For Isis “BIG ICE” Ohui, rap is just that: Rhythm and Poetry.
— BIG ICE (@isisohui) April 6, 2017
Although her life has been spent in the Southwest Houston area by means of Mo City, Alief, and now Sugar Land, her rapping style is rooted in the East Coast her parents reside from.
“My mom, as a kid, all we listened to: Biggie, Pac, Hov… Nas… That lyricism always fascinated me,” says Isis.
For Isis, Jay-Z’s ability to hop on a beat and create imagery combined with her mother’s talents as a writer and speaker influence Isis more than anything or anyone else can.
“I want people to understand that I’m a great writer, I’m a storyteller,” Isis says, “I have something to say… What you put out there is what you’re gonna get.”
The stories she raps about come in stride and are not always from her. Isis finds heavy inspiration in writing about others’ struggles and changing up perspectives to do so.
“If I see somebody else going through a situation, I try to dive into it. Even though I’m on the outside looking in, I try to be the person inside looking in.”
However, she doesn’t stray away from writing about her own personal struggles. Dating back a couple years, I Miss You paints a painful but hopeful image of the abusive relationship she has experienced with her father in the past, but growing from it as a result.
“I’m thankful for what I’ve been through because it gives me a story to tell,” says Isis, “When I go through situations, I can’t really get mad at it because it’s going to make me stronger as an artist and as an individual… The situation with my dad and what I’m still going through, it makes me stronger because I know somebody else is going through the same thing and I’m just trying to be an example of how to deal with it — how to overcome it.”
Her ability to vividly depict situations has been a long time in the making. Isis can recall back to when she was 8 years old when her father bought her a piano with preset beats, beats to which she wrote her very first lyrics.
“My father and grandmother owned a barbershop down in Alief for a few years and there was a studio right next to it. He took me over there once and said ‘Why don’t you just go in there and do something?’”
Ever since that moment, an 8-year-old Isis knew she had a knack for writing with hip-hop playing a big role in her life. It also helped that she liked how she sounded once hearing herself played back.
Now, as a multifaceted talent, Isis takes care of everything besides producing the beat. Even then, she has certain sounds and transitions she talks her producers through and if Isis hears a sample that intrigues her, she sends it in so they can flip it and if it fits her, the process begins.
“If it’s good, I sit and write, just sit and write. Most of the time my hotspot for writing usually is in my car. I like to drive long distances and write,” she says.
Cruising the streets of Houston, she first starts with the hook, then the verse, goes on to record the music herself, then even mixes the song herself, basically giving her full control of her artistic output.
Currently, Isis is pursuing her degree at Prairie View A&M and is caught in a “crossfire” between her degree and music. Luckily, she was able to mesh both worlds together during the Prairie View A&M Cypher that’s shown above. As the only female in the cypher, Isis was keen to make sure people at her school know who Isis Ohui is.
“If I do a cypher, or anything, I’m gonna make sure I put 100% into it. I’m not going to BS it, even if I feel like I’m better than everybody… Imma do what I gotta do,” she says.
And even though people were quick to discredit her verse, she had no problem disregarding their opinions, because at the end of the day she believes in herself and understands “I know that I’m good at what I do.”
But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had and will have her bumps along the way. As a female rapper than values lyricism so heavily, she knows she has a harder route than most others.
“(The pressure) It’s hard, it’s super hard. So sometimes I do get discouraged. It’s hard to not be discouraged when you’re in a field that’s not meant for you to prosper,” she says “Watching people prosper that don’t deserve it, it’s hard. But I always get reminded that my time is coming.”
Plans for the near future revolve pushing out her image more, which starts with releasing more visuals to her music, so keep an eye out for it on her YouTube channel.
And as for what Isis “BIG ICE” Ohui wants the rest of Houston to know?
“I’m coming for these motherfuckers, man. That’s it.”
Check out Isis in person on
The Houston Ultimate Hip Hop Showcase: August 20 at Numbers Night Club
Unity Womens Art and Music Show: August 24 at Warehouse Live at 7PM (warehouselive.com)
Explore more of Isis’ work on SoundCloud at TheIsisOhui
And on Twitter and Instagram @IsisOhui
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