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Oddisee 2015.jpg
Background information
Birth name Amir Mohamed el Khalifa
Born Washington, D.C.
Origin Largo, Prince George's County, Maryland[1]
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, producer
Years active 1999–present
Labels Halftooth Records, Mello Music Group, Oddisee Music, All City Records
Associated acts Low Budget Crew, Diamond District, yU, Uptown XO, Trek Life, Heralds of Change, DTMD, Damu the Fudgemunk
Website oddisee.bandcamp.com

Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, better known by his stage name Oddisee, is an American rapper and producer from Washington, DC.[2] He is one third of Diamond District.[3] He was also part of the Low Budget Crew.[4]

Life and career[edit]

Oddisee was raised by his African American mother and Sudanese father. According to a National Public Radio interview with el Khalifa, Prince George's County is one of the wealthiest African American counties in the nation but borders some of the DC area's roughest parts.[5] He moved to Washington after high school.[5]

In 2010, Oddisee released Traveling Man on Mello Music Group.[6] His Odd Spring mixtape was listed on the Washington Post's Best Local Hip-Hop mixtapes of 2010.[7] In 2011, Oddisee released Rock Creek Park, which was ranked as a Mixtape of the Week by Stereogum.[8] Odd Seasons, a collection of EPs released throughout the previous 12 months, was also released that year.[9] He released the album titled People Hear What They See in 2012.[10] The Beauty in All, his first instrumental release since Rock Creek Park, was released in 2013.[11] In that year, he also released Tangible Dream.[12]

Style and influences[edit]

Oddisee was originally influenced by his parents' heritages, combined with a hip-hop influence from his older cousins. In an interview with NPR, Mohamed explained why he was influenced by early East Coast emcees such as Rakim and A Tribe Called Quest. He said: "These rappers don't talk about drugs or murder, and I can relate more to their lyrics." His lyrics have touched on a variety of subjects, which include his hometown, boredom, and inequality. This is clearest in his song "I'm from PG," which is a direct ode to his hometown. Oddisee identifies with an assortment of emcees from the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland areas who share a similar sound. This area is known as the DMV. These emcees share a similar determination to create original music using swinging percussion and identifiable rhythms. Oddisee has often said that his favorite producer is Chief Tony from Virginia, Minnesota.[5]


Studio albums[edit]

  • 101 (2008)
  • Mental Liberation (2009)
  • New Money (2009) (with Trek Life)
  • In the Ruff (2009) (with YU and Uptown XO, as Diamond District)
  • Traveling Man (2010)
  • People Hear What They See (2012)
  • The Beauty in All (2013)
  • Tangible Dream (2013)
  • March on Washington (2014) (with YU and Uptown XO, as Diamond District)
  • The Good Fight (2015)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Odd Seasons (2011)


  • Instrumental Mixtape Volume One (2005)
  • The Remixture Vol. 1 (2006)
  • Foot in the Door (2006)
  • Instrumental Mixtape Vol. 2 (2006)
  • Odd Summer (2009)
  • Odd Autumn (2009)
  • Odd Winter (2010)
  • Odd Spring (2010)
  • Rock Creek Park (2011)


  • Good Tree EP (2008)
  • Hear My Dear EP (2008)
  • Odd Renditions Vol. 001 EP (2012)


