Tag Archives: Omniscence

100 Best Albums & EPs Of 2014 (Part Five) – Verb T / PRhyme / Bronze Nazareth etc.

Check Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

DJ Lord Ron & Wildelux – “The Sinister Theory” (String Note Recordings) – West Coast producer Lord Ron joined forces with Bronx-born emcee Wildelux for this raw, concise lesson in quality boom-bap-driven Hip-Hop. The quality, sample-heavy beats supplied by Ron provided the perfect musical backdrop for ‘Lux’s take-no-prisoners lyrical approach, with the skilled wordsmith displaying a relentless verbal vigour as he offered his thoughts on a variety of topics. Salute!

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MKV & Concept – “Dreams & Reality” (Essenchill Records) – Chicago-born, Pittsburgh-based emcee MKV took full advantage of New Zealand producer Concept’s soulful, drum-heavy musical style on this mellow-yet-captivating EP. Sharing his hopes, regrets and personal memories throughout this release, MKV exorcised some personal demons whilst encouraging listeners to make the most out of life. Motivational true-school beats and rhymes.

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John Robinson & PVD – “Modern Vintage” (Brick Records) – A potent combination of present-day technology and old-school musical equipment, this joint effort from veteran NY emcee John Robinson and composer / producer Pat Van Dyke lived up to its title with plenty of style and creativity. Celebrating the potential music has to be timeless, organic and powerful, the pair drew inspiration from old-school Hip-Hop, jazz and soul to deliver an uplifting collection of positive vibes.

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Men Of Many Crowns – “Men Of Many Crowns” (MenOfManyCrowns.Com) – San Diego duo MoodSwingKing and W. Steele mixed razor-sharp lyricism and soul-drenched production with West Coast sensibilities on this confidently-delivered project, further proving that the artists currently ruling the mainstream don’t always deserve to wear the crown.

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The Kingdom – “No Rest In The Kingdom” (TheKingdomMusic.BandCamp.Com) – Based in North Carolina but originally from New Jersey and Pennsylvania respectively, emcee King Draft and producer Jerm Scorcese dropped one of the most accomplished debuts of the year with “No Rest In The Kingdom”. Lyrical food-for-thought and melodic soundscapes meshed together perfectly, taking the listener on a unique and intoxicating sonic journey. Plus, anyone who samples Art Of Noise’s 80s classic “Moments In Love” always gets props over here.

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PRhyme – “PRhyme” (PRhyme Records) – Based around samples from the catalogue of LA music man Adrian Younge, this collabo album from the mighty DJ Premier and Detroit mic vet Royce Da 5’9 could only have resulted in quality music. Packing each track with endless punchlines and clever references, Royce provided numerous rewind-worthy verses throughout the project, whilst Primo worked magic behind the boards and gave his traditional boom-bap sound an interesting twist.

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Verb T – “Medicated Dreams” (High Focus Records) – Since his debut on wax back in the early 2000s, UK emcee Verb T has consistently stood out from the crowd with his distinctive delivery, dry wit and unique worldview. On this sonic prescription, the Four Owls member administered multi-layered verses packed with self-reflection over down-tempo, self-produced beats. A musical remedy to the stresses of everyday life.

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Your Old Droog – “Your Old Droog” (Droog Recordings) – Once the dust had settled and (almost) everyone had gotten over the Nas / mistaken identity episode, one thing remained crystal clear – this upcoming NY emcee could really rap. This compilation-style project pulled together previously-heard material and unreleased gems, with Droog effortlessly rhyming circles around the competition. Proving himself to be a genuine talent in his own right, Your Old Droog definitely wasn’t about to spend a second longer standing in someone else’s shadow. Even if that someone was the dude who recorded “Illmatic”.

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Planet Asia & TzariZM – “Via Satellite” (Doxside Music Group / Gold Chain Music) – Broadcasting live and direct from Planet Rock, Florida-based producer TzariZM blessed underground West Coast icon Planet Asia with a heavy-duty selection of speaker-rattling beats for this collaborative effort. A weighty combination of skillful lyricism and uncompromising production, “Via Satellite” was received loud and clear by Hip-Hop heads wherever they resided. Do not attempt to adjust your dial.

