omari-hardwick-josiah-bell-bloodshed omari-hardwick-josiah-bell-bloodshed

Premiere: Omari Hardwick Mourns The Loss Of Loved Ones On His Debut Single "Bloodshed"

Teaming up with singer-songwriter and producer Josiah Bell, the Power actor readies fans for his sophomore project Later Decatur.

Before anyone defined him, Omari Hardwick has always fancied himself as an artist first. As encompassing and lofty as the word may be, the 43-year-old has experienced much of his success as an actor starring in several high-profile roles, but most notably as James St. Patrick/Ghost on the STARZ hit drama Power. 

But just because fans know one dimension of Hardwick, doesn't mean there aren't others developed and waiting to be expressed. In an exclusive interview with VIBE, Hardwick takes time from shooting Season Four to explain why now is the perfect time for him to showcase his musical side.

"As a poet, I would always hear emcees come up to me and say, 'Yo, you should rap,' and I was like, 'No.' You know, the label was tough for me," Hardwick confessed. 'I'm a poet. I was proud of that distinction between the two, not wanting to be the other. So, I think just in terms of what God's call for me was, I think I was to pop in a world of visibility as an actor prior to audibility as a musician...People were seeing me enough that they might listen to something I had to say even if they didn't necessarily receive it. They'd at least give it a shot."

Titled "Bloodshed," Hardwick teamed up with singer-songwriter Josiah Bell to release a somber recording about some of the most horrific acts domestically and abroad. While Hardwick doesn't rap, there is a rhythm he maintains with his passionate delivery. Omari admits he cried at the end of the recording, got some weight off his chest, and helped him to mourn great loss he's experienced.

"For a long time, I had been very secretive about a lot of the things I'd been through personally, and a lot of that is purposeful...my fan base for the large part is the younger generation. They're like, 'I want to know everything! I want to know it all!' I don't add to it as much as I could by letting certain things be known and those things are everything from having lost a son during the same time my father was shot six times, which was only a year and maybe 10 months after my brother was shot 10 times. Within two years of that--father survived, son did not, brother did not--my cousin who was 33-years-old after fighting a seven-year battle with brain cancer passed on. There's a lot, and I don't really know how to mourn that well, so perhaps I do it through art."

This isn't Hardwick's first dance with music. In 2002, he released a 16-track album appropriately titled Return of the Poet, which didn't merit a lot of attention. Now, 15 years later, Hardwick is trying his hand at it again and hopefully to bigger fanfare. Later this year, the Georgia native plans to release his sophomore effort Later Decatur, in homage to a man never saying goodbye to his home, but eagerly looking forward to his future.

When asked if his music will be featured on the upcoming season of the STARZ drama, he coyly turned the question on its head.

"That's an awesome question," Hardwick said with a laugh. "That's such a cool-ass question and I can't wait for you to ask Courtney [A. Kemp] and Curtis [Jackson] that question."

Listen to Omari Hardwick debut single, featuring Josiah Bell "Bloodshed" below.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Premiere: I DO Tackles Gun Violence In "Tears" Music Video

The United States' problem with gun violence has become one of its most daunting concerns, with statistics from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation stating that the country had 4.43 deaths due to gun violence for every 100,000 people in 2017. It's become so commonplace that many have become desensitized, but Los Angeles' duo I DO hopes to keep conversation around the topic alive in the new video for their song "Tears."

The Hector Felix-directed video illustrates three instances of gun violence: an argument between three men that ends up with a mother grieving the loss of her son, a white police officer who pulls over a car with two unarmed black men and shoots one of them, and a mass shooter who opens fire at a concert. The video also attempts to humanize immigrants. The song, performed by I DO – the duo of vocalist J. Lauryn and producer Trackdilla – is just as mournful. "How many times will it take for us to see freedom? Too many bodies on the floor," J. Lauryn sings.

“We hope 'Tears' is a song that connects with anyone who has lost a loved one or friend to gun violence,” I DO told VIBE in a shared statement. "'Tears' is a song with a message. A message that many are trying to push. How many voices does it take for change to happen?”

The Hawaiian-born J. Lauryn wrote on Ziggy Marley's Grammy-winning self-titled album, along with lending pen work to David Guetta and Ashanti. Trackdilla escaped violent conditions in Angola, Africa to arrive in the United States, where he has since produced and collaborated with 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Sean Paul and others. Together the two form I DO, a duo represented by Billboard Power 100 manager Dre London, who manages Post Malone and Tyla Yahweh.

Watch the music video for "Tears" above.

Continue Reading

Tierra Whack Debuts "Unemployed" Video On Adult Swim

Philadelphia rapper Tierra Whack has been on a roll recently and she won't be slowing down any time soon. After releasing a series of singles during her "Whack History Month" and her debut performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in March, Whack has another thing coming for her fans. The Interscope artist announced that her song "Unemployed," from the stream of singles she released during her self-titled awareness month, will have an accompanying music video. The visual is set to premiere on Adult Swim on April 9.

"We love Tierra and this is just the first of several things we have planned together," Jason DeMarco, senior vice president/creative director on-air for Adult Swim, said. "It's a joy to be able to work with talent of her magnitude."

Whack's latest drop, which can be viewed live on Adultswim.com, is right in line with her quirky style and unique video creations. The clip features stacks of potatoes, a few with faces on them and viewers have already given their two cents on the presence of the vegetable in the video.

Only @TierraWhack would give potatoes feelings and also make them scary and inedible lmao

— 🦇 J.W. (@gothistorian) April 9, 2019

this @TierraWhack video made me eat a whole raw potato just now https://t.co/EZh9zcxQFv

— Brian 🍊-g+t (@brorante) April 9, 2019

Don't forget to tune into Adult Swim between 8-9 p.m EST tonight (April 9) to catch the world premiere.

Continue Reading

Premiere: Inas X Gets Even In Vengeful 'Me 2' Music Video

In a time where empowerment and independence among women is being celebrated like never before, a number of rap artists have emerged that reflect those sentiments. One fresh face that's been making noise while representing for the ladies is Inas X, who unveils the music video for her new single, "Me 2," an infectious ditty that showcases the Brooklyn, New York native's lyrical prowess over production by Steelo Foreign.

In this self-directed clip, Inas X and her girlfriends kidnap a philandering playboy who's been caught in his web of lies and teach him a lesson about playing games with the wrong women. The hostage, played by L.A.-based comedic actor and viral sensation Carey Boy, gets taken on the ride of his life, as Inas X and her crew tie him up and force him to endure a round of torturous acts. Rather than bicker with one another, the women decide to take their frustrations out on the guilty party, creating money showers while twerking in a show of solidarity.

Currently on "The Hood So Proud Tour" alongside Tokyo Jetz, Brandie Blaze, and Malia The Model, Inas X looks to capitalize on that momentum with the visual for "Me 2," an exotic trap pop record that casts the Brooklynite in the light of a boss.

Watch the video for Inas X's song "Me 2" above.

Continue Reading

Top Stories