As of recent years the sound of hip-hop has transformed drastically with the reimbursed influence of jazz and lyrical powerhouses. With artists such as Kendrick Lamar and J Cole enforcing this sound and cleverly weaving the sound of funk heavily into Hip-Hop , young Chicago rapper Joel Okaga has followed in their footsteps and took the game by storm with his debut album ‘Lone that has received the praise from many critics as well as Hip-Hop Great Dr. Dre. RENGADE were able to gains some insight into the artist’s life with an interview.
What’s up man? Glad to have you here.
Yeah, great to be on man, this is kinda surreal you know! I mean, I remember just a couple years ago I was you know watching other guys in the game, huge guys getting interview by like Ebro and Big Boy and now I’ve made it to where it’s me in the shoe of some of my idols.
That’s awesome. So what’s this sudden rush to fame been like? I mean you’re 21 years old and released this album that people like Dre have complimented.
I’m still trying to process it honestly. I just want to create music for myself really, I love music and I decide to share it and I guess it just picked up to the point that I'm at now.
And how did Dr Dre pick up on it?
*laughs* I have no clue but when I heard what he said I was wilding out for like two days straight, true story, cuz you know that one of my damn Idols as a kid the stories about his production just motivated me to make music and actually be picky about what is in and out.
Yeah man, I mean you created this album In like what, a month? That’s insane.
Na, I think that’s just a rumour, all the tracks and the beats, instruments and all that, I've produced progressively since I was about 16-17 years old and I wanted to make something that was just awesome music.. I woke up got ready, went to high school got back and started working on a track. That was my routine for like 2-3 years.
So that was just a hobby or intended to release it?
Oh yeah a hobby definitively but then I got to the point I had like over 200 songs recorded and I decided to just pick out some, edit them a little and just went for it you know. But it was always a hobby to start.
200 track!? that's a lot and you only have 16 on the Album. would you use the others on future albums?
Well, it would depend on the fit really, if it fits with he story I wanna tell, then I would use it. I honestly do want to like slap a bunch of shit in a playlist and sell it, because it would be a waste of material.
What’s your opinion of the rap game at the moment and the state its in?
Honestly, Its getting back to the good days, the game is starting to have meaning again which was one thing I thought kinda sucked about it before. It was dope must but like most cats were saying the same shit over and over and over to the point that you just get tired of it. But the last what? 10 years has honestly been a reinvention, we have these awesome artists that are super talent had force this feeling into you when you listen; there is some true meaning to it, and I love that the most. The fact you help some kid out and help them out through some hard times is what I love about the music.
Who’s your favourite in the game at the moment?
Oh without a doubt, Kendrick. He is a pure genius. The fact he has an album like his last that you would have to construct like a book just shows his talent. Like some To Kill a Mockingbird shit *laughs* but most of all I like his approach. He isn't your typical out there guy, he's very personal, to himself and with his music he has these kids listening to him and he takes the opportunity education them with his music.
So what is next for you? Got anything else planned for the year?
I’m just gonna keep working man, I love what I do and I just want to continue with making music really. But besides that I got invited to perform at a couple of places so that should be fun. But honestly, I wanna just soak this experience in really.