Omen, who is one of the first signees from Dreamville, has come up and experienced some of the most creative ideas with the team throughout the process. The Chicago lyricist owns up to his stage name by his fresh authenticity. He writes his lyrics through his experiences and others through his eyes. We know you heard him from previous Dreamville’s compilations album from the first one to now.
When you hear Omen, you can recall his feature with J. Cole on Friday Night Lights. He proved that he belongs in the hip-hop game. He, also, appeared on the Light, Dream and Nightmares tour with J. Cole and Drake who headlined. With his previous project, Afraid of Heights, he celebrated with his fans by doing notable collaborations. With his upcoming project, it will be an incredible new sound that should release very soon!
We caught up with the “Self Love” rapper and we discussed his experiences with the Revenge camp earlier this year, some words of advice, that stuck to him until this day, from J. Cole, how the crowd reacted to the unreleased tracks from ComplexCon and more.
RESPECT: What was the energy like while making the ROTD3 album? Within those 10 days?
It was intense, for the first day or two I felt out of my comfort zone and had to adapt with everything that was going on in the different spaces and studios. But, after I got in a groove it was dope and really the best part was seeing how everyone’s writing processes and styles were different.
RESPECT: Can you say that you have worked with the artists or producers you have always wanted to work with?
I really had no idea all the different artist and producers were coming, I assumed it was just gonna be all Dreamville. But, it was dope to meet a lot of artist I was already a fan of and it was cool to be able to work. I was a big fan of Saba, Mereba and Smino beforehand so that was cool. All the rooms had different vibes and set up, some were R&B while others were trap or soul. It really depended on what mood we were in each day. One of the standouts from the sessions was Buddy who had this infectious energy — he made the vibe a lot of fun during the sessions.
RESPECT: From the first compilation album to now, can you say it was growth throughout the experience and years?
For sure, this was the first time we really set out to create an album. The other compilations were really just us emailing songs we each had in the stash and putting them together. We were all focused on making an album and in the end I was really impressed that we made over 140 songs in about ten days.
RESPECT: While experiencing ComplexCon this year, since you are from Chicago, I had seen that fans can hear the unreleased ROTD songs. How were their reactions to listening to them? Who stood out?
It was set up at the PUMA booth, built it out as a wooden studio where fans were given earphones to listen to some of the songs that didn’t make the album. I had fans coming up to me telling me they’re favorite songs off the compilation and asking about tracks that might be placed on the deluxe project. They were in line for hours just waiting to get a chance to listen to some of the tracks, everyone at PUMA were impressed with their dedication. It really showed the strength of the Dreamville brand.
RESPECT: What is your definition or perception of Dreamville?
That’s a good question… I would say that the perception of our label is changing. We’re not as niche or catering to a specific audience. I think we’re more versatile now with the addition of different artists like Ari Lennox, J.I.D and EarthGang. Overall, I think everyone knows we put love and heart into our music.
RESPECT: By being with Dreamville as a first signee, what can you say are your memorable moments with the team so far?
The rap bar crawl we did a few years back was special but, it would have to be Dreamville Festival. After being around basically since the inception of the label, and seeing all the different stages and hurdles, seeing over 40,000 people all in one area coming for Dreamville, it was special.
RESPECT: Define RESPECT.
Respect comes with consistency and proving that you can deliver what you say will. You have to earn respect, and that takes time.
RESPECT: When will be seeing or getting the deluxe version of the album?
We are still working and figuring out the tracklist.
RESPECT: What can you be a few songs you have on repeat from the album?
That’s tough, I feel like my favorite songs changes every day I listen to the project. But I really like “Self Love” with Ari Lennox and Baby Rose and “Oh Wow… Swerve.” The second part of that song has some really great energy to it and it’s just refreshing. I also have been playing “PTSD” a lot, the one with Mereba, St Beauty, Deante’ and I. There are a lot of highlights on this project.
RESPECT: What can we expect from the Lolla festival in a few weeks from Chicago?
J.I.D., Lute and I will have a set. I can’t wait to see the reaction of the crowd when we perform songs from the compilation album.
RESPECT: What is that one piece of advice that stuck to you from J. Cole?
I had three jobs while working on my craft. It was a repeated cycle while trying to make progress. It is apart of my story. A scene of a story at that. I had a sit down with Cole and the piece of advice he told me was, “I needed struggles in order to appreciate the journey.” It had come along the way, and it feels good to be reminded toward those certain moments. It was a way to look at things in a different way.
RESPECT: What can we expect from your upcoming project?
I have a story to tell that I feel millions of people will be able to relate to and I’m bringing my sound along with experimenting to keep pushing the envelope. It’s gonna be dope.
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