I go by the name of Oddisee. Have been always. No other rap names prior. I'm a producer/emcee for Washington D.C. Now based in New York. Not based anywhere for too long these days but New York is where I call home. I guess I chose to move from D.C. to New York because of the proximity to industry. I didn't necessarily move here for hip hop. I wasn't ... I'm not here to quote unquote make it. More so to capitalize off of what I started already in Washington and New York is a great place for that.
You know, D.C. as amazing as it is for artists, it's not a place that nurtures artists and creativity outside of music. So, photographers, graphic designers, the other things that assist my industry and helping my career, you know, expand and progress. You hit a limit to somewhat in other cities. And you know, New York was so close. So, here I am where the majority of the interviews I do now I can ride my bike to or people just come over to my house versus them asking for an email to see when the next time I'll be in New York.
(Rapping)
Touring constantly, all around the world. You know, I do a lot of gigs. Up to about 180 a year at sometimes. So yeah, I spend a lot of time living out of a suitcase, you know man?
Unknown Speaker: Yeah.
Oddisee: I produce, I rhyme, I mix, engineer. I show...I book my own gigs. I have always been a huge Native Tongue fan and specifically Tribe and De La. Those were like the groups that really spoke to me. You know, as a kid whose family moved from the inner city to the suburbs it was Tribe and the Native Tongues that let it be comfortable for me to embrace hip hop without it necessarily being street from a negative standpoint.
(Rapping)
I definitely believe in being as direct to fans as possible so I'm very, very accessible. You can find me by just Googling Oddisee. O D D I S E E and the site will come up, the Twitter, Band Camp, et cetera. iTunes, et cetera, Last FM, you know, anything will come up on it if you just Google that name.
(Rapping)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the newest edition of What You've Been Missing. Straight out of Washington D.C., it's your man Oddisee, one third of the Diamond District. My new album, People Hear What They See, is everywhere right now. Get it where you can, get it how you can. And the name once again, O double D I S double E. This is a Last FM session. Peace.
(Rapping)

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Johnson Barnes, better known by his moniker "Blu," is an emcee from Los Angeles, California. Growing up, due to his stepfather's influence as a pastor, Blu was exposed to gospel and Christian rap as a child, with gangsta rap coming into the picture as he got older. He began working as a hype man for artists like Slum Village, Steve Spacek, and Platinum Pied Pipers before trying his own hand at rapping. Inspired by Common, Blu began transitioning from freestyling to writing songs, with some of his earliest recorded material dating back to 2003. He signed with independent label Sound in Color in 2004, and shortly thereafter was introduced to his collaborator, producer Exile. With his debut album, Below the Heavens, arriving in 2007, he was met with praise in the media, being named "Rookie of the Year" by HipHopDX. He followed with a handful of collaborative projects, including The Piece Talks with Detroit rapper-producer Ta'Raach, and Johnson&Jonson with producer Mainframe. In 2009, he signed with Warner Bros. Records. That decision would inevitably be short-lived, as Blu left two years later and echoed his decision by releasing what would have been his major label debut, NoYork!, independently. In addition to his work as a solo artist, Blu also is known for being part of a duo alongside producer Exile, with their first release, Below the Heavens, being hailed by XXL as "one of 2007's most celebrated hip-hop releases." With an ever-growing discography, Blu is highly regarded for his conscious lyricism and appetite to collaborate with others.

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