Born September 13, 1985 in Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada, Omar "A.O.K." Mouallem, the son of Lebanese immigrants, spent most of his life growing up in High Prairie, a small town in northern Alberta.
He told the Edmonton Sun that he began rapping at age 9. "My mom found my lyrics book and it was just full of all sort of vile lyrics about women and stuff like that. I stopped rapping until I was like, maybe 14." (June 27, 2008). At 14, he began rapping as Poppa Smurf. In "Fake I.D.", he raps about his younger self, "For whatever it's worth, I was Rico Suave/Everyday was an excuse to par-tay in the hallways. I was what you would call a 'wigger'/Busting raps about triggers and figures and Nike kickers." In 2001 he changed his rap name to Justice?, and then again in 2005 to A.O.K., an acronym of Assault Of Knowledge.
Mouallem began his rap career seriously in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he studied screenwriting and worked as a hip-hop writer for The Nerve Magazine. In 2006 he moved to Edmonton, Alberta. Over three years, A.O.K. worked transiently on his debut album If You Don't Buy This CD the Terrorists Win, which was released on Ill-Legitimate Productions June 10, 2008. The Canadian music blog, Hero Hill, called it, "smarter and more thoughtful than your average rap album."
If You Don't Buy This CD The Terrorists Win
|1||Walk Like a Man|
|2||Tales From Planet Grolic|
|4||Hip-Hop a la mode|
|5||Coffee Shop Girl|
|6||The Hood Samaritans (featuring Neato! The Filthy Varmint)|
|9||You Are a God|
|10||Freedom is a State of Mind|
|11||Thank You Dot Com (featuring Neato! The Filthy Varmint)|
|12||The Cedar Seeds (featuring Cousin Moe and Spinning Truth)|
|Pass the Machete||Ira Lee, A.O.K.||Die|
|Lucky Daze||Lithium, S.O.S., A.O.K.||Lithium and Bizoid Present...East Side Magic|
|Moonlight||Lithium, Bizoid, A.O.K.||Lithium and Bizoid Present... East Side Magic|
|Thank You Dot Com||Neato! The Filthy Varmint, A.O.K.||As It Were... '07|
Omar Mouallem is also a writer and journalist. He has contributed to The Nerve (magazine), Vue Weekly, Q-News, 24 Hours (newspaper), Avenue magazine (Edmonton), Exclaim! and other publications. He's also appeared as a video blogger on The Listening Post on Al Jazeera English.
In 2008 he authored the book Amazing Cats published by Folklore Publishing.
"Let's Talk About Sects", an article examining temporary marriages in Shiite Islam written for Vue Weekly (September 12, 2007), garnered him second-place in the features category of the 2008 Sex-Positive Journalism Awards.