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O.C. - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Starchild In The World Of Smoke And Mirrors

March 2006

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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!’

MVRemix: Do you have a favorite song on the ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ LP?

O.C.: Probably, ‘Emotions’.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: Who are some producers who you would like to work with in the future?

O.C.: Probably, Just Blaze.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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!

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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!

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: You still live in New York?

O.C.: Yeah, yeah.

>> continued...

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"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."