OMB Bloodbath speaks on the dynamic at LVRN, being mentored by George Floyd, her community work in Houston, and much more for “Rise & Grind.”
Houston is well-known for introducing some of the most unique, forward-thinking rappers into the world. Travis Scott is currently the city’s hero but before him, artists including DJ Screw, the Geto Boys, and many others, dictated the sound of H-Town. Of course, Beyoncé has also always had the city in the palm of her hand. Now, however, it’s time for a new generation of stars to come up, and OMB Bloodbath is making sure she’s at the forefront.
With a number of successful releases to her name — including the viral “For Me” with Chase B and KenTheMan — the Houston native has been following in the footsteps of several other community leaders from Houston. Most notably, Blood has shown flashes of Trae Tha Truth‘s commitment to the city, putting on multiple annual events to give back to Houston’s youth.
The 27-year-old rapper has steadily been making a name for herself as part of Love Renaissance (LVRN), which also has artists like Summer Walker, 6LACK, and BRS Kash on the roster. She was also close friends with George Floyd, whom she names among her mentors.
During an interview with HNHH for our Rise & Grind series, OMB Bloodbath answered ten basic questions before going more in-depth about the major themes surrounding her come-up, and her life as a whole. Learn more about the rising rapper by reading below.
Stay tuned for a new installment of Rise & Grind every Monday.
I’m in Third Ward right now! I was born and raised here. I always tell people, one thing I like about Third Ward is that it is hood, but at the same time it is historical. You got projects, but you also got U of H and the HBCU TSU. You got people here from all over the world. You got hood shit, but history too.
My favorite thing and my favorite place is the Bluestone. My ring says “Bluestone Baby.” That’s my favorite place to be and lately I got a lot going on but that’s home to me. As a matter of fact, the Bluestone is where I shot the “Don’t Do It” video. If you look at it, you’ll see the Bluestone.
I’m a Sagittarius. I always tell people I’m optimistic. I don’t want to complain, I want to make it different. I hate harping on bad shit. When I tell people I’m a Sag, they won’t say nothing. You’re the first to say good things about Sags. We are the coolest people in the world!
I be seeing people say, “I’m a Scorpio, I can’t vibe with you.” I’m a good person, you’re a good person, what the fuck does that have to do with anything? I can’t say there’s a Sag trait that don’t apply to me, but they say I got the gift of talking my way in and out of any situation. I know how to talk to people. I’m a people person. It’s not something that don’t apply to me, it’s something that do apply to me.
Top 5 DOA:
Killa Cal Wayne. He’s from my hood. And Lauryn Hill. Those are the first people I’mma say. It’s hard, I’m trying to think because n***as be hard but can’t say they’re the greatest out there.
Everything is an accomplishment. From the little stuff to the big stuff. To me, there’s nothing like the feeling of watching people you grew up with. These are the people who saw me as a dirty little kid riding bikes, rapping for dollars. So, for the same people to see me get big and make something of myself is an accomplishment because I could win a Grammy tomorrow, but it is going to feel like I really made it when you can enjoy it with the people who saw it from the beginning. Say people who were mean to me, the people who really watched me grow know where I come from. It’s a champion story, it’s like underdog shit. That’s my biggest accomplishment, waking up every day and being able to do what I love, and get paid for it. That’s the accomplishment. Anything more than that is an extra blessing but waking up and doing my shit every day is an accomplishment.
Studio Habits & Essentials:
It depends. It depends. When I am out of town and focused on a project, I got to have my food. Everybody knows I can’t think straight when I’m hungry and frustrated if I ain’t got no food or drink. But I can make a song in 5-20 minutes. I need crab legs, or a baked potato waiting for me. No gummy bears, I need real good food.
I can’t really say the stuff I want to say. When I go to the studio, I don’t write, like I said, my food got to be there. I need something cold. I hate drinking lukewarm water or juice. If it’s not cold, I don’t want it.
I was in the house one day, and I wanted to make a song before anybody thought of it. So, before I even knew the beat, I said I need to have KenTheMan on it. It was kind of out of my element. I hit up Ken and said, “I have a song and I want you on it.” So it was me and Ken in the Airbnb, Chase B was playing the beats. Ken looked at me and said, “That’s the beat right there.” I did my verse in 10-20 minutes. As soon as it happened everybody said, “That’s it!” Everybody was turned up. That was the process, I came up with it before I heard the beat and constructed it all together.
We’re working with real talented people. It’s always a surprise and a good feeling [when something does well]. But when we laid that shit down, we knew what time it was. Everybody looking at you like, “This is the one.”
Man, the city loves it. There ain’t no clubs, bars, restaurants, shoe stores where they don’t know it. We went to Candytopia, and the people working there were popping out the song. I love the love. There’s nothing like the love you see. It feels good when you go to other places, but there’s nothing like the love you get where you’re from.
Yeah, I remember the first song I ever recorded. It was called “Tre’s Finest” because they call the Third Ward “The Tre”. It goes, “We the Tre’s finest/You ain’t got to remind us, stop staring at the diamonds/They just might blind ya/HTown is the city where you just might find us/Can’t stop, wont stop, the whole city behind us.” I wrote that when I was 11. That’s when I recorded my first song.
Before I even knew what rap was, I was writing poetry and shit. I was in kindergarten reading Langston Hughes. Anything that had to do with words or rhyming, I was obsessed with it. During Christmas, I asked for no toys, no basketball, I just wanted music instruments. One year, I got a DJ set, another year I got a drum set, the next year I got a keyboard, a guitar. The only thing I wanted for Christmas was music shit. It’s always been in my life. Although I stray to other stuff, this has always been my main goal.
