Interview with oso:
1) Tell us a bit about yourself; where you're from, when did you start rapping and how'd you become part of Darkroom Familia?
Oso from North Side Tracy, out the Central Valley. Dyno was married to my older sister at the time. I was always the young kid mobbin’ with the homeboys to car shows and concerts. I’ve been around Darkroom since the creation. It was about 1993 when I started rapping, one day I was in the studio and they were working on the “From the Barrio with Love” album. Dyno looked over at me and was like “You want to get on this ‘New Revolution’ Track with Me, Duke and D-Roll?” I was like, “hell yeah” and from that moment it was on.
2) Describe your style/sound.
I never really thought about it. I would say Central Valley with the Bay Area influence. Music for the streets.
3) What influenced/inspired you to start rapping?
Music has always been a big part of mine and my family’s life. My earliest memories were me cruisin’ with my pops in his ‘54 Chevy truck bumpin’ oldies. If we were chillin’ at the house there was music playing. I remember sneaking into my sister’s room so mom wouldn’t catch me, she was older than me and had hella tapes. I would go in there put the headphones on and listen to Too $hort all day.
4) Darkroom Familia has released an unbelievable amount of albums over the years and have been making music for so long. What inspires Darkroom Familia to keep making music?
The love we have for the game and the love we have for the fans. Without them there would be no us, so much love to everyone who listens.
5) What is your all-time favorite Darkroom album?
That’s a hard question, there are so many albums, but if I had to pick one, I think it would be the “Men of Honor” album. I remember us all sitting in a room together, beat playing, vibin’ off each other and writing. I want to say it took 3 or 4 days to finish that album.
6) What is your opinion of rap/hip-hop currently?
I think at some point everything evolves. With social media applications like Apple music, Spotify, and YouTube, the opportunity to be heard is amazing. I do think that the industry is over-saturated with artists and there are dope artists that are getting overlooked. I think that music needs to get back to something everyone can relate to, not everyone knows how it feels to be a millionaire.
7) What artists, aside from Darkroom Familia, do you listen to?
I find myself listening to all the artists that I grew up on like Too $hort, E-40, Dre Dog, Mac Dre, RBL, and Cougnut, just to name a few.
8) How do you feel about fans outside of the U.S. listening to Darkroom?
It’s humbling to be honest; we were just some homeboys making music that we loved. To hear that fans from places like France, Germany and Japan feel the music that we put out, it’s a good feeling. I appreciate every one of them.
9) What are your thoughts on major labels still not recognizing independent rap from the Bay/Northern Cali?
Honestly, it’s their loss. There is a lot of talent out here in the shadows of artists that are being pushed out by majors. To think that talent is based on how many views you have or how many times someone listens to the music you put out is ridiculous.
10) How do you feel about the Bay Area/Central Valley/Northern Cali rap scene?
I think that it’s something that is always going to be steady. With the technology that we have today and the ability to make music with different artists, without even leaving the house, is only going to make this rap scene stronger.
11) Any upcoming projects?
Yes, I am currently working on an EP with my homeboy T-LOC and an untitled solo project coming soon.