Hardcore Hip-Hop and Rap music were at their peak in the 90s; no doubt about it. The lyrical content couldn’t have been more real and more truthful about the struggles musicians faced at the time. Rappers Kevin “Flipside” White and Ronald “Low MB” Watkins, from the group O.F.T.B. (Operation From The Bottom), were a part of this movement having been signed to Deathrow Records and working with Rap icons such as Dr. Dre and Tupac! Hip-Hop and Rap music has evolved since the 90s, but Flip and Lo are still going strong in the business and their new album is proof. The WhatItDo sat down with Flip and Lo to discuss their start in the music industry, their opinions about the music game today, and the new album Damn Near Dead.TWID: How did O.F.T.B. start and get its name?Flip: Well growing up, we were big fans of Run DMC – their style, their music, their lyrics, everything about them. We just wanted to be like them so we started rapping and making music.
Lo: About our name (O.F.T.B.), we come from Watts, which is considered the bottom. Everybody was trying to find a way to get out, to make it out of there. We knew that if we wanted to make it in this music business, we were gonna start from the bottom. That’s how we got Operation From The Bottom.
TWID: Looking back, how would you describe Rap and Hip-Hop music in the 90s?
Flip: I would say it was more fun and it had more originality. We didn’t have the internet and all the things that kids have nowadays to make music. These kids have the ability to reach a greater audience and get greater exposure just from the click of a button. We didn’t. We were out there grinding and hustling, recording our music on tapes, and getting them out to everyone and anyone [laughs].
TWID: Your new album Damn Near Dead comes out July 12. What can we expect from it?
Lo: Everything that Hip-Hop’s been missing! We made this album when Hip-Hop was at the top of its game. It’s real music, real songs with straight up lyrics. It’s the truth.
TWID: Any collaborations on this new album?
Flip: We got to collaborate with Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, MC Hammer, singer Jewell, and more. Shout out to all these artists for being on our album. Man, it was great being able to work with them and it was a blessing.
TWID: Where can we get the latest updates on you and your music?
Flip and Lo are keepin’ their music raw and undiluted and they’re composing lyrics that speak nothing but truth. Operation From The Bottom is showin’ us how it’s done and the only way to do Hip-Hop is to SPEAK IT, BREATHE IT, LIVE IT. Be about it and buy their new album Damn Near Dead available next Tuesday, July 12!
Article Written By: Pesi Kava
*photos courtesy of oftbmusic.com