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O.C.'s sophomore effort, 'Jewelz' was considered somewhat more commercial. The first single, 'Far From Yours' featured Yvette Michele singing the R&B chorus. Regardless of one song with an R&B hook, 'Jewelz' possessed tight production and skillful performances. DJ Premier (from Gangstarr) produced the magnificent tracks 'My World', 'War Games' (featuring Organized Konfusion), 'M.U.G.' (Featuring Freddie Foxxx), and 'Win The G' (with Foxxx as Bumpy Knuckles). Lord Finesse, Buckwild, and DJ Ogee also contributed production efforts. After almost 10 years, many people have gained a deep appreciation for the album's flows, lyrics, and beats. In 1997, some thought 'Jewelz' to be a more commercial album that showcased a flashy side of O.C. If 'Jewelz' was released today (in 2005), the underground hip-hop lovers would consider the LP as a modern classic.
Every hip-hop artist has a crew and O.C.'s membership in the Diggin In The Crates crew has supported him in a myriad of ways. D.I.T.C. is one of the most respected collections of consisting of producers in the world. The various members have contributed to some of the biggest hits in hip-hop. (Many people do not even realize that some of the massive hits were produced by D.I.T.C. members.) Producers in the crew include Buckwild, Showbiz, and Diamond. The emcees of the crew are O.C., Fat Joe, Big L, A.G., and Lord Finesse. While each member is unique, they share an intense chemistry and deep-rooted love for hip-hop. Their debut album, 'D.I.T.C.' (released on Tommy Boy Records) included classic tracks like 'Ebonics', 'Day One', and 'Thick'.
The tragic death of Big L forever changed D.I.T.C. and O.C. In the song, 'Tribute' (from the 'D.I.T.C.' LP), O.C. performed a heart-rending verse about the last time he heard Big L's voice on his answering machine. After Big L passed, some say, O.C. has never been the same. How could he be? As a friend and fellow hip-hop solider, O.C. will always keep the memory of Big L alive through the power of music.
O.C.'s following LP, 'Bon Appetit' (released on JCor Records) included D.I.T.C. production, but was panned by critics and fans. 'Bon Appetit' remains 'the most hated album' by O.C.
O.C. redeemed himself in the eyes & ears of his fans when he released the magnificent 'Starchild' LP on Grit / Nocturne Records. Although O.C. claims that the album is not the finished product, 'Starchild' includes the thick production and skillful performances. The LP was produced by Locsmif, Vanguard, and Soul Supreme. Fans may not recognize Pharoahe Monch's voice when he sings the hook for 'Evaridae' (the LP's only guest spot). Known and appreciated by only the true fans, 'Starchild' is considered to be the 'Word'¦Life' of the new millennium.
A new chapter in the life of Omar Credle began when he signed to Hieroglyphics Imperium. Married, sober, and mentally refreshed, O.C. released 'Smoke And Mirrors' on Hieroglyphics Imperium. The East Coast emcee linked up with the West Coast crew that gave birth to legendary emcees like Del The Funkie Homosapian, Souls Of Mischief, and Casual. Like the hip-hop albums from the golden era, 'Smoke And Mirrors' has one person handling the production for the entire album. Mike Loe's electronic sound creates a glossy yet raw background for O.C.'s performance. While the album showcases a mature emcee, his confidence is prevalent on songs like 'My Way', 'I'm Da Boss', and 'Challenge Y'all'. Just like the O.C. albums of the past, 'Smoke And Mirrors' includes songs that are fueled with emotion. The introspective nature of O.C. can be felt in 'Emotions', 'Going Nowhere', and 'This Is Me'. In many ways, 'Smoke And Mirrors' is similar to his 'Bon Appetit' LP. Even though many of the underground fans loved 'Word'¦ Life' and 'Starchild', they may have to give 'Smoke And Mirrors' a few extra listens to fully appreciate the album. Regardless of the music, 'Smoke And Mirrors' by O.C. is symbolic of the underground bond within underground hip-hop as well as an emcee's perseverance.
