June 8, 2001

Onry Ozzborn (Oldominion)

Onry OzzbornOB1: Oldominion is a massive crew and I’ve seen reports of anywhere from 9 to 13 members. How many people are apart of the crew and what does everyone do?

Onry: There are 25 total members. We have 2 DJ’s, 8 producers, and everyone emcees.

Your music is thought provoking, challenging the listeners to comprehend your concepts with abstract references. What is the driving force behind this, and is it your goal to keep heads thinking on a deeper level?

It’s like this…The leader of Oldominion past away about a year and a half ago.

Who was the leader?

Rochester A.P. the common alien. His album will come out! What it was is that everybody in Oldominion was always really spiritual. Some people are in to god, some people are in to good, some believed in whatever it was… There is a lot of spiritual emotion going around. Instead of dictating which direction each member would go we all knew we were trying to achieve something good. You know music is another language, in it, it is rarely seen that you get what you see. I’m not saying necessarily don’t cuss or don’t talk about weedz and that, but make sure the person listening knows where you are coming from. Try to relate to them, that’s our main objective. He (Rochester A.P.) was the main person who made us believe in ourselves. Don’t be ashamed of what you believe, you can share it and then take some of what other people believe, and then balance it out and grow. He passed away so were trying to carry that on. The group is really spiritual, real soulful.

So it’s not just Christianity then?

No, that’s the whole thing. People be like, your Christian rappers. My answer to that is were what ever you get from us, whatever you feel in you heart, whatever it makes you think about, whatever you see, whatever… Anything, that’s what we are. I’m not going to label anything. I believe in god, and I believe in Jesus and all that, but that’s me. I’m one member out of 25. There are a lot of members that feel the same way as me, but that’s not the point. Religion has really, to me, screwed up. I think this because there’s lot of tradition that was made up in the church that has nothing to do with the true belief in our heart. So this is what it is.

What is the religion you choose to follow?

I was raised Catholic but I’m cool with all religions, but I am a strong believer.

What is it like being part of such a huge crew? Do a lot of issues come up such as splitting money, mic time, who gets to travel, and what not?

Realistically the only problem we ever have with each other is that we get annoyed with each other. As far as mic time, it’s all good. We all get about equal amount of rap time on everything, we have 6 albums on the internet, and we have this album we just put out now, “One”. So were always making music, so nobodies ever really mad, and everybody has their solo projects. So just as people we are so different that yeah we clash, but we learn to work with it. Money has never been an issue. I’ll put it this way if I have $500 and everybody else only has $5 then I’ll pay for them until I’m out of cash. That’s how everybody does it. So it’s like whoever has money pays for it. When it comes time to pay everybody, if we only make $4, then the entire crew only makes $4. There’s so many of us, but we take care of each other, a big family.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Are you aiming for commercial success or are you content with where you are?

Lets put it this way, in hip hop this is yet to be done. I know there are a lot of legends and a lot of people who won’t be forgotten. Such as Rakim, KRS-1, Dr. Dre, but you know how the Beatles are, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, certain groups that where you can still put on one of their jams and it’s like it just dropped. That has been lost, music now-a-days is the moment, it’s like we want to put your album out, we want to put your single out, next year your forgotten, you made us our money. I want to have the impact to where in 2015 if you put on a Onry Ozzborn album, or an Oldominion album, or anything from us, it’s like it just dropped, you know what I mean. That’s hard to do in hip hop, so we’re trying to create that sound to where it is timeless music. That’s the only way to explain it.

Your not dating your self with the music you’re making…

Yeah, exactly and that’s very hard to do in hip hop.

You have a harder almost dark feel to some of your music but yet the lyrics are positive and spiritual. How much does spirituality play a role in the music?

It plays a large role because a lot of the time I’ll hear a beat, close my eyes and start listening to it and start writing. I’ll go into the studio, drop the verse and then 3 days later it’s like listening to someone else. A lot of times it feels like my hand is moving, it just does what its going to do. I don’t read books. I’m from New Mexico, a small town by Albuquerque where nobody knows where it is, so everything I’ve ever learned was on my own, but I’ve always been able to come through in a certain way with certain words that I can’t even explain myself. A lot of people don’t believe me with that…

You sound more like a painter…

Yeah exactly, it’s funny that you said that because my second album on BSI Recordings is going to be called “Salvador”, after Salvador Dali. The painting is exactly what I’m talking about.

With the spiritual feel are you trying to portray a message to your fans?

A lot of times I feel as though I’m talking to myself. I’ll write a whole song and then listen to it; I’m telling myself to do that, so it’s like I’m going to write my songs according to how my life is going and I know there are a lot of people out there going through the same thing I am. So it helps me, I don’t ever sit down and be like I’m going to write this for this certain type people. I don’t ever think about that. This is what I’m going through, this is what I’m writing. This is like therapy for me, it helps me balance life out.

What are you feeling right now, what are you listening too?

I listen to Staind, one of my favorite bands; Linkin Park, I went to their concert and I thought it was dope; Deftones, and some 80’s music. I don’t really listen to much hip hop, it has turned to garbage, I’m not trying to diss, but… Swollen Members, I heard their new album and it’s going to be one of the greatest albums ever! I like the darker stuff. I can’t stand most hip hop. Most of my favorite MC’s are doing something’s I never thought they would do, except there’s one person I give some credit to is Pharoahe Monch. It doesn’t matter if he does a jiggy cut or what, that fool is still flipping some the illest cadences. Pharoahe Monch is one of the greatest to me because he is always on. I’m feeling the Smut Peddlers, I love Cage; I like the Weathermen, Aesop Rock is dope. Aesop Rock is a perfect writer, his lyrics, his word play is phenomenal. But there is this cat in our crew named Nyquil, honestly he to me is the most phenomenal writer I have ever heard in my life. He is going to have to just show and prove when his album comes out. He is one of those artists that really is going to go crazy, and he’s not going to be felt till he’s gone. I’ll shut up now but poetry is an understatement for what he writes. He is just phenomenal. Outside the group though Aesop Rock is word perfect.

Any last words?

This may not have any importance but at our show in New York my man Bishop I battled a cat from the Atoms Family named Alaska and Bishop I slaughtered him! I don’t care what the internet says, I don’t care about what anybody says, he humiliated him, and that’s real. They’ve been putting it on the internet that my boy got sliced, and they’re all New York people. No diss to New York, I mean El-P, Big Jus, and Mr. Len are my friends, them my boys. I know people in New York, it’s a dope place, but Bishop slaughtered him. I want it to be known he slaughtered him!