Photography by Sarah Buthmann
Last Friday, American experimental rap-punk duo Ho99o9 (pronounced ‘horror’) played Copenhagen’s Pumpehuset. Although they’ve recently been booked to play next year’s Roskilde Festival, it was the first time The OGM (aka Blueface) and Eaddy graced the Danes in their fullest, rowdiest forms—and we really do mean rowdy when we say it.
The fact that Pumpehuset wasn’t packed didn’t matter at all. Eaddy and The OGM completely decimated the stage from start to finish. The OGM donned a wedding dress (casual) and strutted around in a blue face mask while Eaddy basically created his own personal mosh pit in the middle of the floor. The only person at the show who wasn’t going apeshit was the helpless security guard, whose face looked more than a little distressed when the crowd started crawling up the stage and the speakers actually started falling down. As Eaddy closed the show with an insane-looking backflip, it became obvious why these guys have a cult in the making behind them.
Since these two dudes gave us a deliriously WTF experience, we thought it would be best to give them a local WTF experience of our own. Hence, we took them to the oddest yet most enticing place we could think of—Tivoli Gardens. The duo was stoked, though: before waltzing through the Christmasified gates, The OGM dug into his big bag full of costumes and wigs, pulled out an admiral blue wig and enormous leopard hat and slapped those on his head. We were ready for the full Tivoli experience.
Apparently, drinking a bunch of Gløgg, chasing it with cotton candy and trying out some rides semi-intoxicated helps with first impressions. Despite the frigid cold that night, the duo seemed genuinely impressed wading their way through the tourist-suffocated avenues in the amusement park. We were genuinely impressed by their infectious enthusiasm, their too-wild-to-handle reputations and their chutzpah, too. Here’s what Ho99o9 had to say about all that.
NOISEY: Hey, you two. So how does the story start with Ho99o9?
The OGM: We met on a porn set. Kidding.
Eaddy: We met through mutual friends, back in New Jersey where we’re from. The OGM: Yeah we started going to parties and shows together—shit like that, you know.
How did you friendship actually turn into a music project together, though?
The OGM: I’ve always rapped. I was a solo artist doing my projects—just regular hip-hop rand rap stuff, talking about girls, money, weed and the same bullshit everyone else is talking about. Then me and E just kinda started making music. E never made music and had never rapped—he was just like a “wild kid”.
Eaddy: Yeah, I was always musically inclined. If I had a favourite rapper or a band, I’d really get into them and would get all their albums and all their EPs. I would mainly just go to shows and have fun. I never did music on my own. It always crossed my mind but I never really gave it a try.
What was life like for you before Ho99o9 took over?
Eaddy: I was born and raised in North New Jersey in a real fucked up neighbourhood. Typical “ghetto”, you know. I worked with kids before this—doing YMCA summer camp and after school programs. After work I’d go to New York to party and then go back to work the next day real fucked up. The OGM: Before this, I worked in a Fitness Center!
Really. You don’t strike me as the kind of guy who’d be into that whole gym and juicing lifestyle.
The OGM: When I first got there I was like ‘nah, this is a bunch of wealthy, older people here for spin class’. I basically laughed at them a lot, seeing them coming in there all sweaty and stuff. At the same time, I was doing shows at night—and then I’d wake up at six in the morning and go back to work again, with loud gym music blasting. Seirously, all they do in those centres is blast dance music really, really loud.
What’s it like having this complex description applied to you—‘punk and experimental hip-hop’? Is that also how you’d describe it yourselves?Eaddy: It’s just dynamic from all angles. It really is experimental because it has some hip-hop, some punk, some electro and something really dark and grimy—like noise.
The OGM: Where we come from, the average hip-hoppers don’t listen to the rap that we make. It’s a little different, so you can for sure categorize it as experimental. For us it’s just hardcore rap and hardcore punk.
How do you come up with that crazy mix of sounds, even? What’s the inspiration?
The OGM: Everything! Like right now, it’s this right here at Tivoli. It’s like a musical or a movie score—everything inspires us. Movies, everyday life, little kids screaming like that kid over there. You can use literally EVERYTHING for sound.
Do you feel like your sound has progressed a lot since you first started?
The OGM: Definitely! When we first started we didn’t have a drummer. When we decided to move to L.A. we definitely progressed a little—learned some different instruments, got into a lot of different sounds and different vibes of people. Also, the temperature change helps, too.
You guys have a reputation for some pretty crazy live performances. Is that something you decided to focus on from the start to stand out?
Eaddy: They’re actually not that crazy. I don’t want to sound like a dick, but they’re just not your average stand-around, rapping-to-the-mic kinda thing. We want to show some passion and make it interesting—we’re entertaining the crowd instead of just getting up there and holding a mic. These people come to see you, so you've gotta perform for the people.
The OGM: Yeah, we just want you to feel it. When we perform there’s a lot of expression and aggression. You just want people to believe what you are doing. Sometimes it’s just about how you say it. You can be like, “Yo. I’m drinking this hot wine.” Or, you can be like, “YOOOOOO, I’M DRINKING THIS HOT WIIIIIIINE!!!!!” There’s a difference in how you express that. People might think that’s crazy, but it’s not.
Still, that requires a lot of energy. How do you prepare for your shows?
The OGM: Before the show, we all do some stretches. I gotta make sure my legs are nice, loose and ready to go.
Eaddy: Whatever happens, happens.
The OGM: Yeah, nothing planned. Everything is just as it goes.
How do you calm yourselves down after a show like that?
The OGM: Weed. Can I say that here? Yeah, weed. I have to go lay down, listen to some Jackson 5 or something.
Eaddy: I just go on Instagram.
Eaddy, I’ve also heard that you do a lot of the artwork and illustration for Ho99o9.
Eaddy: Yeah, I like it original and artistic. I just like to keep it DIY—I don’t know Photoshop or that kind of shit. If I’ve got something in my head I just want it a certain way—there’s no other way than to do it yourself. I draw, paint and collage.
With that much creative impulse behind you, what does the future look like? Any projects we can keep our eyes out for?
The OGM: I’m working on a new wedding dress! I usually wear a bloody vintage one on stage. Maybe a new wig, also.
Eaddy: I wanna smoke some weed with Donald Trump.
I hope to see that happen soon. Thanks, guys.