Making noise out of North Carolina is none other than rising rhymer, OG Spliff! The NC-native has been busy building an underground legacy since 2017, standing at the crossroads of a sonic country junction. While Spliff’s life has always been steeped in musical influences. As the son of a house DJ turned teacher, his own journey began when he began writing haikus in high school. Displaying his distinct artistry, OG Spliff’s intoxicating bars will engrain deep in the listener’s psyche as an avid lover of soul-stirring ’60s and ’70s R&B/jazz samples. Additionally, his melting pot of influences allows him to create without sonic boundaries. A feat that many Winston-Salem artists take pride in. OG Spliff’s life has always been influenced by a wide range of musical genres. He goes on to say:
“My pops was a DJ growing up, which fostered my love for music, especially house music. He opened my world to all sorts of sounds. Some of my earliest music memories with him are from our trips to the local hood gas station, where we’d go buy rap CDs from the bootleg man, ranging from East Coast rappers Fat Joe and Wu-Tang Clan, to West Coast staples, like N.W.A. and Snoop Dogg”.
Immersing in OG Spliff’s eccentric world is similar to watching an artist begin with a blank canvas. With each verse gliding as effortlessly as a paintbrush stroke as the wordsmith breathes life into his colorful soundscape. Taking a look inward with his most recent release, Spliff delivers a dialogue between himself and the man in the mirror. Winston-Salem’s old-school hip-hop revivalist returns with the release of his sizzling 2-pack single offering. His most recent release is made up of a self-reflective tirade titled, “Son Of Toga“. As well as its restorative complement record, “Building”. The insightful delivery of the poet-turned-rapper has a nonchalant swing to it. As a result, Spliff’s syrupy bars effortlessly marry the soulful, sample-driven instrumentals produced by Argov.
Spliff Stacks Streams!
For his sizzling single “Son Of Toga”, the aspiring artist acknowledges his toxic traits, wanting to change but not ready to commit. While “Building” sees him come to terms with the reality that he will have to build up from his past brick by brick, searching for a way to move forward. He utilizes his genre bending, boundless bars backed by powerful production to curate relatable records that move the masses.
“Buy the whole block not just the building /The intention was a revolution / Couple chains on me now they said I’m losing track / You can’t see the execution, I’ll just hit you back” – lyrics from OG Spliff’s “son of toga”.
Over soulful, sample-driven instrumentals reminiscent of Harry Fraud and The Alchemist, he learns to live with his scars. These trending tracks demonstrate OG Spliff’s ability to create a sound that is uniquely his own. His distinctive delivery captivates listeners from the first listen. Continually honing his craft, Spliff has built his brand and career from the ground up! Overall, the North Carolina city is brimming with dynamic artists. Including producer 9th Wonder (Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. + more), $hyfromdatre, TiaCorine (featured on OG Spliff’s fan-favorite track “LUV ME”), the late SauxePaxk TB, and others. As we know the South is known for breeding raw talent, the Winston-Salem native seamlessly stacks streams. Being featured on Spotify’s Fresh Finds Hip-Hop, he has amassed over 2M+ Spotify streams alone and counting!
In addition to his digital influence, OG Spliff has had the opportunity to open up for mainstream movers and shakers such as: MAVI, Lil Durk, and Yella Beezy. Although all of those accolades are amazing, many may argue that his greatest accomplishment to date is the impact he has had on revitalizing his city’s hip-hop scene. Honestly, there’s no lies detected. In fact, there’s no denying that OG Spliff has established himself as a force to be reckoned with as he continues his streak of self-reflective, experimental hip-hop.
Furthermore, the haiku writer turned rapper whose boundless lyricism will find itself looped in your head after one listen. Spliff, who dubs himself as the “Original Guru”. He uses his love of anime to explore themes of his own black experience and escapism. In doing so, he includes introspective thoughts that make the trailblazing talent someone every hip-hop head should keep a watch for in 2023! Don’t believe me? Press play on the 2-Pack offering below. Lastly, stay tapped in here at KAZI Magazine to take a deep dive into OG Spliff and his artistry!
OG Spliff Sits Down With KAZI Magazine
- Hey OG Spliff! Happy New Year! Thank you so much for taking the time out to chop it up with us here at KAZI Magazine! Before we jump into all thing Spliff, the new sizzling singles, your artistry, and more… let’s bring it back to the beginning. Who is OG Spliff and where did it all begin?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a deep love of music. I grew up on a lot of house, soul, & hip-hop. My parents’ lowkey became my opps in middle school when they made me take a typing class over being in band. My love of writing came a little later, starting with haikus, which over time eventually turned into forming different rap groups with friends & having sessions over instrumentals. At the time, if I wasn’t getting into trouble I was thinking about making music. OG Spliff kinda came from all that which in turn led to us revitalizing black art in the city of Winston-Salem, NC.
