has been a staple in Hip Hop for almost 30 years. His meaningful lyrics will always have a place amongst the Hip Hop community. You just can’t deny greatness. From classic albums like Word…Life and Jewelz to his most recent gems like Trophies with Apollo Brown and Perestroika with Apathy, it’s no wonder people are still yearning for his music. Not to mention the endless appearances from 1991 to present. His unparalleled work ethic shows why he’s so relevant.
All of us at Weekly Rap Gods are truly honored to have the opportunity to interview O.C. — an undeniable Rap God. And we’d like to thank him for all of his countless contributions to the culture. We salute you!
Stream/Buy both albums below