Interview: A Full Circle With Rapper MCO

MCO

I met MCO on a very busy Sat­urday after­noon on Oxford street where he handed me his album entitled, ‘Full Circle’, he told me pri­or to this he had 3 mix­tapes and has been selling CDs on road for 5 years, hav­ing sold over 25,000 units inde­pend­ently, he told me, ‘the struggle is real, espe­cially for UK artists try­ing to break in the Cap­it­al’. I could see he was very pas­sion­ate about his art so I wanted to know more about his music­al jour­ney.

What’s up MCO, please tell me about your­self and how you found hip hop?

I first dis­covered Hip Hop when I was at sec­ond­ary school as a teen­ager going to dis­cos! I grew up near a US Air For­ce base and used to go dis­cos on the base! The likes of Kriss Kross & Vanil­la Ice, dan­cing try­ing to get with older Amer­ic­an girls!

So, you grew up in the US?

No, I was born in Lon­don but I lived out of the city. I used to live near Fair­ford Air­for­ce Base like a mile away I prac­tic­ally grew up on base in pre teen days. Well up until 17 was when I moved to the states! NJ & the Flor­ida.

Ah that explains it! What about your name where did MCO come from?

I was inspired by the Beast­ie Boys, I liked MCA. I used to write and call myself, ‘Twistkid in Rhymes’ but then I decided that wasn’t good enough. I’ve been writ­ing as, ‘MCO’ since 2006, it’s mean­ing is, ‘Mas­ter Com­mu­nic­a­tions Odys­sey’, which to me means our spir­itu­al life jour­ney.

My real name is, ‘Oliv­er’ so people call me, ‘O’ and take the piss call me, ‘MC Oli’.

 Nice! So how long have you been rap­ping and how did you develop your style?

I’ve been rap­ping over 20 years, I used to play drums & sing with bands I was in dur­ing sec­ond­ary school, it was more Rock & Blues then! I really didn’t get heav­ily into Hip Hop until the age of 16 when I reg­u­larly star­ted smoking weed.

I see, so dur­ing this time who has been your music­al influ­ences?

My music­al influ­ences, there are so many to name a few, Dire Straits, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Fleet­wood Mac, Roxette, Pois­on, Guns n’ Roses. On a Hip Hop note though, De La Soul, Jungle Broth­ers, Black Sheep, Guru, Talib Kweli, DMX, Pete Rock & CL, I’ve also met every­one of those Hip Hop artists I just gave you.

Wow, you’ve met DMX, I’m a huge fan what was that like?

I met DMX in ’99 in Tam­pa Bay was around the time he was get­ting mega hype with the movie, ‘Belly’. It was sur­real there were limo’s & hum­mers and entour­age of the Ruff Ryders crew!! He was due to be per­form­ing in the club but it got can­celled over an alleged knife incid­ent back stage so he boy­cot­ted the gig & they all hit the road.I met him as he was com­ing back out the club, it was a long time ago now.

You met DMX in his prime, I’m jeal­ous! To me he is one of the best of the golden eras of rap, and talk­ing about pion­eers, I really respec­ted your track – ‘Pion­eers’, it’s nice to see an artist giv­ing props to those who came before him. 

Pion­eers was due to be signed and didn’t actu­ally get picked up, how­ever it’s not to late for any remixes to be done! We had fun mak­ing that video I paid for the spray paint & had some friends work with me on that video.

Yeah, we have been blessed by a lot of pion­eers who have paved the way, but who is your favour­ite artist at the moment and why?

Con­fes­sion — I listen to a lot of Cap­it­al radio and I have a thing for Dua Lipa right now I think she’s super hot!. Although I can’t say she’s my favour­ite artist, that would prob­ably be Kendrick Lamar for his lyr­ic­al tongue & pure geni­us, plus he’s from the Dre & Eminem fam­ily.

 

Thank you for your time MCO, all the best with your music! 

You can find his album, ‘Full Circle’ on iTun­es.

Face­book: mcohiphop

Ins­tagram: mcohiphop

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Break­in’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the con­cept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.