“Effortlessly catchy…OSBS (which stands for, naturally, On Some Bullshit) have been scooping quick hype this year. Equal parts Atlanta trap, West Coast bravado, and Toronto swang (read: Drake), it’s not hard to see why. They speak effortlessly to the moment, something of a perhaps even more radio-ready SOB x RBE.” – The 405
From Los Angeles’ Crenshaw neighborhood, OSBS represents new energy and diversified sound for South Central. The “On Sum Bull Sh%t” duo of Smoke (Jordan Gendron) and D5 (Darral Scott) had long been in the same circle. “We’re all connected because of Lil U, who is one of my best friends. He’s Big U’s son and D5’s cousin. He’s how we all linked,” explains Smoke, recalling shooting hoops at nearby Ladera Park. Big U is an L.A. street legend and proven music executive with a pivotal role in the careers of Nipsey Hussle, Kurupt, and others. With D5 previously on his Uneek Music, Big U liked the chemistry of two rappers from his neighborhood. “Our whole purpose is to show people that there’s a different way you can do things. Your past does not have to dictate your future. We’re the ones that people counted out and wrote off,” explains Smoke. That sentiment drives November 16’s No Cap. The group’s debut EP from Uneek/EMPIRE features 2 Chainz, Lil Baby, Gunna, and Lil Xan.
[wpex click for full bio]
Previously, like D5, Smoke had Rap dreams. He had even made songs with YG, DJ Mustard, and Jim Jones. However, that momentum derailed when Smoke was facing a life sentence for attempted murder and armed robbery. Despite the more severe charge being dropped, the rapper spent four years behind bars, away from his daughter and music. D5 admits that his street activities compromised his career as well. Missed photoshoots and TV appearances alongside Snoop Dogg moments after being shot were real things. “I was bullshittin’. This is my second chance,” D notes. At the top of this year, the two artists laid out a plan in the studio. “Big U has been a mentor to us. He’s given us the time to put us through artist development, something that labels don’t have anymore,” says Smoke. Like TDE or Dreamville, Uneek wants distinct artists that align with its brand, not just inflated metrics. However, the pair’s very first song, “Everybody Baby Momma,” shows the potential for both. One recent night at L.A.’s 1OAK, Justin Bieber showed all within an eyeshot that he was an apparent fan of the grabby record.
While D5 and Smoke can have fun as evidenced in the video for “Everybody Baby Momma,” they can also pull from stark reality. “It’s A Struggle” fuses soul-drenched Funk with bouncy drums. “I actually wrote my verse to that in the County Jail in 2013 when I was fighting life,” Smoke recalls. True life circumstances inspired the guys’ 2 Chainz-assisted “I Know” video single too. “Our music is real. We make music about what we go through, but we like fun too. We keep a good balance with it,” D5 says.
Along with 2 Chainz, Lil Baby, and Lil Xan being featured on their upcoming No Cap project, Gunna is on the title track and in its video. The phrase represents rawness and authenticity at a time when many rappers seem to be exaggerating or outright lying about their pasts. Having made 120 songs in eight months, OSBS refuses to be a here-today, gone-tomorrow Rap act. Happy to be far away from the worlds that negatively pulled them from their dream, Smoke and D5 have the space to create and hone a sound that celebrates the past, but does not crutch it. “We have a good blend, ‘cause you can never tell who’s gonna do what.” The partnership is matched with their energy on songs, and who takes the creative lead. “We gotta sound different every single time,” D5 declares. “You can’t put us in a box of West Coast music, or Down South, or R&B, or harmonic or Trap music. It’s everything all in one.” With experience in the streets and wisdom to move, being On Sum Bull Sh%t has never seemed smarter.