Washington D.C.’s own Oddisee (born Amir Mohamed el Khalifa) first became known for his talents as a producer, later on garnering respect as an emcee. Raised by his African American mother and Sudanese father, Oddisee was influenced by the socially conscious rappers his older cousins put him on to, such as Eric B & Rakim, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest. He soon began experimenting with his own style, finding ways to incorporate beloved elements of East Coast rap with the Gospel and Go-Go records his father was always playing in the DMV. Spending his childhood summers in Khartoum learning Arabic and swimming in the Nile, Oddisee began to draw from his experiences both inside and outside of the suburbs in D.C. He began to share his story authentically utilizing the basement of his neighbor, Parliament-Funkadelic’s Garry Shider, to hone his craft. After convincing his business-minded father this was more than a hobby by way of placing the first check his music made him on the kitchen table Oddisee continued to let his work ethic, keen sense for entrepreneurship, and his talents do the speaking for him. Releasing his official debut in 2006, Foot in the Door, the project was mixed by Jazzy Jeff and later led him to Mello Music Group. With an expansive catalog of over ten albums, two compilation albums, and a handful of EPs and mixtapes alike, Oddisee is known for his eclectic style combining retro soul and hip-hop, as well as for his passionate live performances. Whether on the road by himself or with his group, Diamond District, Oddisee continues to not only evolve his sound and push his own creative boundaries, but also help cultivate the careers of other aspiring musicians through his work as a consultant.