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Rozewood – “The Beautiful Type” (Working Class Music) – Like a Hip-Hop soundtrack to the best blaxploitation flick never made, “The Beautiful Type” found NY-raised lyricist Rozewood delivering a barrage of cool-but-deadly street knowledge wrapped up in intricate wordplay, all cushioned by the plush soundscapes of Atlanta producer Illastrate. With regular collaborators Hus Kingpin and SmooVth on-hand to offer support, Rozewood lived up to the promise displayed on prior releases such as “The Ghost Of Radio Raheem” and singled himself out as a talent to watch in 2015.

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Chairman Maf – “Paint” (ChairmanMaf.BandCamp.Com) – Following up 2013’s brilliant “1976” project, UK producer Chairman Maf crafted another stimulating collection of instrumental flavours for this latest sonic endeavor. Combining his ear for both melody and quality samples with a clear passion for dusty drums, the Sheffield sound man splashed a variety of sonic moods over his canvas throughout “Paint”, allowing the listener to conjure up a number of pictures in their minds-eye as the album unfolded.

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Omniscence – “The God Hour” (Gentleman’s Relief Records) – With his shelved 1996 debut “The Raw Factor” finally being given a welcome release in 2014, North Carolina punchline-king Omniscence proved he still deserved the title of the Funky One-Liner by coming back like he forgot something with this EP of new material. Produced entirely by Australia’s Debonair P, “The God Hour” featured the talented lyricist shooting the gift over quality, head-nodding beats. True indeed!

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Kev Brown & Hassaan Mackey – “That Grit” (Ill Adrenaline Records) – 2014 was definitely a busy year for Kev Brown, with the DMV producer-on-the-mic dropping a second project on the Ill Adrenaline imprint, this time offering Rochester, NY lyricist Hassaan Mackey his trademark brand of boom-bap. With the likes of yU, Kenn Starr and Grap Luva all delivering noteworthy appearances on the mic device, “That Grit” had the organic feel of a back-in-the-day freestyle tape, with both Mackey’s witty wordplay and Brown’s sublime beats remaining on-point at all times.

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A.Y.E. – “90 Now” (Makebelieve Records) – The idea of a young twenty-something artist paying homage to a decade that had ended before he’d hit his teens may not sit particularly well with some 90s purists. But when that idea is executed as well as it was on this release from Canadian emcee A.Y.E., it’s hard to deny the flavour. Effectively capturing the traditional mid-90s East Coast sound, complete with heavy drums, echoing horns and hypnotic keys, this self-produced project also found A.Y.E. coming correct with the rhymes, whether referencing golden-era artists or commenting on the world around him. Old-school, new-school, no school rules.

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Bronze Nazareth – “Thought For Food Vol. 3” (Black Day In July Productions) – Detroit-based Wu-Tang affiliate Nazareth offered listeners his usual mix of the raw and the righteous with this latest hardcore onslaught. Blending grimy beats and classic soul samples, the Motor City producer-on-the-mic created music that sounded like sun-rays shining through inner-city alleyways.

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SilentSomeone – “I Have Company” (Peasant Podium Music) – Bronx producer SilentSomeone demonstrated his talent behind the boards to great effect on this quality collection of underground jewels. Featuring the likes of Sadat X, John Robinson and Tame One, “I Have Company” ranged from boisterous big-beat brilliance to the hypnotically haunting, with SilentSomeone putting his own sonic stamp on each track, lifting the album head-and-shoulders above similar producer-based projects.

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Swamp Thing – “Outer Limits” (URBNET) – Canadian rap astronauts Timbuktu, Chokeules and Savilion attempted to travel at magnificent speeds around the universe on “Outer Limits”, joined by Ghettosocks, D-Sisive and Wordburglar. A rocket-fuelled blast of sci-fi-inspired beats and rhymes, this long-player fully engaged the imagination thanks to the crew’s intriguing, out-of-this-world rhymes. Space is the place!

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The 1978ers – “People Of Today” (Mello Music Group) – In a modern-day world of social detachment, rampant consumerism and media manipulation, the eclectic music found on this album from DMV duo yU and Slimkat encouraged listeners to retain a positive sense of self, overcome obstacles and reach for their goals. Laced with positive sentiments grounded in personal experience and intelligent thinking rather than simple self-righteousness, “People Of Today” uplifted your spirit at the same time as it made your head nod.

