OSBS are good wherever they go, thanks to the streets. The Los Angeles duo comprised of D5 and Smokeone has had their own run-ins and experiences with gang culture, turning that same hustle and passion into the rap game. Hailing from the same hood as Nipsey in the Crenshaw district, they describe themselves as “gangsters that don’t try to be hard.”
The name OSBS stands for “On Some Bullshit,” with that same energy carrying over into their hard-hitting bangers. Combining the nitty gritty lifestyle or growing up in South Central Los Angeles with endless bars, punchlines, and even melody, the two young adults blend that hard-hitting West Coast sound with Atlanta’s highly-favored trap vibe. Together, they unleash sonically-appealing records for audiences all across the country.
On the heels of the release of their new tape Parental Advisory, Flaunt caught up with OSBS to discuss their upbringing, D5 getting shot with Nipsey Hussle, linking with Lil Baby and 2 Chainz, and wanting to sign their own artists.
What sets OSBS apart from other street rappers?
Smokeone: We’re ourselves. Everybody knows who we are at the end of the day, but we don’t try to portray that image. We’re the other side of the hood. People get the serious hood artists, then they get us. We’re still hood, but we’re not trying to put that in your face all day. We aren’t walking around trying to act hard, we just have fun.
What’s the other side of the hood?
Smokeone: Us. We’re from the same hood as Nip. This conversation was right before he died [shows screenshot], he’s trying to tell us “man, I appreciate what y’all doing. Y’all show the good side of the hood. Not everybody’s serious all the time, trying to shoot everything up.” We have a whole different drip than the rest of our homies. We’re all from Crenshaw, we’re from 60’s. But we show it’s okay to be yourself. You don’t have to conform with what everybody thinks: “this is what a hood n*gga’s supposed to be. You don’t have to be like that.
D5: Chill is perfect.
Smokeone: Yeah, we’re more laidback.
Were you in the streets?
Smokeone: Definitely. I just got out from doing four years. He got shot the first time with Nipsey at the beach, 10 years ago.
D5: That song “Blue Laces 2” was at the beach. We’re all together, we got into it with some other dudes. That’s the third verse Nip talked about. If you listen, it was just like the verse.
Who was it with?
Smokeone: Eight Tray Gangsters, our worst enemies. We’re right next to them. Two people got shot, D5 was one.
What was your reaction?
Smokeone: “Get me to the hospital!” [chuckles]
D5: We were the aggressors. My gun jammed and all that, so I was more in shock. Now, we’re on the defensive side. I didn’t know I got shot at.
Smokeone: Right, wow’d that happen? [chuckles] We went from assault to assaulted.
D5: I heard my homeboy scream, I’m looking at his arm like damn! Then I hear more pops, dudes run up on me. I hear the pop, I drop down. I get back up, I didn’t even know I was shot until I looked at my shirt. I was still 15, in high school.
Smokeone: My shit didn’t start until I got arrested for 3 attempted murders and 2 armed robberies. At first I got arrested for one attempted murder and two armed robberies, then they added two more. I was in jail facing 200 something years.
How old were you?
Smokeone: I was 20. I got out when I was 24, me and him started doing music together. At first we weren’t really having OSBS, it was me and him hanging out at the studio. We just started doing it together.
How did y’all meet?
Smokeone: We’ve been known each other for a long time. We’re all from the same hood.
D5: Our folks are damn near family. Nephews, uncles…
Smokeone: My uncle used to run around with his uncle. Big U is his uncle. My uncle who I’m named after used to run around with his uncle, so we go way back.
How did you guys know you would mesh together sonically?
Smokeone: We didn’t, we’re just running the streets together. We found out we both had a deeper level of thinking than some of the people around us, so we gravitate towards each other. I don’t even listen to rap like that. I have a Black Flag tattoo, a Misfits tattoo. I listen to alternative rap like Sublime. I listen to a little bit of rap, but the quality is so low. I listen to Drake, a couple of other people like Lil Baby, Gunna, Lil Keed, Thug. But everything else isn’t interesting enough to us. We created our own style.
What is your style?
Smokeone: Our style is Crenshaw mixed with Atlanta, mixed with Sublime and the ratchets. That’s basically us. This song we played at our party last night, people couldn’t even tell it was us. They’re like “who is this?” They thought it was a song from KROQ. “Fall Back” is from our new project, Parental Advisory. This is our new style.
D5: We found our sound.
You guys both spit?
Smokeone: Yes, we go back and forth. I come back in, he goes back in. We’re like OutKast. All that mixed with OutKast. It’s like The Cure, alternative type.
How did you get Lil Baby on the record?
Smokeone: He’s the homie. We called him up, he’s like “fasho, we’re going to do it.”
D5: He’s from our neighborhood in Atlanta.
Smokeone: They’re from 60’s in Atlanta. Gunna’s from 60’s in Atlanta, Lil Baby from 60’s in Atlanta, so it’s not hard to make that call. Especially when we’re the real ones, they have to fuck with us. [chuckles
D5: That’s how we are locked in with everybody, even 2 Chainz.
How’d you link with 2 Chainz?
Smokeone: 2 Chainz used to be super cool Big U. Even before he’s rapping, he knew Big U. That’s more of a call from Unc.
D5: But he’s still from our neighborhood out there, raised out there.
What was the moment when you guys realized this music thing was for real, as OSBS?