Most emcees can only wish to have a career last as long as O.C.'s. Omar Credle has not only maintained a successful underground career, he made the music he wanted to make. Like the 1st song on his debut album ('Word'¦Life'), O.C. has kept his 'Creative Control'.
T.JONES: "What goes on?"
O.C.: 'Can't call it. I'm packing for this Tokyo trip.'
T.JONES: 'How are the Japanese audiences different from the audiences in the United States?'
O.C.: 'Well, I'm a star over there, to put it technically. I've always been.'
T.JONES: 'They have a different appreciation of hip-hop.'
O.C.: 'Yeah, overseas, period. I'm a Joe Schmoe over here, but overseas is a different story.'
T.JONES: 'Tell us about your new 2005 album, 'Smoke And Mirrors', released on Hieroglyphics Imperium.'
O.C.: 'There is really nothing to tell, as far as that it's no big mystery about how I did the album. I've been doing records over the past two years, prior to thinking about releasing it. It was just therapy for me. I really wasn't trying to make records anymore.'
T.JONES: 'Why weren't you trying to make records anymore?'
O.C.: 'I just felt like I was doing it for nothing. I didn't feel that mad love. You know, Big L was gone. We buried people who weren't emcees in our crew too, over the past few years. We just felt that there was a black cloud over the D.I.T.C. thing. Just personally, I was dealing with personal problems. If you listen to 'Smoke And Mirrors', the album will tell you.'
T.JONES: 'In the album, you state that you are now sober. When and why did this moment of clarity happen?'
O.C.: 'I stopped smoking weed and cigarettes. I do drink red wine. That's a new thing for me right now. I'm trying to be a connoisseur of red wine. I'm trying to know about Cabernet and which Merlot should I drink with dinner. I lost weight. I'm just taking care of myself. I'm 34 now. I may look the same, but my body is not the same as a 24 year old.'
T.JONES: 'Hip-hop is an industry that tends to focuses on the younger generations. As a hip-hop veteran, how do you think you have matured as an artist? Has your age changed things?'
O.C.: 'I feel like age comes with wisdom and wisdom comes with age. I always felt that, for the past 10 years, there have been artists from my era who are still holding it down. Dmx, Jigga, Nas, Snoop, and them are not really old-school.'
T.JONES: 'When I think of the term old-school, I think of Melle Mel, Sugerhill Gang, and Afrika Bambatta.'
O.C.: 'Yeah. The youngins, who look at me and know me, think of me as old-school. You know and I know that, after 4 years, if you aren't selling many records or a key factor in the industry, you are old. You're out of here. The people from my era are the ones who are still holding it down up to this point. I look at it like it is anybody's game. That's what I always say.'
T.JONES: 'As an emcee from New York City, how did you get involved with the Oakland label, Hieroglyphics Imperium, for the release of the 'Smoke And Mirrors' LP?'
O.C.: 'I was recording music. It was like a little aromatherapy for me. You know what I'm saying? My partner, Lamonte and Mr. Dave knew that I have Mushine Entertainment, Next Mill Entertainment, and Re-Up Recordings. They somehow bumped into Domino and Casual. They got to talking. My name came up. We always had mutual respect for each other. They have a situation with Red Distribution, which goes through Sony. Hieroglyphics, these dudes, for what it's worth, sell a lot of records. They have a following. They have a fan base. They have quality material and they headline their own tours. It just made sense for me to do a record with them and hit the road with them, just to get back into it. I look at Dom and them as cats who were pulling me back into the game. They are the reason I'm back in the game. Don't ask me how. They didn't say anything special to me to start thinking like that.'
T.JONES: 'I love the songs on the 'Starchild' album (Grit Records / Nocturne Records). That LP was an overseas release, right? Tell us about that album.'
O.C.: 'It was a work for hire record I did for this cat that I know. The record is not a finished product. What you hear is not the finished product. It's not. I really don't like the record, but people like the record.'
T.JONES: 'As a complete album? Maybe not, but I think that many of the songs are excellent.'
O.C.: 'That's dope, Todd. I appreciate that. History goes back. I didn't like 'Times Up'.'