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Gee Bag – “Show And Tell” (Starch Records) – Combining a strong personality with his tell-it-like-it-is lyrical approach and undeniable passion for Hip-Hop, UK artist Gee Bag demonstrated real character on the microphone throughout “Show And Tell”, blessing producer Downstroke’s selection of beats with humorous punchlines, infectious hooks and everyday observations. Show and tell? With this release the South London lyricist showed and proved.

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The Almighty $amhill – “The $amhill Story” (Aaron Michael Entertainment) – Bursting through the back door just as 2014 was coming to an end, NY emcee $amhill dropped this up-close-and-personal autobiographical masterpiece full of raw, honest rhymes and quality production from the likes of Minnesota, RTNC and Molecules. Proving that the Bronx still keeps creating it, “The $amhill Story” was a timeless body of work rooted in the tradition of golden-era Rotten Apple rap.

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The God Hour EP Stream – Omniscence / Debonair P

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North Carolina’s Omniscence proves his punchline-heavy rhyme style hasn’t missed a beat since his mid-90s debut with this latest EP of true-school flavour produced by Australia’s Debonair P.

The God Hour EP Sampler – Omniscence / Debonair P

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Having recently released his shelved mid-90s Elektra debut album “The Raw Factor” via Gentleman’s Relief Records, the North Carolina emcee teams-up with the label once again to drop an EP of new material produced by Australia’s talented Debonair P.

The Raw Factor Album Sampler – Omniscence

Having dropped the timeless singles “Amazin'” and “Touch Y’all” back in the mid-90s, North Carolina native Omniscence’s shelved 1996 debut album “The Raw Factor” is being given a long overdue release by Australian-based imprint Gentleman’s Relief – check the dopeness below and then read an interview I did with the Funky One-Liner last year here.

New Joint – Omniscence

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Omniscence – “I’m On Mine” (@Omniscence / 2014)

Punchline-heavy rhymes taken from the official digital release of the North Carolina emcee’s 1996 album “The Raw Factor”.

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2013 (Part Three) – Ill Bill / J-Zone / Dirt Platoon etc.

Ill Bill – “The Grimy Awards” (Uncle Howie) – The Brooklyn emcee kept one foot in the gritty past of NYC and the other striding towards an apocalyptic future as he shed light on both his influences and pivotal life moments throughout this extremely personal project. With production from the likes of Large Professor, DJ Muggs and DJ Premier, Bill dropped arguably his most impressive work to date (and an honorable mention has to go to Q-Unique for one of the year’s best verses on “L’Amour East”).

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Omniscence – “Sharp Objects EP” (Omniscence.BandCamp.Com) – Having made his name in the 90s with underground classics such as “Amazin'” and “Touch Y’all”, the North Carolina punchline king returned like he hadn’t missed a beat, displaying his agile lyricism on this EP built on the strong, jazzy head-nodding sonics of Australian producer Debonair P.

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Dam-Funk & Snoop Dogg – “7 Days Of Funk” (Stones Throw) – Getting back to his G-Funk roots, Snoopzilla got in touch with his inner Bootsy Collins by uniting with talented producer Dam-Funk for this synth-heavy blast of retro goodness that sounded like Tha Dogg Pound had gatecrashed a 1983 Bar-Kays jam session. Ooooweeee!!!

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J-Zone – “Peter Pan Syndrome” (Old Maid Entertainment) – Providing theme music for thirty-something Hip-Hop heads everywhere faced with the cold realities of growing-up, Zone Loc’s latest opus found the Queens, NY producer-on-the-mic navigating the pressures of full-time employment, property ownership and relationships with his usual blend of sarcastic humour and musical inventiveness.

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DJ Skizz – “B.Q.E. (The Brooklyn-Queens Experience)” (Gawd Of Math Music) – Amidst ongoing debates around the topic of New York rap losing its identity, producer DJ Skizz enlisted the likes of Masta Ace, Al’ Tariq and Rasheed Chappell for a hardcore shot to the dome that needed to be listened to whilst wearing a hoodie and Timberlands to be fully appreciated.

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Strange Neighbour – “The Heisenberg EP” (Revorg Records) – Taking his inspiration from the anti-hero of cult TV show “Breaking Bad”, UK producer Strange Neighbour got busy in the lab and cooked-up this drum-heavy batch of bangers featuring the varied lyrical styles of Phoenix Da Icefire, Oliver Sudden, Big Toast and more.

