Queens Rapper Otis Clapp Opens Eyes And Ears With ‘Helen Keller‘
“‘Helen Keller’ was inspired by the notion of me being unheard or misunderstood. I suppose it’s a reference to my music falling on ‘deaf ears,’ or even people being blind to what I’m doing. Summed up with a spoken word-esque third verse that basically tells listeners to be who you are unapologetically, but to never lose your soul while doing it.” – Otis Clapp
Hailing from Queens, New York, Otis Clapp buried himself in music from a young age as a means of escaping an unstable and abusive home life. His passion for hip hop drove him from lunchroom cyphers to sharing stages with heavyweights such as Action Bronson, Diplo, J.Cole, Mac Miller, Ab Soul and more. While Otis always scribbled rhymes in the back of the classroom, it wasn’t until he heard Common and Sadat-X on “1999” that he realized he wanted a career in hip hop.
By 1999 Otis began writing, producing, mixing and mastering his own music. His diligence paid off in 2011, when Otis was afforded the opportunity to mix and executive produce three projects for YC The Cynic (now known as Kemba), including his 2013 GNK album. This led to a performance opportunity at the four year anniversary of “Comedy at the Knitting Factory,” hosted by Hannibal Buress. Here, Otis performed before Chris Rock’s surprise performance and comedian Amy Schumer later co-signed Otis’s song “Fiona.” In 2014, following his second straight appearance at CMJ week and a special guest performance at the NY Loves Dilla event, Otis performed alongside YC at the Heineken Green Room with Ghostface Killah, and performed at the 2015 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. One of AllHipHop.com’s top 50 underground artists in 2011 and 2012, Otis is set to rekindle flames with his forthcoming Helen Keller EP as well as two other projects in 2017.