Smokeone: When my mom called me like “I hear you on the radio!” I almost cried. Power 106 and 92.3 had “I Know” in rotation. My mom used to call me when I was in jail, hoping I wouldn’t get life. We’re hoping and praying I wouldn’t get life because a dude came to court really saying I tried to kill him. It took a while for them to realize he’s bullshitting.
I got off because he went up on the stand and contradicted himself so many times, they’re like “if you don’t get off that stand, you’ll need to get your own lawyer.” My heart dropped like “omg, I’m about to come home!” But “nah n*gga, you have to take a robbery charge.” I’ll take it. Run it, I was happy to get a robbery charge. My mom’s always had my back through everything so to hear her call me with that type of emotion, she’s really proud of how far I came.
What was the biggest lesson you learned behind bars?
Smokeone: Sometimes when you think you know what’s going on, you have to sit back and observe even more. I learned to sit back, observe, and to plan for the future. You have to put a plan in motion immediately. I planned for this when I was in jail. People I was in jail with are constantly hitting me up everyday, “I remember in jail, you said you’d do this.” I’ve been in jail with 1,000 people. I was in there for years so I’ve been through a lot of motherfuckers in jail. They stay messaging me, “bro, that shit is crazy. You really got out and did exactly what you said you would.”
D5 & SmokeOne, what’s the dynamic between you guys?
Smokeone: We talk shit to each other all day. That’s my brother. I can talk to him about anything. I talk to him about shit I’ll never tell anybody else. He knows shit about me, I know shit about him that we could never speak about to anybody else. We have that type of homie relationship.
D5: On Blood.
Smokeone: We’re still on each other’s head. If I’m fucking up, he’s going to get on my head like “bro, you’re being an asshole.” I could talk to him too. We check each other in ways other n*ggas can’t without feeling offended. If someone said some shit to me, I’d want to fight. But with him, it’s different. Because I understand it.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
D5: Just understand where we’re coming from, really know how far we came.
Smokeone: Don’t be afraid no matter what your situation is, people will still love you for it. Me and him don’t walk around the hood trying to be the hardest n*ggas, but we still have respect because of who we are. We don’t walk around “cuz, I got my gun!” We’re like ”ay bro, whatup?” We still get respect.
D5: We stepped out of the box, even how we dress.
Smokeone: Our whole sauce is different than the other homies. They’re starting to come more towards us like “oh, them n*ggas are fire! I like how they got that…” We want to inspire people to always be yourself. It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can always dictate your future.
What is one thing you want fans to get from Parental Advisory?
Smokeone: I want them to hear that it’s a new sound coming out of LA. Because he and I are one of the first artists to step way outside of the box of LA and not sound like another LA artist. Now there’s a lot more of course. But putting out “I Know” with 2 Chainz beginning of 2018, we showed LA artists that you don’t have to sound like the West Coast. Even though Dr. Dre is our roots and our foundation, we show them you don’t really have to do that. Now, there’s a lot of them. 2 years ago we first started rapping, there wasn’t a lot.
D5: That’s why we were rooting for 03 Greedo and Roddy Ricch, because we fuck with the sound. It doesn’t sound like everybody else out here. The fact that Roddy Ricch did good is a good thing for us.
Smokeone: Our sound is different than our region.
What’s your most meaningful tattoo?
Smokeone: My daughter’s name across my chest. She’s 7, I was with her last night at a daddy daughter dance. [shows picture] That’s my baby. In a Peewee Herman outfit, you see me. [chuckles]
Biggest lesson you learned in fatherhood?
Smokeone: It’s a whole new level of responsibility. It made me not care about anything else besides her. Everything else doesn’t matter except her. It puts things in perspective, time to get more serious. That’s why we’re putting out this music. That’s why I’m rapping, or I’d be doing what I like doing.
What do you like doing, the streets?
Smokeone: I used to, the streets were my thing. Robbing. A little adrenaline rush.
D5: That’s how we know a lot of artists, because they used to hit us up. When they come out, when they had problems, we’d pull up for them. Thug, Wiz, I don’t want to say too many names. We pull up, make sure everything’s straight. Different situations for different people.
Smokeone: Everybody. Artists want to make sure they’re straight in LA, so they’d call us.
How did you tap in with Hoodrich?
Smokeone: That’s our boy, we’ve been locked with him for a minute. We’re street n*ggas, we’re cool with everybody. When we start rapping, they’re like “oh come on, we’ll fuck with you.” I’ve been had it before rapping.
Talk about working with Wiz Khalifa.
Smokeone: We have 8 songs with Wiz Khalifa ready to drop. This was before I went to jail at 19, I was already on that shit. We already knew everybody, we’re all from the same circle.
D5: We’re supposed to go on tour with Wiz again this summer.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
D5: Signing artists and doing our own thing. We want to get them out of the area.
Smokeone: We want to grab people from our type of situation, show them how to make a better life. That’s what it’s all about.
D5: We have to do something to make it easier to pick up talent out of our community.
Smokeone: It’s hard. To get to the level we’re at, there’s not many people. We aren’t even all of that yet, but it’s at the level where people are looking up to us because of what we came from. Even before Nip, Nip was the one who showed us it’s possible. We want to carry on the torch from Nip and show them “this is what y’all could do too.” We all come from the same situation, this is what’s possible.
D5: We want to make a platform for people, make it easier to be heard or sell music.
Anything else you’d like to let us know?
D5: Look out for the tape. A collab tape with Hoodrich Pablo Juan and a collab mixtape with Wiz Khalifa.
Smokeone: Parental Advisory!