Flashbacks/ Whispers in the Dark
This lead single from the forthcoming album 'The Blackbird' has been making it's buzz from Omega Johnson's hometown of NYC to as far as Estonia, Paris, and Germany. A member of the semi-defunct NYC-based unit known as Critical Mass (Bush Babees, UTD, Natural Resource, Mhorlocks), OJ takes time to bring hip-hop back so it's basics, while at the same time hitting fans with raw, sharp-edged flows and lyrics. _____ '[Omega's] either a genius, or [he's] f***ing insane... and sometimes the two are one in the same.' - Alan Scott Plotkin, Audio Engineer (Public Enemy, Flipmode Squad, Vanessa Williams) _____ Raised in Queens, New York, Omega 'OJ' Johnson (who has also been known as Dok Who?!) is a powerful lyricist who has been a part of hip-hop culture since the early 1980s--in 'Flashbacks', Omega goes back to 'the refrigerator box [he] used to rehearse windmills on [...] it was 'Jay-Ice' out in the park'. During the time he spent learning classical piano, Omega also started to pen his own lyrics, inspired not only by the songs of Afrika Bambataa, Sugar Hill gang, and Doug E. Fresh, but by a wide range of musical genres, from Jazz to R&B and 80s Rock. In 1987 he took the name 'Esquire', and took the stage as well, from the streets of New York to the platforms of Vermont, gathering a fan base before he had even gathered his own music. By 1989 he self-produced his first demo tape, leading a group he named The First Order, and won the crowd over at Brooklyn Technical High School, where he attended during the birth of the street gang Decepticons, and where he met longtime friend Mr. Khaliyl, formerly of the group Bush Babees. After a number of shows in various New York school districts, First Order was disbanded in 1991, and Esquire was called to lead a new group, 'Point Blank'. With this change in direction, Esquire also changed his identity to Mr. Omega, the 'Mandroid' to personify his precise flow and train of thought. When asked why the choice of Omega, he details it as 'the end of nonsense that leads to new beginnings.' Point Blank, which soon became know as Dreadnaughts, went through a wide range of performances, most notably ranging from schools such as Fashion Institute of Technology, to Riker's Island and the world-famous Apollo Theater. During this time the Dreadnaughts were interviewed and aired by Ralph McDaniels for the popular underground video program 'Video Music Box'. Upon the growing popularity of a similar group, Dredknots, the Dreadnaughts decided to search out a new name and carry their fan base along. A suggestion from Ug of former Loud Records signees Cella Dwellas confirmed the name of the group and surrounding unit to 'Mhorlocks'. While Ug had thought of comic-book series X-Men, Omega more aligned the name with H.G. Wells 'The Time Machine'--beings of darkness who preyed on the naivete of surface walkers. The Mhorlocks had built a strong reputation in New York City through the 1990s, as a member of the family known as Critical Mass-- including Bush Babees, UTD, and Natural Resource. They formed further alliances, eventually sharing the stage with the likes of J-Live, Natural Resource, Jean Grae, and many others. A respected member of the hip-hop community, they drew favor and respect from personalities such as Grandma Funk and Bobbito Garcia, promotion from underground radio outlets, and stage appearances that crossed genres with alternative and rock artists while maintaining a hardcore hip-hop persona. In 1996 they aligned with upstart label Makin' Records, then headed by 'Ocean' Dixon and 'OT' Thompson, which later dissolved due to creative differences. Shortly thereafter, members of the rap group departed to pursue individual efforts, leaving Omega to lead the remainder of the unit, which remained a stable source of hip-hop music, producing local talent and remixing the efforts of professional artists as well. After a hiatus during which he maintained a producer's representation of the Mhorlocks Unit, Omega Johnson returns with a full arsenal of tracks, some strong and long-standing allies, and a renewed hunger to make things happen. The Nunayufake Project is a big part of making everything come together, not just for Omega and the Mhorlocks, but the hip-hop community who has been long wanting for a return to the building blocks of good music. Prepare yourself--OJ's doin' it.