Lounging in his Brooklyn-based home studio, smartly dressed, smoking shisha and rocking some vintage frames, Amir Mohamed (aka Oddisee) looks every bit the dictator that he sometimes jokingly imagines himself being. Hours away from embarking on an epic, month long journey to Sudan, Oddisee was kind enough to sit down with me, smoke some cardamom shisha, and wax poetic about navigating the industry while still producing the music that matters to him. Too often, I find that music heads don’t get the opportunity to hear the voices of their favorite producers in regular conversation. So here he is. Raw and uncut. And please, don’t mind the noise from the hookah pipe. I promise you. It’s not a bong.