I have been trying to get an interview with Dreamville Records rep and fellow Chicago native, Omen for a little over a year now and was finally recently able to track him down after his stellar performance at Lollapalooza last Thursday afternoon with his labelmates Bas and Cozz. We talked about everything from how his relationship with J. Cole is, to how much his debut album Elephant Eyes has opened things for him over the last year, a particular artist besides himself from Hyde Park he may work with, as well as some other possible dreams collaborations he had in mind and what he is currently working on. Check out my interview with Omen below and get to know a little more personally this outstanding Chicago emcee.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com to Omen: My name is Nello Rubio, I’m with http://TheHipHopDemocrat.com
Omen: Nice to meet you.
Nello: Nice to meet you. I actually met you for the first time a little over a year ago. Roc from 247HH.com introduced us at the Melanie Fiona Verizon event. So since than you have put out Elephant Eyes. How much has things changed for you since than?
Omen: It has been great. Elephant Eyes got a great reception. From the city and just across the country, everybody on the internet supported it and I was able to do a tour off of that. It has also allowed me to do festivals like this with Lollapalooza. So it has definitely been the most successful project so far I have put out and I’m working on the next one now.
Nello: That one (Elephant Eyes) was mostly by yourself. So this new project, do you plan on working with anybody or you are kind of just going with the flow right now?
Omen: Yeah, I’m just going with the flow. I’m open to working with whoever cause I’m experimenting now. You know with different sounds, different things. So I’m definitely just going with the flow and seeing what happens. So who knows, I just want to make the best project.
Nello: I know you are from Hyde Park. Have you ever thought of working with Mikkey Halsted at all?
Omen: Yeah, I have known Mikkey a couple of years. We are really cool. But, yeah we have talked about working. We just have never done it. Yeah, I would definitely be interested in that. I think Mikkey is dope. He has a restaurant in Hyde Park now called LiteHouse Grill that I go to pretty consistently. Yeah, shout out to Mikkey Halsted.
Nello: Is there anybody else from the city that you haven’t worked with that you would like to work with?
Omen: Of course, all of the legends. Definitely Twista, Common, Kanye, Lupe, but then even you know Chance, Vic. I’m pretty cool with Vic, but we just never made it happen. But yeah there’s a lot of good artists here from Chicago I would love to work with. Even if it was someone old school like Crucial Conflict. GLC, Rhymefest, I’m cool with a lot of the guys. We just haven’t worked together. But we all pretty much know each other.
Nello: You are just working right now. You don’t really have a release date for the album yet, right?
Omen: Yeah, you know last time I put out a release date it didn’t really go to well for me. So this time I just want to finish it and put it out. Just now, I’m working and we will see what happens. But I’m working hard on it because I want to keep music out.
Nello: Do you plan on putting out a mixtape or an EP before the album?
Omen: Possibly, we talked about some ideas. So we will just see what happens. I always want whatever I put out to be strong because I don’t want it to be throw aways or songs to put out, just to put out. So we have thought about it, so we will see.
Nello: Besides everybody in Chicago, is there anybody just in general that you would like to work with and haven’t yet? Like maybe even some influences you had.
Omen: Yeah, of course I would love to work Nas. Cause him and Common were like my biggest influences. So you know that would be an honor. Definitely Common.
Nello: Being with J. Cole and Dreamville how has that helped you?
Omen: Yeah, for sure, that has gotten me the platform to get were I am now. I mean most of the fans I have now, they probably discovered me through songs with J. Cole and there is nothing wrong with that. Now I’m at the point where I’m actually building my own fanbase. So that’s a blessing to be there, but it’s a different challenge. So it has definitely helped me, my entire career. Even when I was working before that, it was instrumental.
Nello: Yeah, I know like J. you do a lot of producing of your own stuff too. Is there anybody else besides J. that you would want to work with as far as producing your stuff?
Omen: Sure, producing for me or producing for others?
Nello: Producing both. You producing and anybody producing for you too.
Omen: Yeah, there’s a lot of people. I would probably go to a lot of the older guys. Like Hi-Tek. You know cause I just love that sound and haven’t heard it in awhile. Salaam Remi, No I.D. Obviously Kanye, Neptunes. Just all of the greats, while they are still doing music, I would just love to catch them before they stop. I’m a big fan of the 90’s influences, so a lot of my preferences probably go back to those people because their music just influenced me a lot.
Nello: Going back to Chance. Have you seen the festival he is going to have at U.S. Cellular Field in September?
Omen: Yeah, I did, it is fire! Just the idea of it. You know I just seen the lineup and it’s diverse. It’s great to just be able to say you did that. You know shout out to Chance.
Nello: I know speaking of Common too. Him and Rhymefest have the AAHH! Fest that they had a couple of years ago. They are bringing it back this year too. Do you think that is something you may want to check out?
Omen: Oh, for sure. I went to the first AAHH! Festival and I was a fan, just in the crowd to see it. I’m about to go this year and would love to actually perform at it. You know we will see though. But, yeah I’m a fan of anything they do.
Nello: You don’t have a title yet for the album. You are just kind of working, right?
Omen: I got some ideas. But nothing where I want to say, yeah.
Nello: That’s it. Thanks for the interview and be sure to check out http://TheHipHopDemocrat.com and tell everybody else to check it out.
Omen: Cool. I will and let everybody else know about it too.