Oddisee Releases The First Video From His Extraordinary New Album
In subject matter, Oddisee’s “NNGE” is quite serious, with the D.C. rapper and producer opening the song with “I mean what is there to fear? I’m from Black America this is just another year,” likely a reference to the election of Donald Trump and the political fracas that has ensued. However, the record is as uplifting as it is sobering (“Shout out to Latinos because hustling ain’t illegal/We praying to the east or the father, we all are equal”), and now the Toine-assisted single has a music video to create the first visual component of The Iceberg.
The two spitters spend much of the video rapping in a parking lot, outside Prince George’s Stadium in Maryland, a significant locale because of its relationship to the record. Premiering, remarkably, at Time magazine, Oddisee details his choice of locale for “NNGE” (“never not getting enough”). “Living in Prince George’s County in Maryland, which is one of the most affluent African-American communities in the country, I found myself in the unique circumstance of having a father who came from a developing country, and my mother who came from below the poverty line,” the 32-year-old Muslim American explains. “My dad was doing well for himself and raising us in an affluent community. My parents divorced, [so I’d] go from a low-income area on the weekends to a high-income area on the weekdays for school, and everything in between that. It definitely had a profound impact on me, getting that full spectrum of what life was like in black America and in America in general.”
For that reason and more, Oddisee opted to film “NNGE,” a song about Black perseverance, in his hometown. “On the music side [of “NNGE”], it’s inspired by a local form in Washington, D.C. called go-go,” explains Oddisee. “So myself and the artist featured on it, Toine, we’re from the exact same neighborhood. As an ode to the sound of the music, we shot the video in Prince George’s County where we were from. If you’re from the area, you’ll recognize many of the landmarks, down to the food that we’re eating in the back of the car—classic afterparty meals.”
In conclusion, Oddisee says the video is meant to reflect the area’s role in wider American politics. “It’s a lot of references musically and visually to the place that birthed us and raised us. It’s also the home of our nation’s capital, the home of our politics. So the lyrics tackle the political climate in Washington D.C. right now and the rest of the country, and the instrumentation is an ode to the local music that comes from that same city.” The Iceberg is out now via Mello Music Group.