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Durag Dynasty – “360 Waves” (Nature Sounds) – The Alchemist continued to spend the year churning out ridiculously dope beats with this full-length crew effort from Planet Asia, Tristate and Killer Ben. With the West Coast trio each spitting sharp lyrical darts, Alchemist’s stripped-down beats provided the right amount of thump to ensure said darts exploded on impact as intended.

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Chairman Maf – “1976” (ChairmanMaf.BandCamp.Com) – UK producer Maf’s debut full-length instrumental project was a masterclass in creating mood music. Ranging from ethereal boom-bap to intergalactic soul, “1976” took the listener on an unpredictable sonic journey which had a worthwhile destination around every corner.

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Skyzoo & Antman Wonder – “An Ode To Reasonable Doubt” (Loyalty Digital Corp) – The Brooklyn lyricist paid homage to Jigga’s classic debut respectfully and creatively on this Antman Wonder-produced EP. Retreading the musical steps of golden-era Hov definitely meant attempting to fill some big shoes, but this brilliant eight-track release found Skyzoo adding just as much to “Reasonable Doubt” as he was taking. No regrets here.

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Dirt Platoon – “War Face” (Shinigamie Records) – Straight off the streets of Baltimore, duo Raf Almighty and Snook Da Crook cracked the concrete beats provided here by French producer Kyo Itachi like a pair of lyrical jackhammers. Rough, rugged and raw, “War Face”  left your eardrums feeling like they’d just been pummelled by the neighbourhood bully.

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Tommy Tyler – “The Golden Section” (SonsPhonetic.BandCamp.Com) – The Irish emcee delivered a moody, hypnotic five-track EP that drew the listener into a sombre world further enhanced by the bass-heavy production of Mook. Music to listen to with the lights off.

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Ryan Proctor

Check Part OnePart Two and Part Four.

Old To The New Q&A – Omniscence (Part Four)

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In the final installment of my Omniscence interview, the North Carolina artist discusses recording with Sadat X in the 90s, parting ways with East West Records and his new EP “Sharp Objects” produced by Australia’s Debonair P – check Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

Sadat X featured on one of the remixes that appeared on the “Touch Y’All” single in 1996. Was that a collaboration that East West instigated or did you already have connections with Sadat? 

“That’s a great question. I was at a party one night. I can’t remember exactly where, but it was an industry function. Like I said before, I was never that guy to be walking up to other artists and introducing myself because you never really know how you’re going to be received (laughs). So I was at this party with my man Sincere Thompson who was just an all-round business guy who had been behind various projects on the promotional side and he already knew Sadat. So he asked me what I thought about doing a song with Sadat X and I was like, ‘That’s a no-brainer!’ I mean, I was already such a fan of Sadat X from when he’d been with Brand Nubian and doing songs like “Concerto In X Minor”. Plus, there was also the Five Percent culture that Sadat represented, which I represented as well, so Sincere went ahead and put that together.”

Considering you were already a big fan of Sadat, were you in awe slightly when you actually got in the studio with him?

“You know what? I was, man (laughs). But by that time I’d really learnt how to conduct myself as a fan-slash-artist. But I remember it was just really cool, man. Sadat X came to the Hit Factory, which is where we recorded the song. Fanatic had hit him with three beats and I told Sadat he could choose whichever one he liked the most because I was feeling all three. So he picked the one with the Isaac Hayes sample. But yeah, we talked a lot about sports. He brought his man Mark Da Spark, but not MY man Mark Sparks (laughs). At that point my Mark  had already done “I Like It” for Grand Puba and a few other joints on the “2000” album, so I asked Sadat if he was familiar with my Mark and told him that he was originally from our crew in North Carolina, and Sadat was like, ‘Yo, you know him? Yo, we’ve been looking for son, man? I want him to do something on my next project.’ So they were asking me if I could get in touch with him and whatever, although I believe we’re still to hear a Sadat X record produced by Mark Sparks so they still need to get that together (laughs). But that’s why I said on the “Touch Y’all” remix, ‘Kakalak and Now Rule reunited like Peaches & Herb’ because Puba and my Mark had already done the “I Like It” record, so by me and Sadat working together we were just reuniting North Carolina and New Rochelle one more time.”