T.JONES: 'Everybody loves 'Times Up' and the 'Word'¦Life' LP. I like that album, but honestly, it's not one of my favorites.'
O.C.: 'Yeah, I'm glad to hear you say that! You know what I'm saying? People really base my career around that record. I understand that is what people know me for, but I have better records than 'Times Up'.'
T.JONES: 'Many fans want you to stay like 'Times Up', right?'
O.C.: 'Yeah! Man! It's like, 'Come on, man!' You can't do that!'
T.JONES: 'I know. You can't make the same record every single time.'
O.C.: 'You can't make the same record over and over. It's not possible for me.'
T.JONES: 'That is a cool aspect of your discography. Every record is different.'
O.C.: 'Yes. Even if it is something you don't like, every record is different. That's how I fell about it. I'm a fan of the game. I buy people's records. If my favorite artist has an album where every song, from beginning to the end, I don't like, it doesn't mean I don't like the artist. You are not going to like every song you hear all the time. I love Nas. I love Jay. I don't like everything they make. I love Cube. I love Dre. Dr. Dre is probably the top producer in the game up to this point, but I don't like everything Dre makes. That doesn't mean he went wrong. That's just him being a human being. He's going to have a flaw.'
T.JONES: 'Most of the songs on the 'Smoke And Mirrors' LP were produced by Mike Loe, but your other albums had various producers like DJ Premier and D.I.T.C. Why did you choose just one producer for the 'Smoke And Mirrors' LP?'
O.C.: 'It's always been D.I.T.C. One record was Premier, but for the most part, it's always been Buckwild, Finesse, and Showbiz. For this record, I just chose Mike Loe. I'm a fan of the game. I was tired of buying records, CDs, wax, or whatever have you and hearing the album going off in 20 different directions with a million guests. Just because you have Swizz, this one, that one, and whoever on your album, it does not mean that the record is going to be dope. That's not to say that their beats are wack. I'm not saying that at all, but if you have Swizz, Jazzy Pha, Manny Fresh, Premier, Nottz, and Madlib, the album may have no direction.'
T.JONES: 'Yeah, many albums with a different producer on each track, usually do not have a running theme or connecting vibe.'
O.C.: 'You are absolutely right, but you can go in a direction that has no direction. Bruce Lee said, 'My style is not having a style'. I wanted to catch it like, not so much sounding like Slick Rick, but I wanted to catch the essence of having one producer on the record. I had to stick to one sound and not confuse people.'
T.JONES: 'Why did you choose Mike Loe to produce the album, as opposed another producer?'
O.C.: 'Well, he's been around for years. Honestly, Buckwild and Finesse were busy. This is my crew, so you know. Mike Loe has been around the crew, so he's practically fam. He's practically D.I.T.C. He has dope records.'
T.JONES: 'What's the correct state of D.I.T.C.?'
O.C.: 'We are still Diggin In The Crates. We'll always be D.I.T.C.'
T.JONES: 'What is the difference between Wildlife and D.I.T.C.?'
O.C.: 'Wildlife is newer artists. You know, you have to change it up a little but, you can't just bore people with the same stigma of being the same old D.I.T.C. It's like 50 Cent. If he kept making records only featuring Lloyd Banks, he would have been 'Alright, Lloyd Banks'. So, G-Unit came.'
T.JONES: 'Even though many years have passed since his death, I want to pay my respects for the tragic loss of Big L. He was an emcee in the classic sense. I still think his music sounds just as fresh as when I heard him for the first time. Hip-hop lost a son. How has his passing changed you?'
O.C.: 'No doubt. As far as musically, I'm not speaking for everybody, but he made the group. Solo-wise, he was a star. I always visioned him and Fat Joe as the breakout stars of the group. Joe is doing his thing on the commercial level. I saw Big L doing his thing on that level too, probably like Jay-Z.'
T.JONES: 'Yes, if Big L was still here, he would have been huge.'
