Harlem-born and Bronx-raised, Gerard “Ogee” Allen, is the epitome of “never2old.” The father of four (three boys and one girl), and grandfather to ten, has been nonstop at believing in himself and all he has wanted to do…including rap. Achieving the moniker, Ogee, came after many other childhood names; however, he has certainly earned it now – father, grandfather, mentor, and role model to the young.
After 27 years, Gerard “Ogee” Allen retired from the New York City Housing Authority on January 1, 2021. Before working for the City Housing Authority, Gerard worked for a printing company, a recording studio, and at Madison square garden.
First and foremost, Gerard “Ogee” Allen is proud of his children, in which his three boys are in the entertainment business (Ty-Trackz, who became a producer, J-Quest, who became a rapper, and Oun-P who was and still is a notable (and unstoppable) battle rapper – he won 7 straight weeks on B.E.T.s 106 & Park Freestyle Friday). Second, he is proud to still be alive and was able to work until retirement. Raised in Morrisania, one of the most notorious sections in the Bronx, New York housing projects, life is uncertain for Black men. But for Ogee, he was able to tell another story of his life.
OneWest: How’d you first find passion in music?
Ogee1523: I found a passion for music while living with parents who loved music. My parents always used to have company over, and I was the entertainer. You can say we had a party house. Also, in school, I loved dancing at the school concerts when all the parents and friends came to sit in the Audience. From there, I knew music was for me.
OneWest: Who are your musical inspirations and influences?
Ogee1523: My inspiration is all the HipHop pioneers like—Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Busy Bee Starski, Kool Moe, Dee Kurtis Blow. etc. My most significant music influence is Snoop Dogg because he came a long way with his music. Music changed his whole life around. He went from gang banging to the top of the charts. I also like how LL cool J came up in the music business and became a famous actor. 50cent also changed his life around from must now he’s doing bigger and better things, I salute all those I mentioned.
OneWest: You recently released a new single, “Get Em Up” (Birthday Vibe), featuring Fatman Scoop. What’s the inspiration behind it?
Ogee1523: :My inspiration behind GET EM UP is my wife. My wife passed away six years ago, and she used to love all that kind of dance music. Nowadays, when I go to parties and when the DJs start playing all the dance music, I would just sit there and think about my wife and say to myself, “Wow, Lisa will be loving this music right now and pulling me to the dance floor so she can show out. I wanted to create a song for her, which I know she would’ve liked. All the birthday parties we used to go to made me want to do a birthday song. I went to the studio, sat with my producer Q-Banga The B. C. E., and told him I wanted to record a birthday dance song, That’s when Get Em Up got created.
OneWest: What is the game missing?
Ogee1523: The game is missing loyalty. It’s like everyone is trying to outdo each other. Instead of the artists working together and releasing good music, they want to beef with each other. The game is also missing that feel-good music. The way rap music is going, it’s not fun anymore. Nowadays, most rap music sounds the same it’s like it’s one person rapping on every record you hear, and you can barely understand what they’re saying. Rap will be much better if the younger rappers get with, the older rappers and combine the flows. I’m not knocking the younger rappers, though. All I’m saying is they need guidance from the older ones.
OneWest: What makes timeless music?
Ogee1523: What makes timeless music is the emotion attached to it, the artist’s efforts in composing the song, the producer’s creativity in bringing the emotions in the form of a song, the sound engineer’s efforts in making the track clear by mixing and mastering it. Songs that people can relate to. Everyone goes through different problems in life, and music can be their healing. If a song is made about everyday life, that song can be timeless, like, for instance, my song “Get Em Up (Birthday Vibe)” because it’s someone’s birthday every day.
OneWest: How’d you plan to leave your impact in the game?
Ogee1523: I plan on leaving my impact in the game by having everyone have fun together, recording together, just putting the fun back into it. I want to make it safe and comfortable to go out and enjoy yourself and don’t worry about what might happen. I want to make sure all older people feel good about themselves, know they have hope and do not give up. Rap music and going to parties were safe when I was growing up, and I will love to bring that feel back for today’s game.
OneWest: What does success mean to you?
Ogee1523: You have to define success for yourself, and no one can do it for you. Success could mean a sense of giving back to the world and making a difference. It could mean a sense of accomplishment and career progression. It could mean being able to do the things you love. It could mean providing the best possible upbringing for the people. It’s entirely up to you to leave that impact on what you do.
OneWest: What’s the next thing we can expect from you this year?
Ogee1523: My Album, Never2Late, a few more videos for songs from the album. A concert with my family was titled “1523 Family Affair Concert”. Also, Opening shows for some big-name artists, and hopefully putting on an i95 tour starting in New Jersey and going up to Atlanta and finishing in New York after the album drop, I will still be dropping freestyles just to keep my buzz up.