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Where did the concept for the “Touch Y’all” video come from because it really seemed to be tapping into some of the technological advances that were happening at the time around virtual reality etc?

“That was a concept brought to me by a director called Francis Lawrence who went on to direct some pretty big movies, including “I Am Legend” with Will Smith. We didn’t know each other before he was called upon to direct my video, but I remember him telling me what he wanted to do and describing how the concept behind the video was about me and my boys being able to touch all these different people across the world. He was describing how it was going to incorporate the virtual reality idea, with me putting the glasses on and everything. So basically, the concept was that it’s just me sat there rhyming, but what I’m seeing through these virtual reality glasses is me taking over the building, setting up satellites and everything so I can touch the world. It was a great concept for the video.”

One of my favourite lines on “Touch Y’all” was ‘You don’t understand, I never get dissed in rap, That’s like the Geto Boys doing Christian rap.’ But then, ironically, Bushwick Bill did go on to record Christian rap…

“Yeah he did (laughs). How crazy is that? That just shows you that you never know what’s going to happen in the future, man (laughs). But yeah, that was one of my favourite lines as well, and so far I never have been dissed in rap (laughs).”

So, at this point, the “Touch Y’all” single was out there and people were waiting on your album “The Raw Factor” to drop. Were there any tensions between yourself and Vincent Herbert at the time in terms of the musical direction you were going to move in, given the Biggie / Puffy comments you made earlier in the interview?

“I’ll be honest with you, me and Vince never had a problem at all. Vince is a great guy and I’m not just saying that to be politically correct or nothing like that. He still gave me the opportunity to get my music out there. I might have had the opportunity to go in different directions rather than signing with Vince, but who’s to say how things would have turned out if I had signed with a Chris Lighty or someone like that. So Vince still gave me that opportunity to get my music heard. But overall, we still had some hard records on “The Raw Factor”. I mean, I had mixed feelings about the album at the time because I had records on there that I really, really felt good about and then I had some other tracks that I still liked, but I was unsure if everyone else was going to like them (laughs). So there was no tension between me and Vincent, it was more an inner disagreement within myself about how some of the songs on “The Raw Factor” were going to pan out with those people who had last heard me on the “Funky One Liner” EP.”

So you were definitely feeling some pressure?

“I mean, I had been through a whole lot during that year living up in the city. Girls were in abundance, I was running around trying to smoke every blunt I could lay my hands on, I was going to the studio for late-night sessions, and then the nights I didn’t have to go to the studio I was partying. So I was really getting burnt out and the whole situation was a lot for a kid being the age I was then to take on mentally and physically. I mean, if you go back to the beginning of my story, where I was at by that time in the mid-90s was so far away from who I truly was, it was becoming a little overwhelming to be honest with you.”

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There were a lot of artists tied-in with Elektra in the mid-90s such as Juggaknotz, Deda Baby Pa and Supernatural whose projects all got shelved in the same way as your album “The Raw Factor”. In your opinion, why did your album not come out? 

“I don’t know what everyone else’s situation was, but with my situation, I know there were some sample clearance issues that had taken place. The budget for my album was perhaps not being used strictly for my album. I’ll never forget it, Busta Rhymes’ first solo album “The Coming” and my album were due to drop on the same day. I want to say it was March 26th, 1996. Busta and I were going to go on a promotional tour to push our albums, which ironically was going to start in North Carolina. I was very excited about it and I remember being out in New Jersey with some of my people celebrating and I was packing getting ready to roll out. I got a phone call from Vincent Herbert’s assistant telling me that we had to have a big meeting because Elektra weren’t ready to move forward with my album. Then when we had the meeting, Vincent’s take on it was that Elektra were tripping and his plan was to take me to another label and I remember he was talking about how we’d record new songs and everything. I remember saying, ‘Yo, I’ve done all of that work to get to this! I got signed in late-94 and here we are in 1996 and nothing’s really dropped out there aside from a couple of singles!’ Now the album wasn’t coming out, I’m getting mentally overwhelmed with everything that was going on, and I think overall Elektra had put a certain amount of money into me but hadn’t seen anything back from that. I mean, I wasn’t signed directly to Elektra like a Daddy D, a Lin Que or an 8-Off, I was signed to Vincent who then had a label deal with them. So I think Elektra had given Vincent a certain budget to use, not just for my album, but for any artist that was going to be on his label. So Elektra were on Vincent’s ass because of how long it was going to take to finish the album up because of the sample clearances, and I think they just decided that they couldn’t send me out on the road with Busta to promote an album that wasn’t actually ready to be released when they wanted it to be. So at the time when we had that meeting with the label, that was when I told Vincent that I appreciated everything he’d done for me, but that things weren’t really moving in the direction I wanted them to and I wanted to try something different. I mean, I could have carried on, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t the right thing for me anymore. It was time to just turn the car around and go back because if I hadn’t then I would’ve ended-up somewhere I didn’t really want to be. I was just drained, man. I wanted to go home (laughs). I just wanted to go back home for a minute and get my head together. I mean, the skills weren’t going anywhere, the love for the music wasn’t going anywhere, but I just needed a clearer head at the time. So that was the end of “The Raw Factor”, so we thought (laughs).”