O.C.: 'Yeah, he would have definitely been on that level as Hova and Nas, as far as walking that fine line. He could have done both. Personally, it was a tragedy for me and D.I.T.C. We don't celebrate his death anymore. We celebrate his life. We do shows and stuff every year. It threw a wrecking ball into us for a long time. Big L was a major part of making the records. We didn't have a set formula but, a lot of the hooks and set themes for the songs were created by Big L.'
T.JONES: 'I actually thought you and Big L, as emcees, stole the 'D.I.T.C.' album (Tommy Boy Records). I love that song, 'Day One'.'
O.C.: 'Right. 'Day One' was a mistake record for me because I wasn't there to record my verse. I heard the record after they recorded it at Diamond's house. Show was about to mix the record when he was like, 'Hold up, something is missing. Holy shit, O.C. isn't on the record!' So, I came in did it. That is why you don't hear Big L say my name. He say, '...Peace to D-I-T-C, Show and AG, Fat J-O-E / Diamond D, Lord Finesse, and me...' He didn't mention me on the record because I wasn't there.'
T.JONES: 'Will there be another D.I.T.C. full-length album?'
O.C.: 'Yep. We just came off the road maybe a few weeks ago. This is the first time I have been out with everybody collectively. I've been out on the road with Ness, A.G., and L but, I have never been on the road with Diamond, Showbiz, and Fat Joe. The main emcees have always been the ones who went out on tour. It was always me, Big L, and Lord Finesse, or a different combination. But, I have never been on the road with Diamond D, so it is something special for me.'
T.JONES: 'Many of your songs have specific themes or stories. ('Shorty', 'Stronjay', 'Story', etc.) Do you work with pre-written lyrics or a set theme, or do you write to the beat?'
O.C.: 'It depends. You know, from speaking to other cats, some songs come easier to others, while some songs, you have to take time to think about. It depends. It depends on what the situation is. If it is something that I'm really thinking about, it will take a little more time for me than just hearing a beat and coming up with a quick 16.'
T.JONES: 'What approach did you take with the 'Smoke And Mirrors' LP?'
O.C.: 'Like I said, that was a therapy album. I was just recording songs when I felt like it. I was chilling. I stopped for a while and said that I wasn't going to make anymore records. Then, I got the bug back a little bit. So, I started going back into the studio. I started getting beats from Mike Loe. Me and him never worked together before. I was coming in from the night before, with him giving me beats. I would come in with the whole song written from the night before. I was ready to lay it down. I laid some songs down in 15 minutes. Mike was like, 'Damn! It's like that?'. I was like, 'Yeah! I'm hungry!''
T.JONES: 'Do you have a favorite song on the 'Smoke And Mirrors' LP?'
O.C.: 'Probably, 'Emotions'.'
T.JONES: 'Out of all of your albums, which LP are you most proud of?'
O.C.: 'Probably the album that most people hate, 'Bon Appetit'. I like the challenges on that. I think people will come around to 'Bon Appetit' like they did with 'Jewelz'. Some people didn't like 'Jewelz', at first.'
T.JONES: 'I actually liked 'Jewelz' as soon as I heard it. I especially loved 'My World' and the two joints with Freddie Foxxx.'
O.C.: 'Yeah. People actually thought that I was on some sell-out shit on that record. I'm like, 'How?' They thought that about the 'Far From Yours' record. I'll break it down to you real quick. That record, 'Far From Yours' is not a commercial record. It's too long and complicated. The lyrics are too complicated. It's too long of a song to be on radio. People are crazy.'
T.JONES: 'Look at M.O.P., they are still considered hardcore and they have R&B singers on their records.'
O.C.: 'M.O.P. always had someone singing on their record. This is not something we just started. We've been doing it. There's a little generation gap with different writers and such. People, kind of, bug out and don't do research. They don't know what they are talking about.'
T.JONES: 'Who are some producers who you would like to work with in the future?'
O.C.: 'Probably, Just Blaze.'
T.JONES: 'Who are some emcees who you would like to work with in the future?'
