On December 20, 2017 the hip-hop community mourned the loss of Reggie Osse also known as Combat Jack. Osse blazed a trail through the hip-hop industry that designated his persona at pioneer status. His podcast, “The Combat Jack Show” carved out a considerable space for emerging urban voices to be heard and appreciated.
Osse received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and went on to earn his JD from Georgetown Law School. In the 90’s, he became a legal affairs intern at Def Jam Records and represented clients such as Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and DJ Clark Kent. Certainly, Osse had positioned himself amongst elite company within the culture he loved the most: hip-hop.
Eventually, Reggie became exhausted of his role as a lawyer for a roster of celebrity clients. On December 31, 2003 he permanently closed his law firm and geared up for a major transition. For his first transitional feat, he partnered with Gabriel A. Tolliver to produce, “Bling: The Hip-Hop Jewelry Book.”
Hip-hop influenced the attire, attitude and lexicon of Reggie Osse at an impressionable age. Often times, his Walkman served as a tool for survival during trying times. Seeing as that hip-hop ran through Osse’s veins, his transition into the podcast world flowed smoothly.
Flawlessly, Combat Jack transferred his skillset as a lawyer into a method by where he could gather information to garner significant insight from his interviewees. The Combat Jack Show featured loose banter that seemed like a closely considered version of barbershop talk. Sharing common experiences through an unfiltered group of personalities created a resonant channel for avid consumers of hip-hop media.
This is a devastating loss for the hip-hop community. Reggie Osse’s compelling ability to create a well-rounded experience between his guests and his audience highly distinguished his efforts. Through a commitment to unique engagement, Combat Jack could extract candid sentiments from his guests with ease. His raw and authentic personality meshed brilliantly with the collective conscience of the hip-hop world.
Combat Jack never forced any questions or strategies that would make the interview feel anything less than genuine. His interviews circulated the internets through Loud Speakers Network, which he co-founded with Chris Morrow in 2013. Osse was raised on hip-hop culture and sought a network to fully immerse himself. This venture filled a void in the marketplace of urban radio and bridged the generational gap between different hip-hop demographics.
One of his most impactful endeavors can be viewed in the form of the Gimlet Media miniseries titled, “Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty.” Reggie Osse towered over his contemporaries and dispelled the invalid assumption that internet radio only creates a niche for those of lesser talent or ability. His presence impacted the lives of many. May he rest in peace.