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So Damn Fresh: Indie Rappers

Following in the footsteps of 2 Live Crew and JJ Fad, Gold Chains and Gravy Train!!!, Snap and Lil Jon, a new club rap canon emerges, guided by the same bass-inundated party-and-bullshit ethos, but availed of above-average vocabularies and high-speed internet connections. Meet Philly's off-the-cuff MC Pase Rock, who many know through frequent appearances with Spank Rock and potty-mouthed partner-in-rhyme Amanda Blank. Brooklyn's Bunny Rabbit and Black Cracker are the sonic incarnation of Williamsburg attitude with their cynical wordplay and sinister beats. Yelle and beat-maker Grand Marnier are France's cotton-candy take on the genre, while Ed Banger's Uffie (and her producer boyfriend Feadz) fuse Miami bass to the dirty sounds of French electro. Tampa's Yo Majesty unwittingly stumbled into fast tempos by way of England's David Alexander, who gave them free beats. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, '90s dance informs the unhinged cadences of 19-year-old Milwaukee native Juiceboxxx and Chicago juke–the new incarnation of ghetto house–inspires internet phenom Kid Sister. This is the new era of indie rap, a generation that weighs authenticity against individuality, treats charisma as currency, and argues that sometimes style is substance.

Kid Sister

What's your sound?
My music style is a direct result of growing up biracial. For example, at times I think I sound really fun and effervescent but there's always a hint of, "Aw heeeell naw' know that bitch didn't look at me crazy in my own house!" in there. Mmhmm, you might get stole on.

Describe your look.
A fine balance between Baby Phat layaway items from Marshall's, Daffy's, and TJ Maxx, and free shit my man gives me.

Name one article of clothing you can't live without.
My single, solitary pair of Levis! I can't afford another pair. After that, I'd say my Barney's shopping bag/tote bag–it's a big cave! I've got lipsticks, cell phones, a stolen Kinko's employee card, and a big bottle of Frank's RedHot sauce in there right now.

Any on-stage fashion disasters?
I rocked my first big show last year traipsing the stage with my bright pink Hawaiian-print high-leg panties showing out the back of my jeans. Everybody saw them–I think they were briefs. I threw those jeans away the other day.

Yo Majesty

What’s your sound?
Shunda K: Universal-woman-type shit.

Describe your look.
SK: Plain Jane: wife-beaters and jeans.
JB: Retro and punk. If I really had money, that’s how I’d roll.
Shon B: I’m lovable, but not to be fucked with ’cause I don’t fuck wit nobody.

Name one article of clothing you can’t live without.
SK: Wife-beaters and boxers. Sport bras too.
JB: Fucking boxers ’cause everything else sticks in ya p$#%@. I could not live without boxers–my life would be miserable. Muthafu@#$% Fruit of the Loom.
SB: Nike and some underwear–clean underwear–everyday. The briefs–the kind that look like bicycle pants.

Any on-stage fashion disasters?
JB: Hell naw, what da f&^% dat mean?
SK: Naw.
SB: No, not really, ’cause I haven’t had no money, so I know how to put thangs together.

Bunny Rabbit & Black Cracker

What’s your sound?
Bunny Rabbit: Heartbeats of lions and tigers and bears, Christmas carols, and children laughing at the playground.
Black Cracker: Cats in an alleyway in heat, domestic violence, a sort of inner violence that is sexy from afar but from more close up has disturbingly bad breath.

Describe your look.
BR: Dollar-store snow globes of the Last Supper, porcelain angel wings, air-brushed “baby girl” tees, temporary tattoos of clichéd Chinese dragons, and colored bows.
BC: Broken-pigeon-wing hoodies and handkerchief halos, hollow rum bottles and high waters.

Name one article of clothing you can’t live without.
BR: My teddy bear and cubic zirconia, cuddle buddies and cheap promise rings.
BC: I try and wear my love like fresh kicks leaving the footprints of humanity’s possibilities in the snow.

Any on-stage fashion disasters?
BC: One time I asked a friend of mine to come on stage and dance. She ended up taking all her clothes off and kicking her arms and legs hysterically, caught me in the back of the head, made my mouth smash into the mic, busted my lip, and stained my shirt.

Yelle & Grand Marnier

What’s your sound?
Yelle: My music is like a lollipop with a bit of spice in it. Dance booty music for dreams. Music for skirt-chasers.
GM: Grand Marnier’s liquor! Le rap, le rock, la pop, et le funk–a mix of all this music.

Describe your look.
Y: Chic and fun with colors. A bit sexy.
GM: Nike Air Marty McFlys with fluorescent laces.

Name one article of clothing you can’t live without.
Y: The bling-bling sounds of my wristlets.
GM: My sneakers. I can’t wear anything else on my feet.

Any on-stage fashion disasters?
Y: I did a live show at the Eurockéennes Festival in France with the price label stuck on my sweater hood. I think nobody saw it… I hope.
GM: Yelle’s price ticket on her back.

Juiceboxxx

What’s your sound?
Juiceboxxx is energy music! Years of punk shows and rap/dance radio have set the tone. I love anything with the NRG vibe, be it The Ramones or Rod Lee.

Describe your look.
High-energy, wacky, loud, and fun. I like to dress with color because it makes sense to me as a rapper.

Name one article of clothing you can’t live without.
My shoes, although occasionally I lose them. (Shouts to the Laff Factory.)

Any on-stage fashion disasters?
I’m too busy raging but I’m sure it has happened. Fuck it though. You only live once!

Pase Rock

What’s your sound?
T-Ski Valley meets Peaches and buys her a glass of champagne, they have a night of bliss, and nine months later they birth a baby boy named The Pase Rock and he loves him some Powerule.

Describe your look.
My personal style is my personal Jesus, dick-slapping you with it ’til you fucking believe us, Slim.

Name one article of clothing you can’t live without.
Every time I go to Japan I buy these checker-print socks from BEAMS. They cost like $9 U.S. and are the best socks ever on the entire planet.

Any on-stage fashion disasters?
I’ve seen Amanda Blank’s ass several times, but I don’t think it was an accident. You wanna see fashion disasters? Go to a Sweatheart show. It’s beautiful.

Uffie

What’s your claim to fame?
I always have a whiskey-Coke handy. Saves me from throat problems and stage fright.

Describe your look.
You will know exactly how I am feeling by my face and outfit. If I am feeling really up, happy, and girly, I love dresses with high tops and gold chains. If I am tired or in a bad mood, I am in jeans or a tracksuit.

Name one article of clothing you can’t live without.
At the moment, this blue vintage jumpsuit I found in Australia. It gets difficult on tour looking good each day when you have slim-to-no brain function. This suit is gorgeous and amazing and makes you look great!

Any on-stage fashion disasters?
I think ahead and always have hot pants handy. Sadly, I don’t have any stories but ask me again in a couple months and I am sure I will have some juice then.

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