DMV rapper and record producer Oddisee realized early on that purpose and success are self-designated. Born Amir Elkhalifa in Washington D.C. to a Sudanese father and African American mother, and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, he bore witness to stark inequity early in life and became as political as the city he was raised in. Elkhalifa tackles the human condition with unwavering conviction and candor, merging elements of jazz, funk, and go-go into his hip-hop rooted production. Instead of pursuing record deals and executives, Elkhalifa has taken the less-traveled path. Streamlining elements of the industry early on, from single-handedly recording, producing, and mixing his music to steering his marketing strategy and tour runs. A string of contemporary releases—Rock Creek Park (2011), The Beauty in All (2013), The Good Fight (2015), Alwasta (2016), and The Iceberg (2017)—headlining performances and tours with his 5-piece band, Good Compny, and streams in the multi-millions have propelled him to international recognition and acclaim.