ODD SQUAD FAMILY
We live in a world full of imitators in today’s hip-hop game. You have to be caught up to all the trends, make sure your face tattoos are perfectly placed, your mumbles are on point, and you go out and steal that bottle of Xanax from Papa’s medicine cabinet. Drugs, money and hoes have always played a big part in the rap game; the delusional dream. Conscious rap has taken a back seat in recent years. The new era is more about making money, rather than making good music. The underground hip-hop game is bigger than ever in my opinion, with more outlets like Youtube and Soundcloud. You can be your own boss and make anything you feel, not what execs tell you to put out. At the end of the day, are you out to make a classic or are you out to make a quick buck?
Now, the only odd thing about The Odd Squad Family is that they enunciate their words, they don’t go around making it rain on these hoes, and they have a strong message of positivity for the youth. The beats don’t over power the vocals and the harmonies will keep you singing along. Nubs was born with a condition that left him with no arms or legs but that doesn’t stop the killer flow to match the lyrics. A-Factor is the newest member of the Family. With his Weezy type charisma on the mic, there’s no doubt he is where he belongs. Snowman was born with the recessive gene for albinism. He comes equipped with a smooth flow and, not to mention, his pen game is so next level, it should be a crime.
The Odd Squad Family performing at the Red Eye Festival
What is the history behind the Odd Squad Family?
Nubs: We were just a click in high school. Me, Snowman, and a couple other dudes. Then, me and Snowman started rapping, kind of just took on the group name, and a couple years down the road we met up with Factor. He came from Colorado and he was dope, we clicked, we started working hard together.
We figured out how to take a positive route and kind of use our image and our stories to motivate people and relate to people. Factor fit along great with that, with no hesitation we were for sure you can definitely jump in. Everyone would always ask “what’s odd about him?” what I’ve learned as of recently through therapy, that it’s not about what’s odd in people, it’s about what makes you you and that is what the whole message is, it’s not about fitting in or being normal or being odd in a sense it’s just about being who you are.
Snowman: We actually did a nice amount of shows together.
A-Factor: We were splitting every show it was A-Factor and Odd Squad, or Odd Squad would go on then I would go on we had the same manager. That’s how we pretty much hooked up through the studio. Nubs started engineering my sessions and in turn for him doing that, I started jumping on their songs. We became homies, hanging out everyday, working, and after a year in a half, it only made sense to go ahead and become Odd Squad Family and to bring something else to the table as far as the image. They were still developing, we went into the studio, helped these guys develop, we worked on this shit together and built where we are now.
So the group started with just Snowman and Nubs?
Nubs: It was us and our little brother Fosty
Snowman: Rest In Peace Frosty, he died in 2016, he’s in a much better place than we are right now.
Nubs: He’s up their pulling strings for us.
From the outside looking in, I hear an old school influence in your music. Who inspired the sound of OSF?
Nubs: We all have our influences, but it’s definitely the golden era that influenced all of us. I grew up listening to Eminem, Dre, A Tribe Called Quest, the older funkier side of Hip-Hop and a lot of the gangster side of Hip-Hop as well. Not just Hip-Hop, we love all music. I was in the Phoenix Boys Choir so I grew up knowing all the old classics, Mozart and all that shit.
Snowman: Scarface is my number one above everybody that i’ve heard rapping, but that’s just musically period. When I was growing up, I listened to a lot of gangster music like C-bo. I always wanted to be a rapper. At the time, I had the tools to be a rapper, and that was around the time my mom was with one of her ex-boyfriends and he ran a studio out of his house. He was the first person to actually let me get on the mic and spit some shit. He helped me and his son put together a couple of songs.
A-Factor: I have a bunch of influences. I would say my biggest influence is Ludacris. Growing up, my parents where big into music. We would listen to everything, a lot of Hip-Hop, a lot of Neo Soul, Erykah Badu and shit like that. When I first heard Ludacris, my parents had went out and bought me The Word Of Mouth album. I sat down and listened to that shit and by the time I was done, I knew this is what I want to do.
Did you ever imagine that the OSF would become a viral sensation?
Snowman: At one point, yes, there was no stopping us. We knew it was going to happen out of all of the shows we’ve done. I can’t remember one where we didn’t have at least one person walk up to us and tell us that we did a really good job and that they had a really good time. On top of it, I don’t care what nobody says. If you can get a truck load of kids to love your music, you can get the world to love your music.
A-Factor: We knew it would be a matter of time. We knew it was just going to take time get the right vision. We knew it was going to take the right material, the right song, the right reach. It’s going to take us connecting with the right people to put us in the position so that we can be in the position to go viral.
Nubs: Don’t get us wrong, this shit is hard, but we knew it would happen because I wasn’t going to stop, none of us are going to stop. The first song that went mini viral, which it had like two mil views, was the song “New Ish” and then, from that moment on, we just knew it was just grind mode.
Nubs rolling a blunt better than you
Where you guys bullied growing up?
Nubs: I was, for sure. I can’t speak for the rest of the room. I remember going home and crying and not telling nobody. I’m in therapy now dealing with it. Before I didn’t deal with it, I put it the back and, you know, it built up and fucked my brain up. As of recently, I’m cool now. I’m working it out. I’ve maintained it through music. I blanked out and wrote it down, it was my passive way of putting it out but at the same time it wasn’t enough. I never talked about shit, I would just go home and lock myself away. My parents didn’t even know. It’s just crazy I’m figuring all this shit out. Therapy is good! If you need therapy, go to therapy for sure. It’s good to talk to people and realize stuff about yourself, it helps you become a better person.
Snowman: I didn’t deal with a lot of it. I lived in a neighborhood where if you said some shit, we had to fight because my cousins would make me fight. I got beat up a couple of times. I got suspended of couple of times for it, but I don’t like fighting. I’m a lover, not a fighter. When you grow up in the Hood it’s a lot different it’s not say some shit and get away with it. At one point I did get bullied I had to step up to him.
A-Factor: I just feel, from my personal experience, that there’s assholes out there. No matter where you are, somebody is not going to like you. Even if it’s from an older brother or sister, bullying is a thing. I think everybody has been psychologically messed with.
Snowman preparing a Blazy Susan cone
Does cannabis play a factor when creating a song?
Snowman: I feel like when I smoke sativa, it speeds my mind up in a good way to where I can catch shit. It’s a little more in tune. If we are smoking indica, it slows my mind down where I can catch shit a lot faster. It does the same thing, but it does them in different ways.
Nubs: WTF are you saying bro?
A-Factor: It definitely influenced me, it helps me out really. I was watching an interview with rapper Cyhi and he explained it perfect. He said something like “normally if i’m not high, my mind is just racing, it’s hard to catch these ideas. When I smoke, it slows the ideas down so I can grab them” that’s how Cyhi explained it and that’s how I literally am. Normally, I have ADHD. I got anxiety and shit, my mind is always racing, always thinking of shit! So when I smoke, I can chill, think a little bit slower, really think about what I really want to say.
Nubs: Smoking helps me think of shit. I get clever.
The Odd Squad Family + Tolo
This Interview is in the memory of Frosty, Rest In Paradise Brother Big Thanks to: the ODD SQUAD FAMILY Catch the rest of the interview on: Roach Clip Podcast, Episode 31
To read more from Victor Ortega of Roach Clip, click here.