I recently had the very great honor to interview the brash and talented young rap artist O-King. Endorsed by Snoop Dogg and featuring Lil Wayne on one of his tracks, this 17-year-old is living proof that you can be young and still rap with power & knowledge. From the small town of Van Vleck outside of Houston, TX, O-King is gaining the attention of the some of the heaviest hitters in the rap world.
You’re a 17-year-old rap artist from the small town of Van Vleck, outside of Houston, TX, and you got Snoop Dogg to endorse you and your music on video. How did that happen?
I’m blessed to have a team around me that are well respected in the industry, and I’m often star struck when they have me in the same room as legends in the music industry. Snoop got a chance to hear some of my work, and he was impressed.
On your songs and mixtapes, you collaborate with very well-known artists like Lil Wayne, T-Pain and Big Marcus. Who’s been your favorite artist to collaborate with?
I enjoyed all of them and this may sound strange but Big Marcus, simply because that dude has talent out of this world and whenever we inside the studio together it’s always a Hit! We also have more music coming soon together.
Your rap is very autobiographical and details your struggle to rise out of a small town like Van Vleck and be recognized. What has been the hardest thing to overcome as you strive for success?
I have run into many problems, some bigger than others but I have good guidance from my dad, and others around me in the industry that keep me pushing.
My faith in GOD also.
When you sit down and begin to craft a song or lyric, where does your inspiration come from?
Just real life situations. And I love ladies so they keep me with headaches, and give me stuff to rap about.
You were mentored by Mean Green. What is the most important lesson he taught you?
That things wont always go my way in this industry, but I can let that hold me down. And he always says “Playa’s do what they WANT, and haters do what they can.”
In your very moving and raw song, “Look What You’ve Done,” you rap about a mother who was not there when you were growing up and wasn’t supportive of you. Is this what really happened in your life? If so, how has this influenced your music?
Yes that’s my real life story. However me and my mother have a nice relationship now, and I’m thankful for that. But you know, going through all that for 16 years made me who I am today. And it’s added a certain spark to not only my music, but my whole life.
You combine an R&B feel with rap on some of your songs that creates a very sophisticated, polished sound. You’re only 17! Where do you get your music experience?
Well I’m always listening to different artist and I believe that has a lot to do with how my own music comes out. I look at it as if my music was a picture, and when you look at that picture I want it to look as good as me! haha
How have you evolved musically since you’ve started your career, what has changed from the beginning days?
Well I’ve always wrote my own lyrics, and at first the things I said were very “kiddy” but now as I’m getting older, my thoughts are changing so you will see and change in my lyrics also. However, it’s always going to be positive.
You’ve said you were influenced by Romeo Miller, Bow Wow and Drake. Besides them, who else would you like to team up with in the future musically?
T.I , Miguel, Rihanna, and umm I would definitely like to “team up” with Kelly Rowland..
What’s next for you, what projects (musical or otherwise) are you working on now or in the near future?
Right now we are spreading across the States with my single “Drop It” on the radio, its already being played in Arkansas, Washington, and Louisiana. Next we have a new single titled “Making History” that I’m ready to let out the bag.