  • "Show You" b/w "Part of the World" (2006) (with Heralds of Change)
  • "Once Again" (2006)
  • "101" (2008)
  • "Slow It Down" (2012)
  • "Ain't That Peculiar (Remix)" (2013)
  • "Lost Cause" (2014) (with YU and Uptown XO, as Diamond District)
  • "That's Love" (2015)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • DJ Jazzy Jeff - "Musik Lounge" from The Magnificent (2002)
  • The Foreign Exchange - "The Answer" from Connected (2004)
  • Kenn Starr - "Nothing But Time" from Starr Status (2006)
  • SoulStice - "Get It Right" from Dead Letter Perfect (2007)
  • Marco Polo - "Low Budget Allstars" from Port Authority (2007)
  • J-Live - "The Upgrade" from Then What Happened? (2008)
  • SoulStice & Sbe - "Unfold" from Beyond Borders (2009)
  • Apollo Brown - "Lower the Boom" and "Propa" from The Reset (2010)
  • JR & PH7 - "Hustle and Flow" from The Update (2010)
  • B-Doub - "All in a Days Work" from Food for Thought (2010)
  • Apollo Brown - "The Times" from Clouds (2011)
  • DTMD - "Been Tryin'" from Makin' Dollas (2011)
  • Trek Life - "Might Sound Crazy" from Wouldn't Change Nothing (2011)
  • Eric Lau - "What I'd Rather" (2012)
  • Trek Life - "We Good" from Hometown Foreigner (2013)
  • Eric Lau - "Rise Up" from One of Many (2013)
  • 20syl - "Ongoing Thing" from Motifs (2014)
  • Soulpete - "Rhymes on Random" from Soul Raw (2014)
  • Apollo Brown - "What You Were Lookin' For" from Grandeur (2015)


  • J-Live - "Aaw Yeah" from The Hear After (2005)
  • Sareem Poems - "Tell It" and "She So" from Black and Read All Over (2009)
  • Verbal Kent - "In the Beginning" from Save Your Friends (2010)
  • Trek Life - "Ready to Live", "Still Never Rains", "As the World Turns", "Everything Changed Nothing", “Wow", "Due West", "So Supreme", "I'd Rather Be", "So LA", "Jump Out There", and "Might Sound Crazy" from Everything Changed Nothing (2010)
  • Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime - "Get Up Gogo" from Heaven or Hell (2010)
  • Trek Life - "Get in Touch" and "Wouldn't Change Nothing" from Wouldn't Change Nothing (2011)
  • Has-Lo - "Last Day of School" from Conversation B (2011)
  • Homeboy Sandman - "Whatchu Want from Me?" from First of a Living Breed (2012)
  • Substantial - "Check My Resume", "Make Believe", "Shit on My Lawn", "Umoja", and "Movin Alright" from Home Is Where the Art Is (2012)
  • Rainy Milo - "The Other Way" from Limey (2012)
  • Joey Badass - "Sorry Bonita" from Summer Knights (2013)
  • Far Exp - "Checklist" from The Expansion (2014)
  • King Mez - "New Vinyl" (2014)
  • Finale - all songs from Odds & Ends (2015)


  1. ^ Oddisee- “From Largo With Love” Retrieved 2014-10-31.
  2. ^ Fox, Luke (December 2012). "Oddisee". Exclaim!. 
  3. ^ Hyden, Steven (June 3, 2012). "Oddisee". The A.V. Club. 
  4. ^ Zirm, Jordan (July 19, 2012). "Interview: Oddisee Talks About "People Hear What They See" And His Strategy To Remain Unknown". Complex. 
  5. ^ a b c Raz, Guy (July 3, 2010). "Oddisee: Hip-Hop Leaves the City". National Public Radio. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Martin, Andrew (February 11, 2010). "Oddisee: Traveling Man". PopMatters. 
  7. ^ David Malitz, The Washington Post, ISSN 0190-8286, December 24, 2010, p. T.6
  8. ^ Breihan, Tom (September 21, 2011). "Mixtape Of The Week: Oddisee Rock Creek Park". Stereogum. 
  9. ^ Weiss, Jeff. "Other oddities: Oddisee premieres 'I'm From PG' off his 'Odd Seasons' LP". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  10. ^ Soderberg, Brandon (May 29, 2012). "First Spin: Hear Oddisee's 'People Hear What They See'". Spin. 
  11. ^ Moore, Marcus J. (July 10, 2013). "Oddisee - The Beauty In All". Clash. 
  12. ^ Fairfax, Jesse (December 28, 2013). "The Top Projects We Missed In 2013". HipHopDX. 

External links[edit]