O.C.: 'I don't know. This may strike you as funny, but I always bring up Fabolous. I'm not talking about me doing a record with him. I think that he plays like he doesn't know what's going on. Notice that he never gets into beefing or lyrical shoot outs. He keeps to himself. Yo, he's dope. I think he knew that it was almost time for him to be up out of here, but Just Blaze saved him. That 'Breathe' record is a hip-hop record. Listen to the record. I think shorty did his homework and studied hip-hop and all of that. I just think that Duro and all of those dudes, did not make him, but they told him what was popping and what to do to sell records. I'm not mad at him. He's not the only one. There are a lot of cats out there who do these kinds of records, but I know that they can spit.'
T.JONES: 'These days, what have you been listening to?'
O.C.: 'I listen to everything from Immortal Technique to Jeezy to MF Doom to Coldplay. I listen to everything, man!'
T.JONES: 'Are you going to do any collaborations with Hieroglyphics?'
O.C.: 'I'm actually started on my new record right now. 'Smoke And Mirrors' is my back on the scene record. My new record will be a straight up-tempo record. I'm shooting for a theme of no cursing on the record, period. The powers that be are making it like people can't make records without cursing.'
T.JONES: 'Shit, I'd rather have an emcee who does not use profanity at all than listen to an edited version of an album.'
O.C.: 'Right, right, right! I just want to do an up-tempo record without sad songs. Different chapters, man!'
T.JONES: 'Who will be on this new record?'
O.C.: 'My new record will have production by this kid called Frequency. He's next. He's basically doing the whole record, besides maybe something from Domino, A Plus, and Finesse.'
T.JONES: 'Are you still cool with Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po of Organized Konfusion?'
O.C.: 'Pharoahe is my dude. That's my mentor, right there. I bow down to that cat. That's no secret. He's like extraordinary dope. That's my dude right there, holmes. The other cat? Me and him don't really get along. I give them love for putting me on, but it is what it is. The dude? I come from the school where you don't put your business out there. He put our business out there one time. It was a different story when we saw each other, but that's that. I'm glad that nothing really came out of that. But, Pharoahe is my dude.'
T.JONES: 'How has your live show evolved?'
O.C.: 'I'm a seasoned vet. It's never a problem for me. I was on a 43 city tour with Hiero this summer. It was just 2 turntables and a microphone. No hype man, not of that. It was like my boot camp for a couple of months.'
T.JONES: 'Do you have a favorite part of your live show?'
O.C.: 'I just keep it simple, but I usually make sure that I spit. I do an a cappella leading up into something. I really lead up into something so the people don't get bored. I make sure of that. I make sure what songs should go first and what songs should go in the middle. This is so the show won't take a dive. I'm on stage by myself, so you know, you got to keep the people's attention. The people's attention span is very short if you are wack. For me? I've been doing this for over 10 years. I learned. Like I said, I'm healthy. I don't smoke no more. The Henny? the Remi? None of that is in me anymore, so I can perform an hour straight without being winded, easy.'
T.JONES: 'What was the last incident of racism you experienced?'
O.C.: 'Racism? I experience that everyday! Driving in my car, I experience that. You know, a cop pulling me over. 'Whose car is this?', they say. 'This is my car!', I go. I go through that every week.'
T.JONES: 'You still live in New York?'
O.C.: 'Yeah, yeah.'
T.JONES: 'Where were you during September 11th 2001? How did you handle it?'
O.C.: 'I was in New York actually. I actually woke up. I sleep with my TV on. I stay with my TV on day and night. I woke up looking at a plane hitting a building. It wasn't for real. I thought I was bugging, like 'I'm tired. What movie is this?' Then, I saw the 2nd plane make a turn into the 2nd building. I was like, 'Oh shit!''
T.JONES: 'I thought I would have to unlock the safe and get the guns out.'
O.C.: 'For real! (Laughs). It bugged me out! I wondered if we were about to get bombed. It startled me to see that. I knew that what I was seeing was real but I was like, 'I hope that was a dream'.'
T.JONES: 'Each O.C. record was released on a different label. Which record label treated you the best? The worst?'
