Interview: Odd Couple Dishes on Chicago’s Next Generation, Sampling Sean Paul & More



If you ask me, Chicago is home to the most deep and talented pool of artists that any region has to offer. From legends like Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West to new school buzzmakers like Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper, Chi-town has generations of quality hip-hop music to its name.

Now, obviously, the artists grab a lot of the shine, but what about the other artist on every track? The artist behind the beat, that is. In my mind, producers are as pivotal to a song’s success as the hook or it’s lyrics. If you look at Chicago’s loads of talent coming up today, more often than not you’ll find a talented producer friend right beside them. You could definitely argue that their pool of boardslappers is just as, if not more talented than the emcees themselves.

One of the prime names in Chicago’s new wave of producers is Odd Couple, a tremendous producer who has long been producing for some of the biggest artists coming out of Chicago, as well as other big names. From Chance and the SaveMoney crew to the endless other solo acts out there, OC has quite a list of credits.

Aside from the guys who have been around, he’s also excited about a few cats that are currently on the come up in the city, including Taylor Bennett, singer Mike Golden and Closed Sessions labelmate, Kweku Collins. Odd Couple has stuff coming with all these guys, but hasn’t forgotten about his hometown of Milwaukee. He’s recently linked up with a couple of DC favorites in Webster X and IshDARR, and has some dope shit on the way with them, as well as a few others.

After planning his transplant from Milwaukee, Odd Couple made the move to Chicago and immediately gained influence from the city. While his own artistic integrity remained intact, he drew from the city its music makers to bring a new sort of bounce to his music. Just by working with different artists, he’s been able to pick up their different energies and channel it into form-fitting instrumentals perfect for their style. He much more prefers to make beats specific to that person as opposed to “Hey, here’s 50 beats. Pick one and rap.”

He’s only gained more and more notoriety the longer he’s spent in the city, and part of that is due to one of Chicago’s biggest supporters in developmental label Closed Sessions. They’re based in the Chi, and have given Odd Couple a home musically. From the beginning, their relationship was an organic one. He met the guys from CS through working with different artists, and it all came together really naturally. Keeping things organic is clearly key to him, and the decision to sign with them came rather easily.

They definitely got themselves a talented producer, and one not like many others. With influences like Just Blaze, J. Dilla and the one they call Kanye, Odd Couple’s production is a smorgasbord of sounds, blending different aspects of all these producers.

For example, Odd Couple has been known to chop some great samples, and mentioned that his differing taste in music definitely helps set him apart from others. He aims to sample popular songs from outside the genre and flip it into something completely different, but still entirely recognizable. One artist he’s sampled before that you’d might not have expected is none other than Mr. Temperature, Sean Paul.

I think one of the most fun parts of producing is piecing together sounds that shouldn’t go together but still fit, and that’s part of what Odd Couple does so marvelously. He’s a skillful producer that has a vision with every instrumental he makes, and more often than not that vision equates to a speaker-rocking jam.

All in all, we here at Daily Chiefers are excited about what Odd Couple has in store, and you should be too. Check out his latest project Chatterbox below and enjoy!



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