Okwerdz | Interview
Born and raised in Stockton, California, Okwerdz has always prided himself on being a groundbreaking artist. As a genuine freestyle phenomenon, he is considered one of the most prolific and dominant battle emcees in the west coast. Okwerdz was one of the first California emcees to compete in Scribble Jam, was a runner-up in the legendary Rocksteady Battle in NYC, and has shared stages freestyling with icons such as Juice and Supernatural. Okwerdz has collaborated with Kool G Rap, Mistah F.A.B., Tech N9ne, Rahzel, DJ Green Lantern, Cappadonna, Casual, and more. His debut album, Random Acts Of Music, was co-released with indie label Back Route Records in 2005 and has moved over 4,000 units despite creative differences with distribution. In 2008, he returned to the battle scene and caught the attention of The Source Magazine, who later honored Okwerdz with the Unsigned Hype Award in the March 2009 issue and again with Unsigned Hype Alumni in the December 2009 issue. Okwerdz has also received a certified gold record for his contribution to the Australian hip hop album from the Hilltop Hoods, Hard Road: Restrung. In 2010, Okwerdz released a mixtape, The Off Season, with features from Sean Price, Mistah F.A.B., Kool G Rap, Hilltop Hoods, and more. He also played a major role in releasing two compilation albums, Non Perishables Vol. 1 and Non Perishables Vol. 2 under the collective name Fresh Coast, which features artists from the rap battle community.