O.Z Mr. 28Grams Paintbrushes & Dirty Walls
01 Jan 1970 |


O.Z. (Mr. 28 Grams)
Born At The Top
Miami, FL…
Written By, Thembisa M’Shaka (BET.com) …

There are a few things about O.Z. (pronounced Oh-Zee) that echo one of the most iconic personalities in hip hop, Tupac Shakur. O.Z. flashes a megawatt smile reminiscent of a resplendent Cheshire cat; his lean, rippled build; the brazen, sparkling laughter that bristles like sandpaper. And then there are the undeniable similarities where O.Z.’s talent is concerned: he has been an artist since he was in grade school, flipping metaphors while beating on hallway lockers and performing in talent shows.

O.Z. also possesses a duality that fascinates—and polarizes. “O.Z. is the calm one: lyrical,
emotional and cool with the ladies. Mr. 28 Grams is my alter ego. He is gruesome; will come out
with a hostile demeanor —to battle, to get something off his chest, no holds barred. He’s who
usually comes out when I’m on stage,” he points out. Add to this that he is quite prolific to be so
young, with five album-length projects (First Time Coming, Destined For Greatness, The O.Z., Paint Brushes and Dirty Walls, and the current release, Room Full Of Pictures) on the books in
his early twenties, the parallels between 2Pac and O.Z. are simply uncanny.

The native son of Florida was born in Jacksonville and raised in Miami, exposed to equal parts
grit and glamour. “I was born at the top and raised by the bottom,” O.Z. explains. I represent all of Florida.”

As a youngster, he had the good fortune to be able to choose between his musical talent and the proverbial wicked jump shot. “I played point guard, and occasionally two guard in junior high and through high school, but between the two, music called out louder to me.”

While armed with enough talent and confidence to be cocky, he knows the grind is just as important as the shine. In fact, the opportunity to collaborate with multiplatinum artists and sign with the well established Terror Squad crew came to O.Z. early in his career—and stalled it for a few years, which was humbling to say the least. “Fat Joe and TS are always family to me, but the up-and down of my career startin’ and stoppin’? That wasn’t working.“

So O.Z. switched things up. He joined forces with Fratt Boi Muzic Group in 2012 and hasn’t
looked back. O.Z. writes and records second only to breathing. He keeps several studios on speed dial so he can lay songs down as soon as he finishes writing. “I still got lyrics in a bunch of notebooks. I write something as soon as I hear it in my head. I don’t wait. I jot punchlines,
metaphors, similes into my phone too,” he explains.

O.Z. also surrounds himself with an arsenal of skilled producers like Hi Stakes, Sonny Digital, Metro Boomin’, and 5 Star. “They are all crazy on production,” O.Z. says, eyes lighting up as he speaks. As the marquee artist for Fratt Boi, O.Z. uses versatility as fuel for his momentum—and the buzz he’s created in his home region proves the formula is working.

“I never been a bubble gum or low-ball music type of artist. I can line up positive music, and I
can bring that party music like “Get To It.” I can show my flow and pattern in the lyrically
aggressive “Watch This.” I have a life; I have struggles I’ve gone through—and I use music to
let people know what my life is about, to the point where when they listen to it, they feel like I
was with them when I wrote the record.”

Lyrically substantial and musically captivating, songs like “Soul Searching” and “Field of Dreams” resonate instantly. “I’ve done my dirt, and had it come back around on me. The only way for me to get beyond something was to change for the better by recognizing
the BS I was participating in. I can’t deal with anything about jail—I hate everything about it. That motivates me to strive for positivity.” His uncut dope delivers a musical high without side

O.Z. is positively a force to be reckoned with.