O.C.: 'Unfortunately, yeah. All the labels treated me bad. My records always promoted themselves. So, I really didn't need a label. If I knew then what I know now, I would have never signed to a major label. I will never sign to a major label. This thing with Hiero is more of a partnership. It was more lucrative doing a deal with them than me doing a deal with Wild Pitch, Payday, Universal, JCor, or anything. Dom and I did a venture together. He was like, 'Yo, you need money?' I was like, 'I don't need money for nothing. I got all of this.' I did the album out of my pocket. It wasn't like Dom and them were impressed. They were like, 'I expected that from you because you have been in the game so long. You sure you don't need help?' I was like, 'Nah, duke. I'm good.' When the momentum on my record slows down, I get every cent off of this record. They didn't have to give me any money.'
T.JONES: 'Do you think that success and credibility are mutually exclusive?'
O.C.: 'I think too much success probably throws your focus off at a certain point in time. I never really heard of someone having too little of success. I think everyone wants to be successful in anything they do. You have to really be focused. For example, I had a chance to sign with Puff, years ago. In his exact words, he told me, 'We will fuck with you but I want to remix ?? Word'¦ Life?.' I told him, 'No'. If I knew who he was going to be when we were that young, I probably shouldn't of said, 'No'. It wasn't it for me to be on Bad Boy. That's why it didn't happen. You know, Jay-Z was my man! I never stepped to Roc-A-Fella. Up to this point, I haven't seen Jay in a couple of years but, anytime he saw me, I was always chilling. He was like, 'What's going on? What you want to do?' I wanted to come up how he came up. He did this on his own. I don't want a hand out. I had a chances to deal with dogs. That's my man. He did my record for free when 'Hard Knock Life' was at $3 Million.'
T.JONES: 'What was the biggest mistake you have made in your career?'
O.C.: 'Probably not taking control of my career early on. Business-wise, early on. I probably shouldn't have trusted people to handle what I was supposed to handle. You know what I'm saying? Business sense.'
T.JONES: 'Word association. When I say the name, you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said, 'Flava Flav', you may say 'Clock' or 'The Surreal Life. Okay?'
O.C.: 'My last show was with Public Enemy.'
T.JONES: 'Public Enemy.'
T.JONES: 'Little Brother.'
T.JONES: 'Pep Love.'
O.C.: 'Really revolution!.'
T.JONES: 'Phife Dawg.'
T.JONES: 'Freddie Foxxx.'
O.C.: 'Bumpy Knucks.'
T.JONES: 'DJ Premier.'
O.C.: 'Classic hip-hop.'
T.JONES: 'Pharoahe Monch.'
O.C.: 'The Bruce Lee of rap.'
T.JONES: 'Prince Po.'
O.C.: 'Prince Po.'
O.C.: 'Wow! The Jim Kelly of rap.'
T.JONES: 'Big L.'
T.JONES: 'Soul Supreme.'
T.JONES: 'George Bush.'
T.JONES: 'On the 'Starchild' album (Grit Records / Nocturne), were most of the songs done with you and the producer together in the same place? Or, were they done through the mail?'
O.C.: 'They were actually done with the producer.'
T.JONES: 'Were most of your albums created with you and the producer in the same place?'
O.C.: 'Yeah. I usually like to be hands-on with the cats who I'm working with. The mailing thing? Only unless you are real busy. You have to be one of my crew members to mail me a beat. I'm not taking that shit otherwise. Unless you are Madlib or one of them and they are on another coast or the other side of the globe. I'll take it and I'll know it is genuine. At some point, we got to meet.'
T.JONES: 'What are some major misconceptions do you think people have of you?'
O.C.: 'Backpack rapper. I don't know what it is with people. I don't wear thick jewelry or shit anymore, but I drive Benzes, Jags, and Range Rovers. This is something I really don't talk about, but this is my life. My first car was a 190-E before I had a record deal. I always wore jewelry. I don't wear jewelry any more. I'm married now. I wear a wedding ring.'
T.JONES: 'How has being married changed your approach to hip-hop?'
O.C.: 'It changed my approach to women differently. I can't cheat and shit like that anymore. There is a difference between cheating on your girlfriend and cheating on your wife. It's a big difference. I'm not perfect. I still look at chicks, but at the same time, it's a big difference.'
