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OC - Obsessive and Compulsive

Author: Huwston
Friday, 25 January 2008
OC is Omar Cradle, an MC whose 15-year experience in the game is the epitome of endeavour, skills, struggle and success… but he is quick to rebuff claims that he is ‘old skool’. 3D’s Huwston takes it back.

Omar Cradle’s first two albums Word… Life and Jewelz have just been reissued by local label Grindin’ are testament to how quality never goes out of fashion.

“I’ve been reissuing them here for the past four or five years but I just wanted to reach out to places that I’ve never been and just introduce people to my music if they don’t know about it on y’all side,” he says, mentioning he is working with a partner, reissuing the music once released on legendary label Wild Pitch.

“It’s a no-brainer for us, to do it ourselves and instead of taking advances and analysing what parts of the world is trying to listen to it and how many pieces you feel like they should get, it’s more to whet peoples beak if they’re in to it. If I knew all of the stuff then that I know now it would be a whole different ballgame… so I’m just doing a little catch up right now,” he says, conceding that he has to be artist and business man.

“I took a break for a minute, I put out like five albums, I always been working – but in the mainstream circuit, that’s something I never concentrate on. I may or may not have success in the mainstream sector, but I just make music for myself, people will gravitate towards something if they’re feeling it.

Noted worldwide for his hard rhymes over smooth beats, OC is ‘big in Japan’, even releasing the Starchild album there, exclusively.

“I been going out there since Premier took me in ’94 so I got some relationships there. Outside of the US, music is more appreciated, you know what I’m saying- The artform, the elements like DJing graffiti, they know over there the DJ was the front-runner, the rapper was a just the crowd motivator, they don’t appreciate that here in the States.”

Part of the golden era, we discuss Japan’s fascination with the Jazzy beats.

“That was the era with me, Pete Rock and CL, Tribe… they more or less revolutionised the fusion of jazz and hip hop – I give those guys a lot of credit for what I did on that album – they made people feel different about music.”

Longevity is hard when people are so quick to pigeonhole and that is something OC hates. “I’m a fan of the game first, people don’t realise – the ones that make timeless music stand the test of time – and I feel I’m in that category. They don’t say ‘old skool’ about rockers – their fanbase follows them from young to old. The Grateful Dead can sell out in an hour to their age bracket and to young people so why can’t it be like that with hip hop-”

Put simply he says, “I ain’t old skool, I don’t know what that is.”

The hip hop genre is in debt to an MC like OC and one might feel these days that a lot of so called artists are doing their best to ruin he and his peers’ hard work, but OC sees it differently.

“Nas said it on Stillmatic… he made a song called Build To Destroy, where evolution, nature, cause and effect, good and bad, up and down are all part of the process, you need to have the garbage to have the good stuff.”

WHAT: Word… Life and Jewelz 2CD pack through Grindin’
WHEN: Out now