How do your favorite rappers write their rhymes? To find out, Complex TV has started a new series, The Process. Hosted by Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg and shot at New York City's legendary Chung King Studios, The Process features intimate conversations with established legends as well as exciting up-and-comers about how they put their rhymes together and the magic that happens when the pen hits the pad. New episodes of The Process premiere every Tuesday on Complex TV.
In our latest installment of The Process with Peter Rosenberg, Oddisee breaks down his start in rapping. Born in Washington, DC, Oddisee cites his mom as an early influence in his pursuit to become an MC, which he formally got into during high school. It was then and there where he realized his lyrics needed to stand for something. "The rhymes were completely focused on being aggressive, almost from a battle rap standpoint," Oddisee says. "I started to do it myself during the Rawkus era. Everything was anti the establishment, before you really start to wake up and realize you need to make music about life instead of rapping about rapping."
Oddisee describes his writing style as layered and unorthodox, which he says is based on his diverse audience. "A lot of my demographic is spread throughout different pockets of people," he states. "I've got a lot of college grads, I've got a lot of working class people, I've got a lot of people still in the streets who all listen to my music. They get different things from my music."
While rapping is notably associated with the consumption of alcohol and marijuana for motivation, Oddisee explains that's one aspect of the game that he refrains from engaging in with his peers. "I said to myself, if I can get to that point and use my imagination and use my creativity without the use of a substance, I'm going to be better than them."
Oddisee's debut album, People Hear What They See, is available now.
If you like this episode, check out Ab-Soul on The Process below.