L.A. underground MC Omni (aka the "California Kid" or Omniprez) was in his teens when he first began rapping as part of his crew, Gershwin B.L.X. (Bass Line Xcursionists). He was influenced by two major currents in West Coast rap music, the hard-edged gangsta rap of Death Row Records and the eclecticism of California's alternative rap scene, particularly from crews like Hieroglyphics and Freestyle Fellowship. But, his vocal display of fluid and hard flows can be likened to that of Del tha Funkee Homosapien, indicating the latter current as a much stronger influence. After Gershwin B.L.X. disbanded, he released his solo debut, Funkdafied Freddy (2001), on Belgian-based label B9000 Records, but recorded Burgundy Brown (2003) for his own B.L.X. Records. The positive response from the latter album's 12" single, "American African" b/w "Equalize," landed him a deal with L.A. indie Ariel Records, who issued Ballyhoo in 2006. Omni's profile in L.A.'s hip-hop underground also stepped up a notch as he was able to secure guest spots from Mikah 9 (of Freestyle Fellowship), Luckyiam.PSC (of Living Legends), and Fatlip (of the Pharcyde) for that album. On the heels of its favorable reviews, Omni followed with Batterie in 2007. Batterie was more eclectic than his previous efforts, featuring Spanish flamenco music samples and elements of garage/grime-fused productions. ~ Cyril Cordor
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