Family Swank: Oso Dope
At 17-years-old, Oso Dope raps, skates and performs alongside monkey hypemen.
Don’t confuse them with the überzealous rock opera singer Meat Loaf. The band of brothers known as LO∆F MUZIK are an up-and-coming hip hop collective that marries old school De La inspired beats with the butter lyrical style of A Tribe Called Quest. We politicked with 17-year-old rapper, skater, and card-carrying LO∆F member, Bryan “Oso Dope” Reynoso, about why being Latino rocks and how he’ll “make hip hop cool again” one track at a time.
Mass Appeal: The last time I checked out LO∆F MUZIK, a guy in a monkey suit got turnt with you guys. Is he your mascot?
Bryan Reynoso: “Monkey Mann” is actually an ape that thinks he’s a monkey and came to America as a refugee. Abandoned by his family, we first met Monkey Mann as a young chimp dancing for money in Central Park. He’s been following us around ever since but he’s productive so we keep him around.
MA: Where did the name “LO∆F MUZIK” come from?
BR: The name LO∆F MUZIK was made on it’s own. The recipe was spontaneous with a mix of innovation. I met Doe Loaf, Captain Mudd, Shadow The Great, and most of LO∆F MUZIK through skating. All summer we made plans that usually involved, you know, not getting caught, but my parents had me on lock down most of the time so I missed out on a few adventures. Aside from the mischief, Shadow and I started to record music and perform at open mics. We began to skate less and perform at more venues. Knowing Shine Sinatra since junior high, I introduced him to Shadow The Great and they began producing. I met Kidaf through Facebook; he would post videos of himself and his friends rapping in response to my “Brooklyn Cypher” videos. Small world. Turns out Kidaf went to junior high with Shadow The Great.
MA: What made you guys decide to form the collective?
BR: The MUZIK collective came about after the four of us had agreed to promote each other’s music, and through that we began to realize that we made a power squad. We also realized that we had been creating something that was more than music: everyone in our circle excelled in a certain field, whether it was photography, videography, engineering, producing, graffiti, dancing, acting, art, fashion, skating—we do all this under the rep of one team: LO∆F MUZIK.
MA: You have a late 80’s to early 90’s sound. Which rap groups have inspired you the most?
MA: My favorite thing about performing is …
BR: Interacting with the audience, like crowd surfing or shaking someone’s hand: it builds exuberance, which is what live performances should be about.
MA: You grew up in a Dominican household. How, if at all, has Latino music and culture shaped your work as an artist?
BR: Latino music and culture has definitely shaped my work as an artist in the way that I appeal to and identify with different sounds. I believe knowing a variety of sounds also makes me a more versatile artist.
MA: If I could go back in time, I’d rhyme with _______.
MA: What are your plans for the future?
BR: Plans for the future are to make hip hop cool again, be someone’s favorite emcee, tour, produce classics and to be successful at everything else I decide to do.
MA: Favorite quote or motto?
BR: The six P’s: “Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance.”
MA: Oso Dope is ______.
BR: Artistically inclined.