How easy was it for you to make that transition from being a new artist, moving in industry circles and being on the verge of dropping your debut album to then going back to where it all started in North Carolina and leaving all of that behind?

“When I first got back it was real easy because around the way now I’m the man (laughs). People were like, ‘Yo! He’s back!’ Even in the bigger cities of North Carolina I was getting a great response from people when I first got home. So I was letting that stroke my ego for a minute. The women were still there, the weed was still there, whatever I needed. People were still treating me like I was their hero. But then as that slowly started to fade away I started to see reality and was like, ‘Yo! This s**t is over’ I realised that I needed to start over and re-grind (laughs). At that time, Fanatic had stayed on with Vincent for a little bit, which is when he did the “Crush On You” record with Lil’ Kim. I mean, Fanatic was still under Vincent’s umbrella when he was shopping a lot of his beats to artists. I know Biggie was a big fan of his work because Fanatic used to send beat-tapes to Mister Cee and I did actually meet Biggie one time and he did let me know that he knew who we both were. But Fanatic did finally end up coming back to North Carolina and we were like, ‘We can still do this!’ I mean, it was still 1996 when this happened, so we took it back to square one, put out a little compilation on 6th Boro and that’s where you got tracks like ” Stage Domination” and “Causin’ Terror”. But those records were a little harder than the previous material partly because I was hanging-out again with people who were involved in the street life and also because I had some frustrations about things not working out the way I’d wanted them to with the music.”

Were you being approached by other labels once it became clear you were a free agent again, or by that time was it a case of the majors looking for music with more commercial appeal and what you were doing didn’t really fit into that format?

“Yeah, I definitely agree with what you just said about the labels looking for something different by that time. But it was also down to me as well, because I’d been scorned by the industry, so I was mad, I was upset and I was determined not to get back into another situation like that unless everything was right. There were definitely some people who were interested in doing some things, but nothing that was truly the right fit for me.”

Moving forward a few years, with people’s access to the Internet having grown substantially by the late-90s / early-2000s, “The Raw Factor” quickly became an online Hip-Hop holy grail. Were you surprised when you saw the interest there still was in the album that was coming from all across the world?

“I would have to say that I wasn’t surprised and the reason why is because with the Hip-Hop fans across the water and in other countries there is such a love and respect for the music and culture as it grows older. That’s not to take anything away from the people here in the US who hold the culture so dearly, but in other places across the world, like in Europe, there has just always been such an interest in the history of the music and in those artists that contributed to Hip-Hop during that golden-era period. I’m not going to say that I always knew people were going to show me the amount of love for my music that I received when I started looking online, but once I started to see some of that feedback it made sense to me why those people remembered what I’d done. So I wasn’t surprised by the initial love that I received from people online, but I am surprised by the amount of love that I’ve received since then. I mean, if you’re into Hip-Hop and you know about an artist like an Omniscence or a Cella Dwellas, someone like that, then that means you’re really deep into this culture. I mean, so many people think Hip-Hop is just about what they’re hearing on the radio and they don’t understand or know about the many artists that have contributed to the culture over the years.”

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The crew over at Dope Folks Records have recently put out some of your material from “The Raw Factor”, but you’ve also been working with Australia’s Debonair P who produced your new EP “Sharp Objects”. How did you approach putting the project together?

