Rapping might have started off as a joke for Oklahoma City native Waylon Clark, who performs as Warrbuckss, but he’s gotten seriously good.

“I started when I was young, just freestyling to make people laugh. I would DJ house parties and rap to instrumentals for fun,” Clark said. “About three years ago, I started taking it seriously. I was booked on a showcase show in Bricktown. It went over so well, I haven’t stopped performing live shows or making music since.”

Those three short years have already seen Warrbuckss on bills supporting artists like Ke$ha, Killer Mike and Asher Roth. He has a smooth delivery — inspired by the likes of Kanye West and Curren$y — to thank for such opportunities, and a certain perspective that only comes with age.

“Being older than most of the cats doing it definitely makes me stand out,” Clark said. “Most people are shocked when I get onstage, ’cause they don’t see it coming and are usually won over by the time I’m done.”

And any edge you can get in a small hip-hop market like Oklahoma City is one worth having.

“You are automatically an underdog in the game here, so you have to hustle harder than if you were from a large market,” he said. “The competition is a little steeper because only a couple of artists get the shine in the city. Everyone else is kind of lumped together, fighting for the spotlight. It’s funny, because I can hit the road and perform at packed venues and festivals all over the country, but come back home with not much notoriety.”

But Clark said that’s all right with him.

“It keeps me hungry and wanting more,” he said.

Clark released his latest mixtape, Nocturne, earlier this month, making his biggest national splash to date.

“The response has been awesome,” he said. “It’s crazy to Google it and see it on lots of different websites, even people I don’t know posting the tracks on YouTube. It’s real cool.”

October will find Warrbuckss opening for Lil’ Flip, as well as releasing his second studio record, A Lesson in Progression — which features guest spots from big names such as Killer Mike, Dee-1 and Mac Lethal — the first effort he has recorded, mixed and mastered all on his lonesome.

“I grew up in Oklahoma City and love this place,” he said. “I’m hoping to shine a light on our city and help make a lane for other artists from OKC to get some national exposure.”

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