Omaha Hip hop
Omaha is also home to a growing underground hip hop scene. For a long period of time, the scene was defined by North High School graduate Houston Alexander, aka Strong Arm, Scrib or FAS/ONE. In the 1980s he led a hip hop movement in North Omaha called the Scribble Crew as an alliance of graffiti writers who developed a reputation as the top tag artists in the area. The art stands today at 24th and Binney Streets, to 16th and Corby Streets, and other North Omaha locations, and is still respected by the community. His Midwest Alliance act was active through the 1990s and into the new millennium, and is seen as influential on the Omaha scene. Today Alexander is a DJ on a local radio station in Omaha that hosts an independent music show featuring hip hop, and he facilitates an elementary school program that teaches students about hip hop called the "Culture Shock School Tour". Alexander has also been vocal about Omaha's lack of support for its hip hop artists.
The Basement Society is a collective of emcees whose Hip Hop origin is a direct result of being in "the basement." This crew was a predetermined idea of Omaha emcee, Superior DBX. After presenting the idea to long time friend and fellow emcee, Jay Money, things started to come together. The crew consisted of DBX, N-tellect, Jay Money, Kee Lo Z and All Ayz(RIP). The Basement took the streets by storm after running around challenging anybody who wanted to battle and smashing the competition. They became known for their live performances, which brought them household name status. The Basement's first recording was a song called "Its Over" on 1993's "Parental Advisory"(the first local project release), on which they dissed the Young Rebels, another prominent Omaha crew. After beefin' with the Young Rebels(and a few other crews), Basement Society released their debut ep "Who Downstairs?" in April of 1994, which started out on a successful path. "Who Downstairs?" was probably the most popular project released under the watchful eye of DJ Suicide.
OTR Entertainment, also under the alias of OTR Familia or OTR Fam, specializing in Latin hip hop with offices in South Omaha, NE and Chicago, features a variety of artists on their label, including Xpreshin aka XP Brigante, OMC[disambiguation needed], and Mix Of Combinations aka MOC. Currently with three projects on their resume, Xpreshin and Prominence 'The Commencement', OMC's 'It Is What It Is' and 'It Takes What It Took' and MOC with OTR Afta School's 'The Cirriculum'. OTR Entertainment has had artists open up for acts such as Latin sensation bachata group Aventura, Kumbia Kings, Krazy Race, and Pitbull. OTR Entertainment has also had artists that have collaborated with heavy hitters Krazy Race, underground hip hop legend from California and Armageddon, former member of Fat Joe's Terror Squad and executive producer of Fat Joe's J.O.S.E album. Jerry Wade, aka DJ Kamikaze, was first a member of Omaha's Posse-N-Effect. Their first show was in 1989 in Miller Park in North Omaha. Pigeon John, an increasingly popular Christian rapper, is originally from Omaha. Cerone Thompson, known as Scrybe, has had a number one single on college radio stations across the United States. He has also had several number one hits on the local hip hop station respectively titled, "Lose Control" and "Do What U Do".
Mars Black, perhaps the Omaha rapper with the most national exposure, has released an album on New York City's Team Love Records label. However, in a review of the Mars Black album Folks Music, one reviewer noted that Mars describes the Omaha hip-hop scene as "almost non-existent". Continuing about the album, the reviewer writes, "It's only in such a desolate music environment that his pitiful flow, painfully corny emo-rhymes, and insulting bling-boasts could exist."
Original 5 Productions was founded in 2001 by Tomas Contreras in Omaha, NE. This cutting edge label’s sole purpose is to break into the mainstream music industry while keeping its roots firmly planted in the Midwest. The label has had two major releases in its short existence; its very own CEO's Tomas Contreras’ release of “Reborn In Tha Mind” (available at all Homers Record stores) under the alias Tomas C and “The Eclipse is Season…The World is Ours” (also available at all Homers Record Stores) a group effort including 3 members: Tomas C, Durrtee Davinci and Big Purp aka Dj Poppa Lock under the name Tha Originators. Original 5 Productions latest release is Tomas C’s sophomore album “The Resurrection of Killer Cortez EP” released June 2011. The album was well received containing legitimate lyrical content mixed with political and” good time” lyrics. With many shows under its belt and a strong underground movement, this label’s rise will continue all the way until superstardom and national notoriety is achieved.
Other recently released artists include Afta Lyfe on Straight Ball'n Records, Cornbread on Outta Bounds Records, and Toot on Utopia Entertainment. Articulate, ShYnE, Dark Reign, Ice Money, D' Cypher, Crazze C, Ty-G & Drew Beatz, H.O.B Records, Papillion X, DavieBoi, Buck Bowen, Eddie Winston, Block Movement with Stylo and Latin Threat, Guerrilla X, Dubbsixx, Prophecy, The Galantz, Murder Game, Rush-1, Conchance, Black Jonny Quest, D-Lo, Saint Patrick, Ramm, Jamazz, and Surreal The MC of Noizewave Tomas C of Original 5 Productions Purp Nasty of Original 5 Productions Galvanized Tron (J.Stephens Music) are some of Omaha's most frequent live hip-hop performers.
Today many hip hop shows are held at the Sokol Auditorium in Omaha's Little Bohemia, as well as The Clabourne, Formally Cleopatra's on Ames Street.