“Well, firstly I want to say that this new project illustrates one of the greatest thing about the Internet, that a talented brother like Debonair P can be all the way out in Australia but we can still connect to make some good music like we have done through our love for the culture. I mean, I’d been getting hit up for years about the old music with people offering me what I thought was insane amounts of money, but Debonair P was really the first person to hit me on the net and tell me that he was a big fan of my older music but to also ask if I would be interested in doing something new. I was like, ‘What? You really want to hear that?!’ The thing is, I never stopped recording music. Even after the situation with Elektra and everything, I still kept making music and never took my ear away from the culture. I mean, there have been some other people who’ve asked me to do some stuff, but Debonair P was the first person I felt was on the right vibe for me to be able to work with him. He came at me and said he wasn’t looking to make a killing off this, but he let me know what money he expected us to make, and he was just a straight-up cat and told me that he’d really like to hear me do something new. So the way that he came at me, I just felt that it was right. So we did the “Raw Factor 2.0” single last year, which I gave that title because I wanted to link it back to the old days so people could make that connection rather than just jump straight in with something different. I wanted to use that single to show people that I am still that emcee from that era, and now with the new “Sharp Objects” EP, that’s about letting people know that I’m older now, more mature, and there’s some topics that I want to address today that reflect the twenty years of living that I’ve done since that “Funky One Liner” EP and the music I made for the original “Raw Factor” album. But after this project, Debonair P and myself are also going to be working on a full-length album which will definitely feature some one-liner action because I know people still want to hear that from me and it’s my foundation as an emcee. I also want to take the opportunity to shout-out Dope Folks Records for re-releasing some of that older material from me.”

You mentioned earlier the part your Five Percent beliefs played in you working with Sadat X back in the 90s. How much of an influence, if any, do those beliefs have on the new music you’re making today?

“I think it probably has a greater influence on the music I’m making today than it did back then. I got into the whole Five Percent thing through some of my peers back in the day. There was a point in time when I really needed that and I went to them to be taught the lessons and I got into it very, very hard. But I would hear guys who were deep into the lessons and then when they would write their rhymes every line would contain a word from the lessons or a different reference. My thing was that I was an emcee first before I was a Five Percenter, so I wanted to always be able to appeal to someone who doesn’t know anything about the Supreme Mathematics, but at the same time I also wanted to always drop certain jewels or say certain things to let people know that, true indeed, I am the true and living God. But I’ve gotta be real, there were times when I fell off of my lessons, like when I was in New York recording “The Raw Factor”. I won’t say that was a period in time when I was most on-point with my lessons, even though I should have been. I was being overwhelmed by the industry and falling for certain temptations. But since coming back home I’ve been able regain a lot of the knowledge of self, and now I know how to approach it and really incorporate it into my music. Not to the point where I’m going too deep with it, but at the same time I’m not going to be saying anything so ignorant that it’s at odds with those beliefs. But anytime someone wants to test the God on anything from the School of Enrolment down to the Solar Facts and Actual Facts, then we can get into that. But I do want to start dropping more knowledge in the music I’m making today because that’s one regret I do have when I listen to my older music, that I didn’t do more of that”

So given the amount of experience you’ve had in the world of music over the last twenty-something years, what advice would you give to an upcoming emcee today?

“I would say to anyone to go back and study the beginnings of this music, the culture and the business and be knowledgeable about what you’re getting into. Don’t just jump in and think this music started right here. Now with the Internet there’s really no excuse for someone not to know the history of this great culture, man. Just try to find out where the music has already been before you get on that path to where you’re going. Plus, if you are looking to try and make some money off this music, be very prepared and have your business straight as far as your management and everything is concerned. Lastly, just let the music come from your heart, let it come straight from the soul. A lot of people ask me how I dealt with being out of the game and going from being an artist signed to a major label back to square one. But the thing is, that experience of being signed to a major label wasn’t really what I wanted it to be. So let it come from your heart when you’re making the music, but make sure you have everything else in place outside of the music.”

Ryan Proctor

Follow Omniscence on Twitter (@Omniscence) and check the new “Sharp Objects” EP here.

Omniscence – “Sharp Objects” EP Snippets (Gentleman’s Relief / 2013)