Ozay Moore is one of those ultra-unique veterans in the hip-hop game.
Not only does he flaunt a career that has spanned over 20 years and 10 albums and is considered in the top 14 Christian Emcees of all time, but he also holds credentials that are bigger than hip-hop itself.
As a community organizer, teacher and the director for Lansing, Michigan’s All of the Above Academy–a collective that focuses on teaching hip-hop from the perspective of self-discipline, community awareness, artistic expression and educational forward thinking–Ozay has successfully taken his experience from a lengthy hip-hop career (and a career traveling the likes of Europe, Japan and the United States) to empower, influence and inspire the youth and his community in Mid-Michigan.
Born in Seattle, Washington to a family with a strong musical background, Ozay was always around the scene. By the early to mid-2000s, Ozay (at that time going by the name Othello) was 1/3rd of Lightheaded, a Tres Records group, where he shared the stage with Ohmega Watts and Braille. With stacked songs that rocked empowering lyrics and a mix of old-school hip-hop and new age ferociousness in terms of the music, Lightheaded was a feel-good, hard-hitting group that hip-hop needed at the time. Their songs such as “Unconditional” and “Timeless” still deserve recognition on the blogosphere, and their optimistic nature filled so many hip-hop voids at the time.
From his early career and Lightheaded up until now, Ozay has always made music for the people as a way to further connect himself with his community and spread the love. The group of artists he has worked with proves this even more. Sharing the stage with artists like People Under the Stairs, Royce Da 59, Black Milk, Slick Rick, Kool Keith, Prince Po, Ludacris, Freeway, Propaganda, Beautiful Eulogy and other people in the hip-hop sphere, Ozay has shown he can rock with hip-hop’s best while uniting all of them to bring and share hip-hop in the community in concert fashion. While commanding the stage with his dynamic and open attitude, where he connects with the crowd when he’s not belting out soulful lyrics encased in a diverse cadence and wordplay shell, Ozay is always getting open. There’s never a time when he ceases to deliver and share his experience with those in attendance, and it’s that alone which makes him an artist worth keeping in rotation.