15 year old Egyptian/American rapper, Omie channels third culture kid angst into conscious and catchy hip hop, dropping a ten track album called Embassy.
Being a 15 year old Egyptian named Omar Abdelhamid does not exactly make you stand out among the immigrant-dense community of Flushing, Queens aka "Little Egypt," and being a first generation son of Egyptian immigrants drops Omar into the already teeming pool of youth navigating the complicated path of a Muslim/American millennial. So far, Omar does indeed sound like your average third culture homeboy.
But the fact is that there is more to Abdelhamid than meets the eye. He attends the highly selective Trinity School on the Upper West Side of NYC, which is not surprising considering his genius attributes. Beyond laying it down in academia, he’s a rapper and a spoken word artist who goes by Omie.
After finding his voice and strength in hip hop, he set out to record a full 10-track album entitled The Embassy with schoolmate Brandon Lin on production. Omie’s choice of title comes from the notion that he considers himself an ambassador to the US from the fractions of society he represents. Omar explains to us his own words that “As a first generation son of immigrants, I feel like an ambassador between Egypt/Islam and America. This dynamic comes with the tension of never fully being able to belong to either with forces in each direction and mixed messages about the way to see the world, yourself, and society. It also leads to never really knowing what parts of each identity you should hold onto and which parts to let go of.”
The album is quite an impressive feat for a first attempt. Complete with a touching interlude that features Abdelhamid’s work as a spoken word artist. Speaking of dual identities, the album features tracks that are purpose driven and carry clear messages like "Figure It Out" mixed with other trap-heavy bangers like "88 (feat. Collin Mensah)." Perhaps this is an attempt to bridge gaps between his need to address issues as a poet and his hip hop savvy identity.
Anyone who gives the album a listen will have a hard time fighting the urge to speculate about what the teenage Omar will be able to dish out in the coming years. If this is how his work sounds at 15, then only heavens know what he’ll be able to bring forward from this point onwards. His sense of purpose and political poignancy definitely surpasses his age. Let’s hope he maintains his mission showcasing his experience between worlds to a wider audience.
Follow Omie on Soundcloud to keep up with his newest music.