In 2011, Pakistan found itself dancing to the groove of “Desi Thumka”, a rap-pop fusion by artist Nouman Khalid under the label “fire records”. The highlight of this song was a young rap artist, with fierce vocals and the smoothest flow. The Pakistani music industry got introduced to Osama Com Laude, a US return who had only upwards to go from there.
Surprisingly, this sassy rapper is actually a Doctor; He is an RMC graduate! OCL dropped a few singles along the way which were well-received. After a long disappearance, Doctor Osama Karamat is back with a bang. A few weeks ago, his social media revealed a new project with a very…let’s call it interesting cover art. We couldn’t help but ask a few things. Here’s some input from the man himself:
Weekly Pakistan: How does a medical student get into, of all forms of music, rap music?
OCL: The medical student never got into rap music, the rapper actually got into medical school. I’ve loved hip-hop since I was about 9/10 years old and didn’t attempt to dabble with writing my own till I was 12 in 2002. After that, I joined forces with my childhood best friends to form the trio known still to this day as ‘No Front’. Once I ventured out to Pakistan for medicine I had no initial intentions of doing anything solo or carrying music on and thought I’d only get time when I’d go back home to Orlando for summer vacations. But one opportunity came after the other and low and behold I established myself as someone not to be messed with in the Asian music industry.
Weekly Pakistan: How do you manage being Osama Com Laude and Doctor Osama Karamat?
OCL: It’s weird because I was always a shy kid growing up. I eventually created the OCL persona to get over that shyness and to build self confidence in everyday life as well. It helped me conquer a lot of my fears and doubts. And in return it helped Osama Karamat believe in himself more and set the biggest of goals and reach them all one by one. So it’s essentially two beings which need to exist and coincide together in collaboration and harmony to create one powerful humanoid. That just got really intense really fast haha.
Weekly Pakistan: “Rack City” and “Pakistani” were a long time ago. What are your plans for your awaiting fans?
OCL: The plan is simple. Create, execute, hype and unleash. With this simple formula I will unveil one grand single after the other until someone is forced to give me a major deal and get behind me full force so I can finally get to work on my first album and deliver all the art that has been imprisoned in my brain for so long now.
Weekly Pakistan: The concept behind Baghdad?
OCL: The song itself is all about my appreciation and love of women and their beauty and the best part is it’s all done without a single curse word in it. Women are beautiful creatures. Admiring their physical beauty doesn’t mean they’re being objectified. A woman lights up any space with her presence, whether it’s a home, work place or this cover art. Women are powerful in many, many ways. They are responsible for bringing life into this world. Admiring one of their attributes doesn’t mean I’m taking away from all the other various ones they possess.
Weekly Pakistan: Pakistan has only a fair few rap artists; how do you think rap will get accepted into the mainstream with most of the music industry dominated by pop?
OCL: At this point I don’t think we’re looking for acceptance. What a select few of us have done through our art is made a big enough impact to be taken seriously and that we are not some flavor of the week. I’m positive that will continue to happen as we forcefully make our mark in the industry as a genre of the forefront.
Weekly Pakistan: What are your plans after Baghdad?
OCL: I’ve already began conceptualizing the next singles video, this one is my person favorite out of the hat trick I’m putting out this year among other projects. The video is gonna be insane, really tapping into my love for comic books and japanese/chinese culture with this follow up.
Weekly Pakistan: How difficult it is for emerging artists, especially with a market infested with online piracy?
OCL: It really got terrible for us when the YouTube banned happened. With all the momentum in the favor of the internet/social media artist, once the ban happened, that all instantly plummeted. But now through gigs, ads and even rising companies like Patari and Taazi, that momentum lost is slowly beginning to what I believe will be a meteoric rise.
Baghdad is set to release after Eid Ul Fitr and honestly, we Can. Not. Wait.