I ain’t start [performing until I came home from jail in 2014]– little block parties, little industry mixes. It was more hood shit. My song “Shootston” was popping. I had people asking me to perform for their daughter’s sweet sixteen, people in the hood that I already know. But I was 19.
At first, you’re nervous [before getting on stage], but once you’re up there, you got to put on a show. One time I had a show at a block party, and I was so thirsty on stage, and nobody could give me water because I was in the middle of rapping. There was a fruit basket and I just bit into an orange with the peel. People thought I was doing it on some rockstar shit. This was before I was famous. I was still up and coming.
YouTube [is my guilty pleasure]. If I hear about a YouTuber, I’ll watch all of their videos, and then I’ll never watch them again. The whole city is so cool. King Cid, MrBeast. That’s my guilty pleasure, YouTube. Sometimes I’ll watch and I can’t believe these n***as have the audacity to be this lame. It just amazes me how much money they make, so I watch more. Can you really blame them for being corny? They be making a lot of money.
I got a few videos. That “Not Gang” featuring EST Geeabout to drop. I just dropped “Blood Sample.” It’s out on all platforms. Right now, I’m just taking it day by day. Each day, I have all kinds of things lined up, but there’s a lot of shit dropping for sure. The deluxe dropping soon.
HNHH: How did you come up with your name? OMB is for “only my brothers,” right?
OMB Bloodbath: Yeah. When I came home from jail, my partners had a little clique. At first, they were called “Dial Out Music Group”, but the clique was OMB. They hit me because they needed my help with the music, so we linked up. We started making music. I told them, “We need to go by OMB instead of Dial Out Music Group.” We needed to have a universal name, and “only my brothers” is universal. Everybody got someone who feels like their brother.
I got “Bloodbath” from Malibu’s Most Wanted when he said, “Don’t do it, bloodbath, don’t do it.” My partner who passed away, we used to do some wild shit. Every time I’d be wyling, he’d be like, “Don’t do it, bloodbath, don’t do it!” After he passed away, I just kept the name.
Last year was a pretty crazy time for everyone, but for you, it was a career-defining one. Now it feels like every time you drop a song, you get closer to superstardom. How does it feel that your blessings have been during a pandemic year?
The thing is, I was on house arrest as soon as the pandemic happened, so I couldn’t go outside anyway. In my mind, I was like, “Shit, God just don’t play about me. When I go on house arrest, the world goes on house arrest!” Everything has a perfect time, and I can’t ever complain about what’s going on. You got to take the good with the bad. The world is opening back up and we’re doing shows now. It’s looking good. I just can’t cry about shit. It just is what it is.
You shined on the LVRN cypher from earlier this year. What was that like?
They weren’t prepared! Boogie is the person who challenges me the most. I can’t not go hard because he goes hard. I got to push, and it makes both of us go hard.
What’s the dynamic like on the label?
Everybody’s close. When we all link up, it’s love. It’s family. But everybody got to work and do their own thing. That just comes with being grown. That’s like how I am with the partners I grew up with. I can’t chill with you n***as every day, but I love y’all though.
How did you meet George Floyd? A lot of people don’t know that he was actually your mentor.
George Floyd watched me grow up. He lived right across the street from the Bluestone. On “Don’t Do It”, in the scene where I’m in the middle and all my partners are lined up, we were in George Floyd’s backyard, at the house he grew up in. He was one of the main people that always pushed me and prayed for me. If he was in town and could make it, he never missed any of my shows. He was the type of dude to hit you up in the middle of the night like, “Hey man, I’m proud of you. Keep going.” I never explained our relationship on social media because it’s weird to me. That’s somebody I really know. But I know the whole world knows him now. A lot of people say, “Why do you have George Floyd in your ‘Don’t Do It’ video?”, not knowing that’s that man’s corner. That’s really where he’s from. That’s family.
What’s the best advice he ever gave you?
It wasn’t really advice. I wouldn’t talk to him for months, and he would DM me a long ass prayer, saying, “I’m so proud of you. Keep motivating the hood. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re a star, and you’re destined to shine.” He would say a lot of affirmations and give me a lot of motivation and credit. When you’re working hard, it’s good to hear people that you love telling you you’re doing good, to keep going. That means more than money or any of that shit.
You’ve done some amazing things for your community. You hosted your “Everybody Eats” festival. Last month, you hosted the “Everybody Learns Summer Kamp.” Why is it so important for you to give back to Houston’s youth?
When I was coming up, I wished somebody would have done it for me. It’s got to start somewhere. If everybody just stopped being so selfish and started being selfless, they’ll see how many blessings they get. People wonder why I’m always winning, but when I do get the good, I make sure I’m putting that good back into the world. You’ve got to give the same energy you want to receive. I’m just a selfless person. I’m really going to give back to my hood. Just yesterday, me and my friend Lynn, who owns the Turkey Leg Hut, gave away 10 bands to 4 elderly women, women that I know and that watched and helped me grow. Any little time you have, it’s good to give back. That’s just how the world works.
Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a rapper, I wanted to ask you about the homophobia and transphobia we’ve witnessed in hip-hop over the years.
I just mind my business. I feel like everybody should just treat each other equally, love each other, and mind their own business. I don’t care who you’re f*cking in the ass, I don’t care who’s coochie you’re eating. Whatever you do in your bedroom is your business. I just love everybody.
What do you want your legacy to be in music?
This shit going way beyond music. When I do leave this Earth, I hope they set up a statue right in the middle of Third Ward, just for holding this shit down and getting my city and hood as far as they’re gonna get. I’m not just worried about me. I’m just trying to get a dose so everybody else can get right. When I leave, I want them to say, “Man, Blood was a good person. Blood did a lot for a lot of people and worked real hard.” Hard work and a good person– that’s what I want to be known for. And hopefully, somebody down the line will listen to my story and want to do the same. It starts with one person.