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From award-winning poet to MC: Ogechi talks creating pro-Black music

 

 

Photo: Provided by Chadwick Vreach

 

What better place is there to be for music right now other than Atlanta? In the words of DJ Esco, “It’s the hottest city in the country in music.” During a GQ documentary, Esco identifies Magic City, the popular Atlanta strip club, as one of the entities that run hip-hop and he also highlights that “It’s like Motown was in the 70s with groups on every corner trying to get a deal. It’s the same thing in Atlanta; it’s just rap.” ATL poet and genre-electric recording artist Ogechi (meaning “God’s Time”) is one of the many with a unique sound striving to have her music heard on a wide scale in the Music Mecca. The 21-year-old Nigerian and Kansas City raised MC is a breath of fresh air to the music and entertainment industry.

 

Carving her sound by infusing the sounds of hip-hop, gospel, and rock n’ roll, Ogechi has released pro-Black tracks such as “Blvck + Womvn” and “My Good Lord” that highlights the beauty of Black pride and femininity. In an exclusive interview with CeeSoDope, Ogechi describes her journey into music, going into details about the creative thought process behind her music video “Blvck + Womvn,” her thoughts on women in hip-hop, plus more.

 

Check out the interview below:

 

1) Describe your journey into making music?

I started my journey into music as a poet in 2015. It was the summer of 2017 when I made the transition to mainly focus on music. My first streaming single was “Blvck + Womvn” from my debut EP Intersection Blvckness. It luckily made a Spotify playlist. Since then I’ve released four EPs Ridd Redd: A Riddim RaptureHipHoppa ScholaBlvck & Rollperform both poetry and music across the U.S. and internationally.

 

2) How did you come up with the creative vision for the music video “Blvck + Womvn”?

One day while sitting in my dorm I got a call from a random man, Dylan Hoff, and he told me that he had heard my song and liked it. He was a filmmaker for commercial things but wanted to get into music videos, and he let me know his idea. We discussed that if I didn’t like anything, we’d reshoot, but his vision was perfect.

3) What was your inspiration behind the records “My Good Lord” and “Buh Lee Dat”?

The inspiration behind “My Good Lord” was to create an inspiration song to those that are oppressed. It accidentally ended up sounding like rock n’ roll gospel.

As for “Buh Lee Dat,” this was to flex my lyrical prowess and let ‘them’ know I’m a bender of the English language, a lyricist.

 

4) What influences your music?

My life experiences and the experiences of those around me and look like me; I feed off of emotion to make music. It’s more realistic that way.

 

5) What was your reaction to winning the Atlanta’s Youth Poetry Laureate?

It was a great honor, especially considering the competition, but I stayed confident in myself and won. Knowing that a real publisher, Penmanship, would handle my second book was also really dope to be bestowed with.

 

6) Who are some of your favorite MC’s and why?

My top five are Jay-Z (Hov), Immortal Technique, Missy Elliot, Biggie, and Lauryn Hill. This list sometimes gets updated as I listen to more discographies, but for Hov, his lyrical ability plus a presence on beats and flows and selection of beats and samples, I could go on. Immortal Technique is the alien’s type; the government doesn’t like him; hard truth, storytelling, a stylistic rapper that can make great records. Missy is Missy. She recently was honored with the Songwriters Hall of Fame Award, and as a songwriter myself, she is most definitely looked up to and studied. Biggie for his flows, storytelling ability, and swagger in tracks, and Lauryn Hill for her multifaceted-ness as a singer/rapper and being able to blend the two and keep them separated seamlessly. I view all of them as legends and GOATS in their own right.

 

7) What are your thoughts on female MC’s and their voice in hip-hop today? Has it grown? Why or why not?

I believe female MC’s are getting and will continue to grow (in getting) their past-due shine this year and following. The presences have grown just not that visibility due to how the industry works, which is, the majority of the time, out of our (the artists’) control.

 

8) Where do you see your music career in the next three to five years?

In three to five years, I’d be 24-26 years old. By then, I see myself being a household name even if pronounced wrong.

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