"OJ's for people that are sleepin' in the streets/ and mothers that are weepin' in the streets..." - Transmit (The Streets)
Raised in Queens, New York, Omega Johnson (who has also been known as Dok Who?!) is a powerful lyricist who has been a part of hip-hop culture since the early 1980s--in "Flashbacks", Omega goes back to "the refrigerator box [he] used to rehearse windmills on [...] it was 'Jay-Ice' out in the park". During the time he spent learning classical piano, Omega also started to pen his own lyrics, inspired not only by the songs of Afrika Bambataa, Sugar Hill gang, and Doug E. Fresh, but by a wide range of musical genres, from Jazz to R&B and 80s Rock.
In 1987 he took the name 'Esquire', and took the stage as well, from the streets of New York to the platforms of Vermont, gathering a fan base before he had even gathered his own music. By 1989 he self-produced his first demo tape, leading a group he named The First Order, and won the crowd over at Brooklyn Technical High School, where he attended during the birth of the street gang Decepticons, and where he met longtime friend Mr. Khaliyl, formerly of the group Bush Babees. After a number of shows in various New York school districts, First Order was disbanded in 1991, and Esquire was called to lead a new group, 'Point Blank'. With this change in direction, Esquire also changed his identity to Mr. Omega, the 'Mandroid' to personify his precise flow and train of thought. When asked why the choice of Omega, he details it as "the end of nonsense that leads to new beginnings."
Point Blank, which soon became know as Dreadnaughts, went through numerous performances, most notably ranging from schools such as Fashion Institute of Technology, Riker's Island, and the world-famous Apollo Theater. During this time the Dreadnaughts were interviewed and aired by Ralph McDaniels for the popular underground video program 'Video Music Box'. Upon the growing popularity of a similar group, Dredknots, the Dreadnaughts decided to search out a new name and carry their fan base along. A suggestion from UG of former Loud Records signees Cella Dwellas confirmed the name of the group and surrounding unit to 'Mhorlocks'. While UG had thought of comic-book series X-Men, Omega more aligned the name with H.G. Wells "The Time Machine"--beings of darkness who preyed on the naivete of surface walkers.
The Mhorlocks had built a strong reputation in New York City, forming alliances and performing with the likes of Bush Babees, Medina Green, Talib Kweli, Natural Resource, Jean Grae, PH (Pumpkinhead) (R.I.P.), and many others. A respected member of the hip-hop community, they drew favor from organizers such as Grandma Funk and Bobbito, promotion from underground radio outlets, and stage appearances that crossed genres with rock artists while maintaining a hardcore hip-hop persona. In 1996 they aligned with upstart label Makin' Records, then headed by "Ocean" Dixon and "OT" Thompson, which later dissolved due to creative differences. Shortly thereafter, members of the rap group departed to pursue individual efforts, leaving Omega to lead the remainder of the unit, which remained a stable source of hip-hop music, producing local talent and remixing the efforts of professional artists as well.
After a hiatus during which he maintained a producer's representation of the Mhorlocks Unit, Omega has returned to the mic with a brand of music that seeks to deliver sociopolitical value while maintaining the vibe of the classic New York streets that earned him the reputation valued by fans and peers alike. He is currently at work on his EP A Clockwork Omega, leading off with the single "Blast Radius". Sign up for the Hero Squad mailing list and stay tuned into the action to come!