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