- What’s your creative process like? Do you write your music down or punch in and out?
When I’m recording I need something rolled up, some drank & a yerba! I usually write first then record the whole song in one take, but lately I’ve been more into finding the flow & punching in on the mic, especially for the more high energy songs.
- As your musical sound brings an old style of hip-hop back, what genres and decades of music would you say your artistry is influenced by?
I’m really inspired by the freedom of 80’s funk/soul like “streets songs” by Rick James, as well as the uniqueness of 60’s artists like Bob Marley & Jimi Hendrix. Sonically it just depends on the day, but I’ll always be in the mood for Sade.
- How did you hone in on your storytelling skills?
I like to study artists like Biggie, MF Doom, & the whole ensemble of Wu-tang. I’m also heavily inspired by the storytelling of anime & film as well. I recommend every aspiring writer/storyteller read Joseph Campbell’s “A Hero with a Thousand Faces,” or at least research the idea of the Hero’s journey.
Two Tracks Trailblazing Through 2023
- Excited to hear all about the 2-Pack offering, please tell us more about its inspiration and how long it took to curate?
Curating & laying down the idea for these 2 tracks probably took less than a day, but I like to sit with the music and let the art behind the release happen naturally so it takes time. Honestly seeing how Rx Papi & Rxk Nephew drop inspired me to release more frequently.
- Served as a dialogue between himself and the man in the mirror made up of trendy tracks “Son Of Toga” and “Building”, what does each record mean to you?
“Son of Toga” is like a tirade of bottled up emotions delivered off the cuff in a stream of consciousness, while “Building” is the process of accepting the things you can & can’t change, marking the beginning of self-healing.
- What were your instrument inspirations as far as working on the project? Did you get to experiment? What kind of new sounds did you get to play with due to its influences?
The saxophone will forever be my favorite instrument & there are hints of that in the track “Building”. I’m also always experimenting with sounds (I don’t like to be put in a box), but It feels like for this project me & Argov, my producer, are locking in on a specific approach.
- With your self-titled “Original Guru” Spliff” draws inspiration from your love of anime. As a fan of anime myself I have to ask! When was the first time you remember watching anime and which are your favorites?
I think like most people, my first anime was Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon. Like, I knew what they were before I even really knew, if that makes sense – like toddler, pre-consciousness type shit. Earliest memory though would probably be me and my cousins watching DBZ then reenacting the fights as different characters or watching/ playing Beyblades and Yu-Gi-Oh!
My favorite anime would have to be Mob Psycho 100!, Gurren Lagann, YuYu Haksuho, Code Geass and Hajime No Ippo
- Agreed! Those were definitely some of my favorite animes. Also, So if you were going to a cosplay convention who would you go as?
I actually have never been to a convention. I rock with RDCWorld from youtube so…gotta hit dream con soon! When we go I’m sliding dripped out like Aki from Chainsaw Man.
The Love Of Anime In Hip Hop
- Furthermore, would you be interested in expanding into creating music for not only Hip-Hop but for Anime films and shows both National and international as well?
Yeah definitely! That’s the dream, It’s beautiful to see the growth of anime & rap indepently and how they build and influence each other. I would love to bring more hip-hop culture & music to anime productions like how Samurai Champloo or Afro Samurai did. Whether it be a large or small project, that’s a lane I’m definitely trying to find a way in. Even beyond music, I feel like one day I’m gonna be in the writers room.
- Moving back to the music, you’ve touched the stage alongside artists such as, Lil Durk, Yella Beezy, Mavi and more. What were some of your favorite performances?
Honestly every performance is unique & fye in it’s own way (I’ll forever remember serving some tree to a fan right before I hopped on stage to do my set). Sharing the same stage as Mavi was mad cool because I was a fan of bro beforehand and we both from NC, so it was almost enlightening.
- Dope! Love to hear that. What is it about anime that really resonates with you? Because you use it sometimes as part of your identity and what made you infuse that with your artistry?
The average person considers the act of making a career out of music a “pipe dream” or an unrealistic goal, so as an artist, what resonates with me in most “shonen” anime is the “never-give up” attitude that the main character usually has when it comes to their goals & sense of self. Plus, I really just watch a lot of it, so I peep the themes & aesthetic and it just organically applies to real life situations.
- Eager to know more, what’s next for OG Spliff in 2023?
Definitely more music from me & Argov, as well as other producer homies like Por Vida, Mesa D, Rokkai, & others. We have some show announcements soon and some special merch for the mob on the way. I wanna connect with my fans more, so I’m looking for more ways to do that this year.
- Lastly, is there a message that you’d like to leave with fans?
I’ll forever be grateful for anyone who took the time to listen to my art and rock with me. It’s UP bout y’all & love for life.
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