Oddisee back in New Zealand for the seventh time

Forget the piles of money, the women, and the image that comes with a stereotypical hip-hop artist. Because Oddisee is far from it.

"Hip hop has so many different faces, and there's only particular faces that get highlighted."

While those faces seem to dominate headlines, Oddisee's probably isn't recognisable from the top 40 charts.

"There's plenty of other ways I could have made a lot more money for myself, but I'm happy at the end of the day, and I go to sleep at night feeling like I've contributed something to my culture," he told Newshub.

That's because his lyrics focus on the politics and social issues of everyday life. They're topics that hit close to home for the artist, who as a Muslim African-American has found himself among the marginalised in society.

"I'm connected to a lot of it you know, if a police officer is shooting an unarmed citizen who is African-American - that could be me."

His latest album touched on the migration crisis in the Middle East, Brexit and of course Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.

"I just found myself at a lot of different places during really key historical events, and I felt compelled to write about it."

Oddisee said he "writes like a journalist", free from opinion, and full of questions. But it's something he knows can be controversial.

"Obviously I was ready for some of the backlash from people, but I wanted that backlash to create dialogue."

Oddisee has made so many albums he struggles to recall exactly how many.

"Let's go ahead and put it around 16."

And still staying away from the mainstream, he doesn't collect or even listen to his own music once it's published.

"I kinda live very much in the moment and thinking about the future. But the past, I just leave where it is."

It's Oddisee's seventh visit to New Zealand, and in that time he's developed a strong connection with our country. 

"I just love how humble people are here, the culture, scenery and the atmosphere."

He's also taken a bit of a shine to our coffee.

"Auckland has a great place that I initially went to on my first visit here, Supreme, Coffee Supreme, and I've been a fan ever since."

Oddisee is due to perform in Wellington Saturday, and Havelock North on Sunday.


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