Roy O.
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Roy O.

Houston, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Hip Hop Soul

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Roy O. won’t fit into anybody’s box. Yes, the Houston-hailing Nigerian-American emcee is a rapper. He can also sing and break out a melody when he wants to. AND he can act – or at least, he can use hilarious skits (i.e., his “Short Rap Tales” series) to tackle any given topic.

YouTube personality aside, however, Roy O.’s artistry is unmatched when he’s focused. That was apparent from the moment Roy O. shared “Fluorescent,” his bounce music-powered single with Hot Peez. “Fluorescent” was not only intended to thrust Roy O. back into the public eye – it was also meant to lay the foundation for his sophomore LP, ‘Ovie.’

‘Ovie’ – so entitled after a Nigerian name that translates to “King” in English – is the follow-up to Roy O.’s 2014 debut project ‘Hue.’ The album officially released on Wednesday, a day after it was exclusively premiered to the public on Houston creative Kelsey McDaniel’s All Real Radio show, “The Tuesday Special.”

Ten tracks deep, ‘Ovie’ features frequent Roy O. collaborator William Joseph, as well as Kez Jonez (who also produced the entire LP), Hot Peez, and Lee-Lonn. As incredible as “Fluorescent” is, it can’t quite be used as a measuring stick for the rest of the project.

That’s because ‘Ovie’ goes in so many different directions in terms of its sound. Roy O. uses spoken word on “A.A.,” for example, to describe his journey to becoming comfortable in his own. “Find Your Way” sounds like the rap/neo-soul collabs of the early ’00s (and the recently “Fallen” Lee-Lonn’s voice absolutely sparkles on the hook). The rapper preaches a message of perseverance on “Pushin'” and becomes of the life of the party on standout cut “Swervy Jackson.” Even “Elijah” has Roy O. and feature William Joseph ending the album by taking listeners to church on a gospel-esque note.

“Say I’m top five, now holla – don’t underrate me,” Roy O. advises listeners on “Foolie.” Roy O. sincerely believes he’s got the flow and the talent to get and keep your attention. For 35 minutes, at least, he manages to do that and then some. Stream Roy O.’s ‘Ovie’ project for yourself down below and grab it now off iTunes. - Bradford J. Howard (Dayandadream.com)


What happens when a master thinker winds up plotting his most expressive release? You get Roy O., another one of those cutting teeth Southside acts compiling one of the year’s more slept-on projects. Ovie manages to circumvent b.s. reaches for radio play and instead saw the Nigerian-American fit as many clever bars as he could between metronome strikes.

Ovie translates to King in American and the rapper found himself to be royalty throughout it. Thin-voiced yet highly opinionated, he transitioned left and right between sustaining an identity of who he is and what his name and lineage means to the rest of the world. "Fluorescent" with Hot Peez merged New Orleans bounce with a slick paced Niger flow. "Find Your Way" with Lee-Lonn works around select percussion to take Third Ward on for a personal spin. There's enough within Ovie to make it simple and plain: Roy O. loves to rap. Even if his song construction isn't hell bent on giving up hits, he finds satisfaction in spilling all of his thoughts out and piecing them together like a large jigsaw puzzle. He hearts taking risks, all the more making sure that every calculated step is a successful one. - Brandon Caldwell (HoustonPress)


Sometime in 2014, I heard a song called "Stay Tru" by Roy O., while he was completely unfamiliar to me, his sound resonated enough that I had to go listen to his newly release project Hue. Fast-forward 3 years during which time Roy O. released a minimal amount of music but every new track was a catalyst for keeping up with what he had coming next. Last week when Roy O. agreed to be a guest on my radio show, The Tuesday Special, on All Real Radio to discuss his upcoming album Ovie, I wasn't sure what to expect from the album aside from the fact that the single "Fluorescent" featuring Hot Peez was one of the dopest track I heard all year. During the show, Roy O. played "Ovie" and "Foolie", two tracks from the album that were unreleased and unheard. I am still trying to find words for the feeling I had when Kez Jonez began playing the guitar and Roy O.'s haunting, transparent lyricism flowed through the speakers on "Ovie" or when he spazzed, no holds barred during every second of "Foolie". At one point I almost threw my headphones because the music was just THAT good, and Roy O.'s humble, infectious personality made me and everyone else in the room appreciate it just that much more.

The only thing I could do was ask Roy O. to return this week (as his album was set to release the day after my radio show airs) and do a listening session for the entire album, on air. Blah blah, shit happened and I couldn't make it to the radio station in time for the album listening. So for the first time, EVER I tuned into my own radio show while Tina and Joan hosted in my stead and heard the greatness that is Ovie for the first time.

All the stress of that day (and there was A LOT of it) didn't matter when the intro track "A.A." played; an acapella homage to being different and all of the feelings and revelations that come with it. Acceptance, confidence, insecurities, getting lit, getting lost, and finding yourself; all of that and every other element of the human condition began pouring out as more and more of Ovie played.

My son wouldn't go to sleep, he was sick, I was frustrated with a ton of things in my life but none of it bothered me for the 35 minutes that Roy O. spoke directly to my soul. From "Find Your Way" to "Swervy Jackson" and "Fluorescent", Ovie feels like a soundtrack for life. I tend to avoid finalizing my decision on an album until I have had the chance to go back and listen to it at random times for a couple of weeks but, Ovie took maybe 20 seconds to win me over. R

oy O. poured all of the things within him that we tend to keep to ourselves into a cohesive, stark, fun, raw and really really damn good album, and this is merely my initial take on the whole thing.

Just, do yourself a favor and go listen to Ovie. - Hustlegrade


Discography

Album(s)
HUE (2014)
OVIE (2017)

Notable Collaborations - Fly Union, BJ the Chicago Kid, Scarface, Blu

Mixtapes

The Royolty (2012)

Bridge Over Troubled Waters (2013)

Scratch (only on Bandcamp - 2016)

Photos

Bio

Roy O. is a Nigerian-born rapper/songwriter by way of Houston, Texas.  After fleeing political persecution in Nigeria, the multi-talented master's degree holding, martial artist, basketball-playing rapper burst on the Hip-hop scene with his dazzling ability to blend and maneuver seamlessly between African storytelling, catchy rhythms and powerful lyricism.  Following his debut album, HUE (2015) which featured Houston's own Scarface and the acclaimed "The Friday Song", Roy O. unleashed his sophomore project, "OVIE" (meaning King) in late 2017.  OVIE has garnered attention from sites like Karencivil.com, Thisis50.com and the HoustonPress, and was noted as one of the Top 25 Hip-Hop albums in Houston, Tx.
Roy O. continues to create and travel the country bringing his music to life, one stage a time!