I was curious how you came to the concept of Smoke & Mirrors.
OC: How I came up with the title?
Well, the concept and the title the themes that were prevalent in the album.
OC: It came from every title comes from a word or a line that I said in a previous album. I did a song with this Japanese kid, called Muro some years ago, that I mentioned “smoke and mirrors. ” So, it kinda best fit what was going on the industry, before and after me. Like, everything ain’t what it seemed to be. And I just kinda double-metaphored it with life, like, everything ain’t always what it seems to be in life, either.
What kinda audience were you trying to reach on the album? Like, more of the adult crowd, or kids, or both?
OC: I mean, both. Just anybody who’s willing to pay attention. I mean, obviously, I’m not a teeny-bopper, so I’m not gonna talk about teeny-bopping things. I’m only speaking on issues that I know about or that I know from somebody else within my age bracket, or even if they younger – but if it’s a grown-up situation they put into I talk about it.
Is it still coming out on Tuesday, on November 1?
OC: Yeah, it’s coming on Tuesday.
How did you start working with Mike Low for the album?
OC: Well, dude been around with Finesse and Buck for years, he’s always been around DITC, so, at the time of me trying to start just recording some songs again, crew was busy, so he had kinda what I was looking for. So I just stuck with him, and rode it out with him.
Would you mind talking about DITC for a second? Is something going on with them, or are projects in the works, or
OC: Well, starting next week, me, Diamond, AG, and Finesse do a two-week tour and then we coming home and probably start on an EP.
Have you guys started working on it yet, or
OC: No, we haven’t started. We putting everything together now. We gonna do the shows, see how our people see if people wanna even go see us, y’know what I’m saying?
Oh, I’m sure of that, I mean I’d see you.
OC: You gotta check, though. You gotta check, just to make sure. We gonna see how people respond to us when we together. See what happens after that.
With the whole label switch for you to Hiero Imperium, are they thinking of doing something similar, or are they comfortable where they are right now?
OC: I wouldn’t say I don’t think nobody’s comfortable where they are, you always trying to get ahead. Everything is good for me. It’s a comfortable situation being over there. So, as long as I’m comfortable with them, y’know, we just trying to make good music, and build a company.
They’re the first place to give you creative control? Is that right?
OC: I always have creative control. I don’t know why people keep asking me that. That’s like, that’s crazy. I always have control over what I do. The only thing that I always have problems with is labels trying to make me do radio records, whatever the case is, or whatever they felt like selling. I always have control over my records.
I guess it was on that promo sheet that said something about
OC: Yeah, see, that’s incorrect right there.
Oh, OK, I’m sorry about that.
OC: The publicist, she misinterpreted something.
Are you planning on doing any collaborations with anyone from Hieroglyphics, or are you sticking to DITC for a while now?
OC: Yeah, we plan on making some music together.
Is there anything else you want to say about the album?
OC: The album is coming out November 1. Next week, actually. I’m already working on a new album, so
Is that another solo project?
OC: I mean, I been away for a minute, so I kinda got my swagger back. The album’s been done. I’ve been recording Smoke and Mirrors for two years, so y’know, the album’s just something done on my leisure, so, I mean, I’m ready to just . I’m just recording.
You have a title for that yet, or
OC: Nah. I’m just recording music, and just trying to stay in the mix. I’m really trying to flood the market. I mean, people always get albums from me like three years, two years, four years apart; that’s not fair, so I feel like I owe the people, even if I’ma just give songs away.
Is that what happened with that last album, Starchild?
OC: Um, nah, that album was done somebody paid me to do a record with them, and, for whatever reason, they put the record out prematurely. That album wasn’t done. So, it got leaked over well, they put it out in Japan.
Right, it was a limited release thing.
OC: I had no knowledge at the time that it was coming out.
Oh, that doesn’t sound that great.
OC: No. I wasn’t happy with it at first, but people like it, so it’s cool, but at the same time, if people didn’t like it, it wouldn’t have reflected the label that put it out, the imprint. It would’ve reflected my name. So that was really my main gripe. Like, you can’t put something out and expect it to [not] fall on your shoulders. It’ve fell on my shoulders if people would’ve disregarded the record.
Are you planning a re-release for it, or planning on getting the rights for it back, or something?
OC: Like I said, I feel like I owe people, so I’m trying to do another album for the States, trying to do everything, and redeem a lot of things, just correct a lot of things that should have been corrected years ago. Like, I’m a fan of the music, so I know if one of my favorite artists or whatever have not been putting out consistent records, and expecting me to buy the stuff, it’s not cool. That goes for me, too.
Who are your favorite artists, then, that you mentioned just now?
OC: I really don’t have a favorite artist today. I mean, Who do I listen to? I listen to DipSet, I listen to everything. Jeezy. I listen to all of that. You gotta listen to what’s going on “mainstream, ” you gotta listen to what’s going on underground. I listen to Immortal Technique, I listen to MF DOOM, I listen to Hiero, I listen to everybody, just to see who’s doing what. People tend to shelter: “oh, this is not real music, ” or . Anything that’s coming out is real music, it’s just, “is it your cup of tea? ” is the question.
Yeah, well, people have to pick and choose, sometimes.
OC: Everybody’s not gonna like everything, so, y’know, to each his own. I listen to everybody.
What are you listening to now?
OC: I’m listening to a lot of old R&B. I’m listening to Trey Songz, Lyfe [Jennings], I’m listening to a lot of R&B stuff right now.
You can hear that in that last album.
OC: I think I got Jim Jones’ record in my car right now.
Mm. I haven’t gotten that one yet. Well, I guess that pretty much covers it, unless you want to add anything?
OC: Just look for new projects coming at the top of the year, besides this album. New Diggin records, new Lord Finesse records, new AG records, Diamond records, new Show records, just a lot of music coming from me and affiliates.
Yeah, that sounds fun.