T.JONES: 'What are some future collaborations fans should look out for?'
O.C.: 'Probably me and Pharoahe Monch. We've been talking and discussing doing an EP together or something. So, probably me and him. I'm definitely doing this new Diggin record. I'm definitely looking forward to that.'
T.JONES: 'What label is the new D.I.T.C. record going to be released on?'
O.C.: 'I don't know. We're going to sit down after this year is up. At the top of the year, we'll see if we will collaborate with Dom and them. We may do the record on Hiero so we can all tour together, probably in May.'
T.JONES: 'Is your next solo album going to be released on Hieroglyphics Imperium?'
O.C.: 'Yeah, I got one more record to do. I love those dudes. They really didn't have to reach out, definitely not financially, so I could be down with them.'
T.JONES: 'Del is one of my favorite emcees.'
O.C.: 'Yeah, his next record is coming out in January.'
T.JONES: 'What will your new album be titled?'
O.C.: 'I don't know exactly. That changes up. I really don't know.'
T.JONES: 'Any future Hieroglyphics collaborations?'
O.C.: 'I guess I can start leaking this. Me and Causal will be probably working on a record too. I apologize to him every time I see him because I missed getting on his record. They sent me the track, but I was going through some problems at the time. I'm dealing with demons. I apologize to him every time I see him. That's my man, right there.'
T.JONES: 'When putting an LP together, how many songs do you usually have to choose from?'
O.C.: 'Everything that I recorded for this record made the album with the exception of only one or two. That was only because I didn't finish the song. Everything I recorded actually made the record.'
T.JONES: 'What advice would you give to somebody coming up in the hip-hop industry?'
O.C.: 'Be true to what you do. Be original! Definitely be original. At this stage in the game, everybody has the business side down pat, but they forgot how to write rhymes. I listen to Immortal Technique and Jeezy. I listen to everybody. I know Jeezy well too. Jeezy is not a lyrical dude, but I still like what he does. It just lets people know that they have to be different. Like Cam'Ron said, 'You got to have style.' Just be original.'
T.JONES: 'Yes, if you just be yourself, no one can take that away from you.'
O.C.: 'Nobody! It will shine through. Jeezy? If he read this, this is not a disrespect. Jeezy is not an emcee. He's a rapper. But, I love his records, as opposed to Jay. Jay-Z is an emcee, but he knows how to straddle that line. Nas is an emcee. He knows how to straddle that line.'
T.JONES: 'Do people constantly ask you when you will work with DJ Premier again?'
O.C.: 'Yeah. (Laughs). I always work with people who are interested in working with me. Preme is my man. Don't get it twisted. With the artists he has worked with over the years, he has a little more rapport with them. Me and Preme don't hang out or get high together. He is big now. He's doing the next Nas record. It would be all love to work with him, but I'm not stressing it. I'm waiting for no man! I don't care who you are.'
T.JONES: 'How is DJ Premier's creative process different from other producers you have worked with?'
O.C.: 'Preme is a funny dude. You know, 'My World'? Preme didn't actually like that record. Preme does his music right on the spot. He doesn't give people beat CDs, at least up to this point that I know about. He's never given a beat CD to me or anyone I know. Preme didn't like 'My World'. He ran through a few joints and I was like, 'That's dope!' He was like, 'Nah! I got something better.' I was like, 'Hold up, dog! I want that right there. I'm going to rock to that!' He was like, 'You sure?' I rocked it! I wrote the song in 10 minutes.'
T.JONES: 'Do you usually write most of your songs quickly?'
O.C.: 'My first album maybe took me 2 months to do, if that. I know what I really want to do with this next record, once I get the chance. I've been a little busy, going on the road. Once I get the chance to lock myself in somewhere, I'm going to record the album. It's going to take me no time to do the next record. I really don't want to over-think the record. I just want to go in and have fun with it. I want it to reflect that in the songs.'
T.JONES: 'Any final words?'
O.C.: 'Frequency is going to be the next producer! Trust me! Diggin In The Crates record! Casual's record! Me and Causal! It's on, man! I'm not going anywhere! I'm here till I'm dead!'