We had the opportunity to interview Joszef Burnette p.k.a OpWaNkAnOp, an underground emcee from Lima, Ohio, on Bone Thugs influences, a history recording music, living in the Upper Midwest, and more.
Hey! Introduce yourself. Where are you from?
My name is Joszef M. Burnette or OpWaNkAnOp (Op) for short. I’m from Lima, Ohio and now residing in Rapid City, South Dakota.
When did you start making music?
This might not make any sense to some, but I feel I started out in waves, first when I was about 10-11 years old, I used to be good at writing poetry, so that’s kinda how I thought of the idea to maybe try and put my words on an instrumental and see how it sounds.
Who inspired you to start making music?
On a heart to heart, Bone Thugs N Harmony. Their songs sang to me. I suffer from depression and sometimes thoughts of suicide because of the past I’ve experienced. I always listened to their songs during that time, and I listened deeper and deeper every time. I understood everything they were saying in their songs. The truth, which is something I wanted to Rap about; but about my life and everything I’ve experienced and what I’m currently going through. They saved me with their music. They are also who helped pave the way for my style and flow.
How would you describe your music style?
It sounds cheesy, but I call it Upper Midwest Hip-Hop. What is it? A combination of sounds from both East and West Coast Hip-hop. I lived on both the East and the West so I decided to give the Upper Midwest its own style.
Who are you listening to now?
About the same that I’ve always listened to. I always listen to Bone Thugs, also really enjoy Eminem, because I listened to him since I was a Kid. A little bit of Chance the Rapper, but I also very much enjoy Lil’ Dicky. But I mean Snoop Dogg, and basically old school 90s with new stuff. I always like to listen to the old school guys making new tracks.
What’s your best project or single so far?
That’s a tough one. I released an EP back in September. But to be honest, I am not as happy with it as I’d like to be. It could have turned out better. But ShowTime, set to be released on my 23rd Birthday in October is the Big one. It’s a dedication to a friend of mine who was shot last June, so I really put my heart, mind and soul into it. There is a track dedicated to him in the Album as well.
Any upcoming releases from you to look out for?
Actually a lot yes, Just released a new single on SoundCloud titled “Real Money Cash” (Shoutout to Rujay who produced it). I am currently working on another EP set to be released in April of 2020, but be on the lookout for the release of my EP and Album on Spotify.
Have any shout outs?
Oh yeah, I want to give a huge shout out to my mother, my step-dad, and all my family. Huge shout out to my best friend Cody Siemonsma, and all my real close friends who have supported me and been there for me even when I needed them the most. Another shout out to everyone else who I might have not mentioned but for listening to my music and being apart of my dream I have been chasing for such a long time. Also for two of my homies who are not here today, Rest in Peace Dmitri, and Fly high Ty. Also Shout out to my father, Frank, Rest in Peace. Love you all, and thanks for the good vibes.
Want to hear more from Joszef? Check out his full discography on Spotify.