Prolific hip-hop artist Oddisee first became known as an underground producer before gaining respect as a rapper. His literate, relatable lyrics tackle personal issues and political themes, and his productions encompass retro-soul, go-go, and gospel influences. Born in Washington, D.C. to a Sudanese father and an African-American mother, Amir Mohamed grew up in Maryland, influenced by soul and rap as well as myriad musicians on both sides of his family. He was set to attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia to pursue visual arts when a friend introduced him to hip-hop production. He was so enamored of it that he changed his plans and concentrated on making beats, ending up with the track "Musik Lounge" on DJ Jazzy Jeff's 2002 record, Magnificent.
Part of the Low Budget crew, which included fellow D.C.-area MCs and producers Kenn Starr, Cy Young, and Kev Brown, Oddisee released his solo debut, Foot in the Door (mixed by Jazzy Jeff), on Halftooth in 2006. He signed to Mello Music Group in 2008, debuting with Mental Liberation and New Money (a collaboration with Trek Life) in 2009. He also formed the trio Diamond District along with labelmates XO and yU; their debut, In the Ruff, also appeared in 2009. He typically released one or two solo albums a year, including instrumental efforts such as Traveling Man and Odd Seasons as well as lyrical showcases such as People Hear What They See.
Tangible Dream and the instrumental full-length The Beauty in All both appeared in 2013. In 2015, he issued The Good Fight, an effort driven by social commentary and retro-soul, and 2016 saw the release of The Odd Tape, an all-instrumental mixtape issued around the same time as his free download EP Alwasta. In early 2017, Oddisee released his 11th studio album, Iceberg, returning to a vocal-driven style. Later in the year, he released Beneath the Surface, a live album featuring his band Good Compny. ~ Marisa Brown & Paul Simpson