Welcome to Arts Roll Call, a podcast for the arts curious. This bi-monthly podcast features Arts Council artists and arts organizations as they share their story with our host, Robin Miner-Swartz. This month we spoke with local hip hop artists Ozay Moore and Anthony James-Player from All of the Above Hip Hop Academy.
Ozay Moore is one of those ultra-unique veterans in hip-hop music and culture. Not only does he flaunt a career that has spanned over 20 years, 12 albums, global tours and a relevance that stretches across generations of fans, he also holds credentials that are bigger than hip-hop itself. As a community organizer, teacher and founder/executive director for All of the Above Hip Hop Academy, Ozay has found more meaning and gratification in his efforts locally than in the success of his music career. Although Moore remains active as an artist, his commitment to mentor youth, support artistic expression and serve his community as a Hip Hop cultural resource is an expressed philosophy that motivates him and the people around him.
Anthony Jones-Player (aka The Player or The Player Music) is a rapper/singer/songwriter, originally from Vallejo, California, but he currently resides in Lansing, Michigan. He hopes to one day impact the world with his music and help his family live comfortably. He released his debut album “Dreamstate” on Jan. 31, 2020, and he followed that up with a collab EP with Andrew Kish titled “Lost in the Sauce.” Other notable collaborations also include Control The Artist on “Battle Cry Remix,” Dos Dope on “Haiku,” and Professor Zephyr on multiple tracks from his album “WYTS.” His next project, titled “I” recently dropped on Oct. 31, 2020. Since then, he has released a single titled “Watching,” and is working on his second full album.
In this episode, host Robin, Ozay and Anthony discuss All of the Above Hip Hop Academy, the importance of building a community around young creators and how we are all learners and teachers. They talk about the challenges around creating music and attending school during a pandemic, all of the amazing things that are happening creatively in Greater Lansing and what the future looks like for AOTA.