During a newly-released interview with Dead End Hip Hop, Diamond District lyricist Oddisee was asked what he thinks about those who choose to label him a conscious rapper. He first explained that humans need to categorize things in order to better understand them.
Oddisee then revealed that he doesn’t mind being categorized or put in a box as long as his music is being listened to.
“Human beings need to categorize things in order to comprehend them because we feel we don’t understand,” Oddisee said. “It makes it easier for us to process things. So, put me in a box. Just put me in as many boxes as possible. I don’t try to persuade them. I [made] all of it. I’m fine. Whatever you categorize it, are you listening? Do you like it?”
Prior to speaking on being labeled a conscious rapper, Oddisee spoke on how Diamond District was formed. He explained that Diamond District, which consists of himself, Uptown X.O., and YU, was formed out of a need to put the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) area on the map musically.
“‘Let’s make a group record cause people don’t make group records anymore.’ So okay, group record, retro, boom bap,” he said. “How we gonna do this? It’s like ‘Alright, let’s make a D.C. rap group that reflects the whole D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area from all angles.’ Where myself, I’m from Prince Georges County, Maryland, which is the wealthiest concentration of African Americans in the United States. It’s rich, black suburbs. It’s also home to the largest gap between rich and poor in economics. And Uptown XO was born and bred in D.C. My family comes from D.C. and moved out to the suburbs.
“We all grew up listening to a lot of rap,” the rapper added. “Where we knew where Decatur was. We knew where College Park was. We knew where Fifth Ward was in Houston. We knew where Port Arthur was. We knew where Crenshaw was…Where was that for D.C.?”