One half of the hip-hop duo, OCD, Oliver “Twist” Feighan received a call from a friend last Monday to tell him his video for the group’s single “City Kids” had climbed to a staggering 300,000 views after being uploaded to YouTube three months prior.
He said the group was grateful for every view the video had received and was enjoying its flirt with fame. There’s just one major roadblock: Both Feighan and bandmate Coleman-McRae are high school seniors, and with college waiting in the fall, OCD has some decisions to make.
“Next year is still up in the air,” Feighan said. “Whatever we do, we’re going to do the music thing 100 percent regardless. Whether we take a year off from school or skip a class here and there, we’re addicted to music.”
Feighan added that the group chose its name after the mental disorder to show its obsession with music.
The two met in elementary school before splitting ways in high school, Feighan to Philadelphia’s Friends Select and Coleman-McRae to Haverford High. In the early time spent together the group’s lyrics featured explicit language, which Feighan said have been cut out in order to challenge their songwriting skills.
“We think we’re too smart to just use fill words,” Feighan said. “It’s a decision we made, and it helps it be spread to a wider demographic.”
On April 15, the group is headlining at Old City’s Club 27.
OCD’s sound and style falls under the constantly evolving and emerging sub-genre hipster rap, similar to Philadelphia-duo Chiddy Bang, who is one of the band’s main influences. The band features well-used samples, including the ear-catching sample of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” which rides a backseat to the band’s lyrical flow, as the two trade the mic.
In his sophomore year, Feighan had a run-in with another budding star, Pennslyvania’s top-ranked high school shooting guard Jabril Trawick, who will be playing college basketball next year at Georgetown. The two rap battled each other and have stayed friends ever since.
In the opening of the video for “City Kids,” the 6-foot-5-inch Trawick is seen throwing down a thundering windmill dunk surrounded by a herd of OCD fans.
“We’re boys with Jabril,” Feighan said. “I’m pretty tight with his crew, so I asked him to come to the video.”
It’s easy to tell that Feighan is itching to graduate, but he’s also quick to admit that the Quaker High School’s heavy workload has helped his craft. His teachers have been extremely supportive of his budding career, especially during his senior year. It is also apparent that his classmates have clearly become fans of the group’s work.
“It’s definitely not a hip-hop place. It’s different,” Feighan said. “It’s cool, though.”
While listing the group’s influences, Feighan showed a glimpse of his youth.
“We like old-school stuff like Nas,” he said.
Perhaps, it’s instead a notion of a genre turning the page as it makes way for it’s newest wave of artists and styles. Maybe, the young MC is right and the rappers of the mid-‘90s have joined the ranks of a decade before them in the “old-school” genre. Along with OCD and Chiddy Bang, hipster rap continues to fight off the idea that it’s just a trend, as it lays claim to chart-toppers Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa and Wale.
“We’re excited with every bit of this buzz and hoping the ride continues,” Feighan said.
Matthew Breen can be reached at email@example.com.